Apologies on the lack of recaps this weekend, it was a mix of being busy, and literally getting last minute tickets to a hockey game (the game had already finished the 1st period). No games today, so recap of this weekend and some links to stuff I've been reading
Lightning vs. Caps
Where does a Lightning fan even begin? The Lightning won a game! Against a good team! Yes really, we won a game, was this feeling of joy that I felt what other teams feel on a regular basis? Anyways, the Lightning did win 3-2, in Washington no less. Stamkos extended his 18 game point streak but was not able to score, snapping his goal scoring streak. Niittymaki was solid in goal, and goals from Lecavalier, Foster and male model Brandon Bochenski.
Lightning vs. Penguins
I've already said something about Steve Downie and his attempt to injure Crosby yesterday after the game. Regardless of who Steve Downie did this to, I don't feel that such an attempt at injuring a player should be allowed in the game. Injuries to the knees kill careers and regardless if this was Crosby or another player, I don't think it has a place in hockey. If Crosby had been and older player, perhaps he would not have been able to shake it off and return to the ice like Crosby did.
The NHL did not suspend Downie today for the incident. I expected as much from the NHL, and felt that Downie would only get a suspension if Crosby had been injured. Moving on, we still have games to look forward to, and hate to say it, the Lightning need Downie to play since we are already dealing with injuries.
The Lightning scored midway through the 2nd period from a wrist shot from Lecavalier and attempted to ride out a 1 goal game. They removed their foot from the gas and stopped applying any offensive pressure on the Pens.
The hockey game was, *gasp* sold out with an attendance of 20,230
News and Links
- Mattias Ohlund who was hurt in the game against the Leafs last Thursday is out indefinately with a left-ankle sprain
- Cassie from Raw Charge had an interview with Lightning goalie prospect Dustin Tokarski - good read, now go read it
- There is a St. Patrick's Day themed pre-game tail-gate before tomorrow night's game, don't really know how cuban sandwiches made it on the Irish themed menu, but they're there
- Don't Trade Vinny has managed to confiscate Rick Tocchet's job application form from the Lightning head office to enlighten fans about how he got hired
- As per Pierre LeBrun's twitter, the NHL did fine Downie for an undisclosed amount for the incident that occured on Sunday
Steve Downie, who hasn't made had a questionable incident in...oh a week....after playing well in Friday night's game against the Caps, decided tonight after Orpik's hit on Stamkos, to get some retribution for Orpik's hit by making some attempt at a slewfoot on Crosby.
Here is the video in case you missed it:
When you have critics writing good things about you, adding another notch to your history of douchebaggery is not the right move to make. I know that I am a Lightning fan, and should defend my own player, but it incenses me that Downie did this. If he was upset about the hit on Stamkos he could have picked a fight, but to be this classless crap disgusts me.
Downie did get a 2 minute penalty and Crosby did return to the ice. The Lightning face the Penguins again on March 31st in Pittsburghno comments
The Lightning are back in Tampa to begin a week long home stand which looks to be ugly. The Pens, Coyotes, Sabres and the Caps all come to visit this week. The Lightning currently have 68 points, 4 points back from 8th spot which Boston is currently sitting in.
Coming off of a loss the the Devils and the Hurricanes, the Penguins are looking to bounce back. This is the third time we've played the Penguins this season, with teams splitting the two games played. The next time we play them will be at the end of the month on March 31st in Pittsburgh.
Although Stamkos wasn't able to extend his 18 game point streak, the Lightning received a much needed two points from the Caps. We f-cking won a game. How does a Lightning fan know how to react to that? Winning. And mind you, winning against a team that isn't named the Atlanta Thrashers. Could we do it again tonight?
