Written by Dani Toth | 11 March 2010


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.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 March 2010

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.

All quotes taken from the Toronto Star or the National Post.

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.”

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Written by Dani Toth | 10 March 2010

As per Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times, the Lightning have announced a new aggressive season ticket sales campaign for the 2010-11 season. For people renewing their season tickets, or individuals interested in purchasing season tickets, huge savings are to be had if you lock in your commitment to the tickets by April 3, 2010.

Pricing for the new season can be found here on the Lightning website. The savings for fans purchasing season tickets before April 3rd will be at an average savings of 4.9% from the 2009-10 season. And for current season ticket holders their discount will be even greater. If you renew you will also have playoff benefits such as guaranteed tickets if the Lightning make the playoffs and save up to 15% off the face value of the tickets. There's an interesting prize for early renewals where you could win a prize to go on a road trip with the team.

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Written by Dani Toth | 09 March 2010

It's Monday and I've had a few links put together since there was no game tonight.

This week we're going on a roadtrip: Montreal to face the Habs tomorrow, in Toronto for the Leafs on Thursday and in Washington for the Caps (again) on Friday.

  • I got sent a link from Paul who runs a website called Stadium Journey. One of their writers was in Tampa for Saturday night's game against the Thrashers and reviewed the St. Pete Times Forum. I've personally never been to watching a Lightning home game at the Forum, only seen them when they've been on the road, so it was actually kinda interesting to read what you home fans get at your rink. They say you fans are "as hockey-knowledgeable as any in the North" and the Forum ranks way higher than BankAtlantic Center where the Panther's play according to their reviews
  • Interesting read from Justin Bourne on how the call-up of AHL players affect their bank roll of NHL teams. Most interesting part of it is how much the players get for their meal allowances
  • Steven Stamkos was named NHL's Seconds Star of the Week after getting his 40th goal of the season and extending his point streak to 16 games. With 18 more games, how many goals do you think he's going to finish off the end of the season at?
  • The Puck Daddy asks "Can Steve Downie really be part of the NHL's best line?", as hard as it is to believe it, he is. I'll give him props for being hardworking and reining in his douchebaggery this season, but he still has his moments where he loses his head
  • Lecavalier talks about the hit from Cooke on Savard to Cristodero, yes that's the same Cooke that ended Lecavalier's season with a hit that dislocated his shoulder
And St. Louis did not skate today, "body maintenence" day for him, but did ride a bike.
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Written by Dani Toth | 07 March 2010


Actually I'm a week late with this post, but since this is what happened last Sunday on this blog's actual birthday:


I think it's understandable that I didn't want to write a post about my blog's first anniversary when there was clearly bigger things happening, like Canada winning GOLD!

Once year ago, after many weeks of thought, I decided to begin blogging. After overwhelming and perhaps annoying my friends and family with my talk about hockey, I decided to channel my desire to talk about the sport through a blog. To read about the reason I started blogging you can read it at a contribution I did for CLS' Odd Woman Rush. Instead of being logical and starting just one blog, I started two: Vancity Canuck and The Hockey Bay. I figured that it would be fun and that if I hated it, I could just quit after a few posts. I didn't really care or have any expectations that anyone would actually read what I wrote.

After twelve months of writing and 487 posts later (between the two blogs), a lot of things have changed. The most obvious is that I have moved from my old home on blogspot over to join the Bloguin family here, moving both of my blogs over to the network. The Hockey Bay retained the same name, whereas Vancity Canuck got renamed Benched Whale.

One of the great things about being a hockey blogger is getting to know other bloggers through which, I have also been able to write at such fab sites like Cycle Like the Sedins, Raw Charge and most recently as a writer for the Olympic Hockey Blog.

And the most important, is that I got readers! Yes readers, and sometimes even commenters, which proves that it's more than just my brother (and Sharks fan) reading what I'm writing. I'm sure my writing quality has gotten better over time, which you, dear reader, I'm sure is grateful for.

In the end my thanks goes out to the people that read my work. Thank you for visitng my site, sending me e-mails and leaving comments on my posts. Thank you for linking to my posts in your blogs, on twitter or forums. I do appreciate it. And a huge thank you to my flatmate who puts up with me spending so much time writing.

Here's to another year of blogging!

And again, thank you.

Vancity Canuck
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Written by Dani Toth | 07 March 2010


That's right, Steven Stamkos scored two goals tonight to get his 40th goal of the season. He also has 36 assists, giving him 76 points in the season so far with still 18 games to go in the season. Niittymaki scored yet again another win over the Atlanta Thrashers which makes him 17-0-0 over the Thrashers, and most importantly, the Lightning walked away with two points. Stamkos' first goal broke a 1-1 tie in the first period on the powerplay, and Paul need-another-freakin-vowel Szczechura put in his 3rd of year to make it 3-1.

The second period, Colby Armstrong tried to mount a comeback with a goal, but on a werid slashing penatly from Afinogenov (awarded by Kerry Fraser of course), Purcell was awarded a penalty shot which he got past Hedberg for his first as a Lightning.

The third period, which included Downie being an asshat and St. Louis getting injured after the jump

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Written by Dani Toth | 06 March 2010

Two losses in a row since coming back from the Olympic break, 5 game losing streak. Huge game tonight. HUGE

Enemy Blog: Check out Thrashing the Blues

Sorry about the late recap, but it's sunny outside (where I live) and it's the weekend. Still HUGE game tonight. The Lightning are outside of the bubble sitting in 11th spot with 63 points and the Thrashers are ahead in 8th spot with 66 points. In the final matchup of the season, in which we've won all 5 games played against the Thrashers, we look to take the last one.

Line-up Notes:

  • Niitymaki to start
  • David Hale is out with a lower body injury on injured reserve
  • Matt Walker has a lower body injury, day-to-day
Game time: 7:30pm ET on WTOG
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