05 March 2011
Apologies for not blogging for the past few days, I went to a few Canuck games this week and have been getting home super late because of it. If it makes you feel better, the games I saw have been some of the most boring hockey I've watched all season (I'm looking at you Central Division)
Enemy Blog: Head over to Four Habs Fans for your opposition blog coverage
Record: Lightning (37-20-7) Canadiens (35-23-7)
Game time: 7:00pm EST on SUN (HD), CBC, RDS (HD) and on the radio at 620 WDAEIf the playoffs were to start today, this would be the first round matchup: Lightning vs. Canadiens with Tampa having home ice advantage. The french media would be jizzing in their pants if this happened. Think of all the Lecavalier, Boucher, St. Louis, and Bergeron stories they could write. IN FRENCH. EN FRANCAIS.
The Lightning have won the two games we've played against the Habs this season so far (4-3 on October 13th and 4-1 on December 30). The team has sat in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference quite comfortably for the past few weeks since had built up such a big lead. But with the losses here and there in the homestand and those last two losses on the road, they seem to be not keeping pace. The Caps on the other hand have been making up serious ground are are only 1 point back from the Lightning right now. The boys need to get their sh-t together.
In between the Bruins, er, Lucic manhandling the Bolts, I head that Mike Smith actually played well. And truthfully, I think that's fantastic to hear because he's had a rough go at it in Tampa. But as for tonight's game, I think it's safe to assume we're going to see Roloson start in net.
Who is playing well? Montreal's goalie Carey Price. He's played some of his best hockey of his career this year. He's currently 2nd in wins in the NHL with 30 wins - which is the first time he's had 30 wins in a season in his career. He is also tied for 2nd in shutouts in the league at 7 shutouts this year.
Who is not playing well? Steven Stamkos with only 1 points in his last 10 games. Ouch. He needs to shoot the puck more.
Keys to the game? With tonight's game being a possible playoff matchup, I'm expecting the game to have playoff like atmosphere (beware: Hab fans will invade St. Pete Times Forum). Both teams will need to play disciplined and need to stay out of the box. The Lightning may be missing some of their key forwards but the team needs to step up and play to win. And Stamkos needs to shoot more.
- Lightning injuries: Ryan Malone, Mike Lundin are out with mid body injuries. There are three players that are out day-to-day: Vincent Lecavalier (mid body), Steve Downie (lower body) and Marc-Andre Bergeron (back spasms)
- Update: Lecavalier and Bergeron are both game time decisions, but Steve Downie is confirmed to miss tonight's game
- Canadiens' injuries: Jaroslav Spacek, Mathieu Darche, Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov
Your pre-game reading links:
- Official Lightning preview
- Official Lightning game notes
- Raw Charge's preview
- Habs Inside/Out game preview
- In the Spokesman-Review: Sources from 'Canada' have confirmed that Tyler Johnson will sign a three year entry level contract with the Lightning
- Montreal Gazette: Staying out of the box will be key for the Canadiens