This week will not get any easier after facing the Pens, with two teams with excellent goaltending and a rematch against the Caps to end off the week. To keep the dream of the playoffs alive the Lightning need to pick up a few points out of the next few games, as hard as that may be and tonight may be one of their best opportunities but they'll have to do it without Ryan Malone and Mattias Ohlund tonight
- There is a tail-gate before the game starting at 2:30pm. It's all you can eat/drink, yes all you can drink beer, for $25 bucks
- The first 5000 fans get a Together We Will t-shirt
- The Lightning are having an game used equipment sale from 2-5pm
- Niitymaki to start
- Ryan Malone is out with an upper body injury
- Mattias Ohlund is out with a lower body injury
- David Hale is out with a lower body injury on injured reserve
- Zenon Konopka is out with back spasms
Two quick things I came across in my reading today:
1. In the Globe and Mail article by David Shoalts today about Ice Edge and the Phoenix Coyotes, the numbers of how much Jeffrey Vinik came out. I knew it was significantly lower than what OK Hockey had paid, but this was the first that I've seen of the actual amount: $100 million
And the Phoenix Coyotes are being sold off at $160 million
2. H/t to John at Raw Charge on finding this, on facebook the Lightning are having a limerick contest for St. Patricks Day. In case you forgot what a limerick is, it's a 5 line poem with an aabba rhyme scheme. I'm not sure if the Lightning will allow me to put my submission which I'm sure will be filled with sarcasm up on their facebook page....but I figure this is how mine will start off:
There once was a coach named Rick Tocchet...no comments
So with the Lightning losing tonight to the Leafs (the LEAFS!), our playoff hopes are slowly slipping away one point at a time, I thought to myself, "What are the positives?
Well the positive with the Lightning this season has got to be Stamkos' stellar season. Even in the loss tonight, Stamkos continued his point streak with a goal and an assist extending the league's longest active point streak to 18 games. He also notched his 42 goal of the season in the losing effort to bring him within two goals of the league leaders Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
So with 16 games left in the season, how many goals do you think Stamkos will end the season with?
If he can score 50 goals in the next 16 games, he will become the third youngest player to score 50 goals in an NHL season. Can he do it? Clearly he can, and I don't think he'll stop at 50 goals either. Of course I'd rather the Lightning getting points in their fight for the playoffs instead of Stamkos getting goals to break the 50 goal mark, but since the Lightning's playoff hopes don't look great, might as well celebrate Stamkos' success. I say 51 goals.no comments
Losing to the Leafs sucks, especially when it's because of mistakes your own team makes. The Lightning yet again aren't able to get two crucial points in last push for the playoffs. The dream of the playoffs haven't ended, no, but when you watch a game like tonight where mistakes some of the Lightning players make become the reason why they lose the game, it's frustrating.
It is frustrating to have a goalie like Mike Smith who lets in ugly goals, and what's worse, in the last 10 games Niitymaki hasn't been much better. Steven Stamkos get's his 42nd goal of the night, but with weak goaltending the idea of playoffs are like a joke to me.
Tonight was the night of the young guns with Stamkos, Viktor Stalberg and Tyler Bozak getting 4 of the goals scored tonight. In overtime, Tocchet decides to play 3 forwards and only Kurtis Foster as the lone defenceman, which looked silly in the end with Lecavalier racing back, clearly gassed trying to defend a 2 on 1 and Phil Kessel putting it past Smith.no comments
I don't have time to give my thoughts on the issue, brain is like mush from being overworked by my office, so just have some quotes from Lecavalier and St. Louis after hearing that no suspension would be handed out to Matt Cooke.
First up Lecavalier:
“I can’t believe it. This guy’s been doing that his whole career. He’s been hurting a lot of guys. Take Marc Savard, he’s going to be out for the rest of the season. I can’t believe they’re doing nothing about it. They’re protecting, definitely, the wrong guy that’s for sure,”
“It’s time they make it black and white and not a shade of grey. That’s the way it is right now and a guy like Matt Cooke is getting away with it again. That’s obviously too bad.”-Toronto Star
“I saw three or four times his hit, he knew exactly what he was doing when he came with his shoulder,” said Lecavalier. “He knew exactly he was just gong to hit his head, that’s how guys get hurt, he’s got no respect for players.” -National Post
“If that hit is not a suspension, I don’t know what is,” -Toronto Star
“I think there should be some consideration when guys are in a vulnerable position and guys are just following through with a hit like that,” said St. Louis. “ From the replay I thought for sure he’d get suspended but I haven’t looked at all the angles they looked at.”