Zenon Konopka leads the league in penalty minutes at 135, Carcillo who is 2nd comes in at 96 PIMs
"There are days, Zenon Konopka admitted — like the one in Detroit when his neck and wrist were packed in ice and he could not speak clearly because of the stitches in his mouth — that he wonders what his body will feel like at age 50."-Cristodero from the St. Petersburg Times
Konopka was born on January 2, 1985 in Niagara-on-the-Lake ON. He played in the juniors for the Ottawa 67's winning a Memorial Cup with the team in 1999 but went undrafted and then spent the next couple of years toiling away in the ECHL and AHL. He made his NHL debut with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2005-2006 but was traded in the off season with Curtis Glencross to CBJ where he spent most of his time with their AHL affiliate.
"The best way to describe it is, seven or eight years ago, I was making 360 bucks a week, and I was doing the same thing in the East Coast Hockey League,"-St. Petersburg Times
The Lightning signed Konopka to a 2 year contract in 2008. This year after a strong camp and a coach that likes his style of play, Konopka has been a regular on the Lightning starting roster. He's not a huge guy at 6 feet and 211 pounds (as far as enforcers go) but he doesn't shy away from dropping the gloves. Some days I roll my eyes when I see another fight break out in which Konopka is in the middle of it since it happens so often, but he knows his role and he does it well. Having a coach like Tocchet has worked in Konopka's favor, as Tocchet likes the type of gritty player that Konopka is. "The mental toughness of him is something I really respect," coach Rick Tocchet said. "He lives on the edge. He doesn't take anything for granted because he knows it can be taken away from him. He knows his role."
Lecavalier tells Cristodero that "He's like Russell Crowe in the Gladiator,", "I love playing with the guy. He's inspiring. Guys look up to him. He's a great leader, a leader by example."
In addition to fightning, Konopka is also great at faceoffs and has been able to help bring the energy to Tampa's 4th line. He also has a hockey camp called Zenon Konopka's Hockey Academy in Ottawa, ON. It's nice to see players, no matter their skill level, give back to young players during their off season.
The Lightning don't win games because of him but he has become a bit of a fan favorite because of the role that he plays so well on the team.no comments
My favorite midget gets another goal
Sorry for the late recap, as I said in an earlier post, I was at the Canucks/Capitals game last night thus Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and others took priority over this game. But now that I've had some time to check out the game highlight video, here are some thoughts:
- Lecavalier had two assists which giving him 700 points for his career total
- Lecavalier has had 2 goals and 5 assists in the last 6 games
- The Lightning have snapped the six game losing streak, the last time they won before last night was on December 5th against the Islanders at home
- The Blues scored first on the PP at 10:04, St. Louis (the player) ties up the score only 33 seconds later at 10:37
- Stamkos opened up the 2nd period with a quick goal 36 seconds in, he would also get an empty net goal to notch his 20th goal of the season, which puts him at 4th place in all NHL goal scorers. Stamkos is now only 3 goals away from tying his 23 goals he got in the 2008/2009 season
- Halpern, who had oral surgery only 24 hours before to repair his mouth after getting a puck to the face, had 2 goals in the 3rd period
- Halpern's 1st goal in the 3rd period happened only 14 seconds after TJ Oshie's goal at 3:58
- Lecavalier's game sometimes reminds me of Jarome Iginla or Kevin Bieksa's game, where if the player gets angry, their play get so much better. Lecavalier's elbow to David Backes because of the Backes' hit on Vinny in the neutral zone gave the spark the team needed and him a little feistiness to his game.
Crombeen: "Just one little push..." no comments
and you are now legal in the city I live in. This now makes me feel infinitely less dirty about thinking that you are a swedish stud than when you were 18.
Pic spam of Hedman after the jump...no comments
Another loss, another game. I feel a flashback to last year.
Both teams can't score. Both teams lost in a shutout last game, us to the Wings and the Blues to the Hawks. St. Louis (14-13-5) is considered consistantly inconsistant, the Lightning, well they've been consistantly losing.
This is the only time these two teams will meet this year and right now both teams need the win. The Lightning have lost the last 6 in a row and tonight is a game that we could actually stop the slide.
Steve Downie is questionable tonight, but his injury hasn't been ruled a concussion yet. Hedman on the other hand, took part in the optional skate this morning, which means he could fit his foot is a skate, so it is likely that he will play tonight. Krajicek has been assigned to play in Norfolk, which will take his cap hit off of the Lightning salary cap. And Matt Walker returns to face his former team.
- Krajicek has been assigned to Norfolk
Wing fans are are more interested the blogger tiff between the Chief at A2Y and Buddha at Hockey Wilderness, to even care about this game. To them, this is a "must not lose" game, and if I was a Wings fan I would feel the same way.
The Lightning (11-13-9) are currently looking like the team we saw last year, which was a team that looked like they didn't know how to win. Tocchet's move of benching Tanguay and Halpern and having two defensemen as forwards ultimately backfired, so we'll have to see what he does tonight. The only positive thing that has come out of the last few games is Stamkos and Lecavalier's scoring.
The Wings (17-11-5) have won the last 3 games even though their team is decimated with injuries: Andreas Lilja (concussion, out indefinitely), Johan Franzen (knee, out four-six months), Valtteri Filppula (wrist, out eight weeks), Jason Williams (leg, out eight weeks), Dan Cleary (shoulder, out four weeks), Darren Helm (wrist, day-to-day), Niklas Kronwall (knee, out four-eight weeks) and Jonathan Ericsson.
It's amazing that they can still win these days with those injuries, not that it will help the Lightning in any way. The Lightning need to find a way to win as a team, the opposing team right now is the least of their worries.
Hedman left practice with a sore left foot/ankle the other day after being hit by one of Foster's shots. He'll probably play, but he was seen limping around according to Cristodero. Updated, see line up notes
- Mike Smith most likely to start
- Victor Hedman is a game time decision