Written by Dani Toth | 31 December 2009

No Lightning players made the Team Canada roster. Though leading up to the announcement, the only player based on his performance that was still in contention of making the team was Martin St. Louis. Lecavalier's season was not Olympic worthy, and it has been said that he is not a favorite Yzerman based on his style of play (said Jeff Marek on the Kurtenblog radio show a couple of weeks ago). Stamkos had an excellent start and even played himself into being one of the names that was talked about but in the end, his brilliant start came to a slow down.

This is what St. Louis said to the media today (quotes from The Province):

“If I was going to be part of the team, I would have heard by now,” St. Louis said after the Lightning’s morning skate ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

“It’s very disappointing but it’s part of life,” said St. Louis. “There’s a lot of disappointing things that go on in your life and you just have to live through it, fight thought it.

“It’s a hard to team to make,” added St. Louis. “You could make two teams. There are a lot of good players who are left off.”

And what he said was true. With the amount of talent in Canada, you could make two teams. Two good teams. But the decision came down to which players Steve Yzerman et al. thought would give Canada the best shot at winning gold. Whether you consider it a snub or just realized that it isn't always about YOU (the player), Yzerman had one of the hardest jobs in the world today because you knew that many players would be disappointed. Players like St. Louis, Ryan Smyth, Shane Doan, Vincent Lecavalier, Jeff Carter, Mike Green, Dion Phaneuf, Brad Richards...the list could go on.

Perhaps it was the age of St. Louis? Maybe it was that even though St. Louis had Olympic experience from 2006, Yzerman wanted to have the team get younger? The forwards on the roster are quite young, no? Or maybe his size? Or maybe Yzerman was matching his roster against what the Russian team looked like? Or maybe you look at it like this: if you want St. Louis, who do you take out of the announced roster? Corey Perry? Rick Nash? Dany Heatley?

Either way, all Canadian fans care about in the end is if we win gold at home. It's a big deal here to win gold, and an even bigger deal because it will be at home. If the team doesn't win gold, it will be considered a disappointment. That's the amount of pressure that the players will face in Vancouver.

I think Ryan Smith said it best today when asked about how he felt:
"I believe they picked the 23 guys for a reason, and I know there's a lot of hockey between now and then, but you've just got to go out and play and carry forth," Smyth said. "If an accident happens, it happens, but you can't think about that.

"These guys are going to represent our country with pride, and I'll be their No. 1 fan."

So for all the b-tching I've heard from Lightning media and fans about St. Louis being 'snubbed', I really don't think it was a snub. The word is the wrong word to describe it. I'm sure it wasn't that St. Louis was being snubbed on purpose, it just worked out that other players were a better fit for the team that Yzerman wanted to put together.

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Written by Dani Toth | 30 December 2009

Special start time tonight at 7pm tonight for the Canadiens as this game is being broadcast on RDS en francais tonight. Prepare for attendance numbers to swell temporarily and songs of Ole to errupt. Please try to suspend your hate on all Canadians, as we are not all Habs fans.

No local tv for local fans...and I hear that there might not be any local games broadcasted soon if some deal or something isn't made by tomorrow night....I'll have more to say on that after I look into the issue but you can read about it here if you are interested

Enemy Blog: Check out the Four Habs Fans for your Habs centric perspective

Not much to say about the game, most of my morning has been devoted to the Team Canada roster announcement.

Are you surprised that no Tampa players were on the roster? Because I am not. I am Canadian and I trust in Stevie Y's decisions. I'll take Mike Richards or whoever else over Stamkos or Lecavalier right now. St. Louis was the only one with an outside shot really. Former Bolt Brad Richards would have been nice since he's had a great season, but he wasn't invited to camp, so he had that already going against him.

I read this quote earlier: "The Lightning enter tonight's game riding a two-game winning streak, tied for the longest of the season"-Lightning Insider. Puke. Don't fret, we have won 4 of our last 5 games and we're still in the playoff race bobbing around 8th spot. Last time we played the Canadiens it was in Montreal, and we walked away with the win.

This is the last game of 2009, would be nice to end it with a win, non?

Line-up Notes:

  • Mike Smith is in net
  • Walker, Halpern and Fedoruk are still on the IR
Game time: 7:00pm ET on RDS
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Written by Dani Toth | 30 December 2009

Along with Miikka Kuprusoff and Niklas Bäckström, Antero Niitymaki was named to the Finnish Olympic Team.

On the team is Teemu Selänne, Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu, Jarko and Tuomo Ruutu, Sami Salo and Kimmo Timonen. For the full roster see here. Finland walked away with the silver medal in 2006, after they lost the gold cup game to Sweden.

Team Czech
The Czechs also named their Olympic roster as well today, see here for their roster, NHL legend Jaromir Jagr was named to the team. They won gold in 1998, and won the bronze medal in 2006.
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Written by Dani Toth | 29 December 2009

The Lightning's Andrej Meszaros has been named to Team Slovakia for the Olympics. He will join Zdeno Chara and Milan Jurčina on the blue line. Also named to the team is Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Miroslav Satan, Zigmund Palffy, Lubomir Visnovsky, Lubos Bartecko and  Pavol Demitra, for a full list see here.

Their goaltenders, which may be their downfall is Jaroslav Halak (Canadiens), Peter Budaj (Avalanche) and Rastislav Staňa (Severstaľ Čerepovec/KHL).

Other Olympic rosters also released today are Norway and Latvia
-Martins Karsums who is currently playing in Norfolk right now will play for Latvia
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Written by Dani Toth | 27 December 2009

Only 4 more day to the Winter Classic! Which means only 3 days for Ty Conklin to get a trade to Philly or Boston to continue his streak of Winter Classics...

Enemy blog: Check out Something's Bruin

This is the second game of the back to back that the Bruins will play on the road during their quick road trip to Florida. The Bruins (19-11-7) beat the Panthers last night 2-1, from the recap I saw, it looked like the Panthers just ran out of gas during the game. Thomas played last night in net for the Bruins, so the Lightning may see Tuukka Rask tonight.

This is the second meeting between Boston and Tampa, the first one was back in Boston on December 2nd with the Bolts taking the loss. The lineup looks much the same as the last game against the Thrashers. Helenius has been sent down back to Norfolk, so expect Niitymaki back, no word yet if he is the starter.

The games on deck for the WJC today is: Canada v. Switzerland and Finland v. Russia

Line-up Notes:

  • Matt Walker is out with a lower body injury (day-to-day)
  • Jeff Halpern and Todd Fedoruk are both out with a lower body injury (two weeks)

Game time: 7:30pm ET on SUN (HD)

For an interesting take on the game, I'd suggest watching NESN for tonight's game if you can get it. From what I've found, they're a pretty good broadcast that assumes you know something about hockey so they don't explain all details like it's Hockey 101.

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Written by Dani Toth | 27 December 2009


Sweden announced it's provisional 2010 Olympic roster today and Tampa Bay's Mattias Ohlund returns to the blue line bringing experience Olympic experience with him. The final roster will be announced on February 15th, one day before the tournament, which will be based on who is injured and who is not. Sweden will try to defend its gold medal in Vancouver that they won four years ago in Turin, Italy.


Sweden right now has tons of experience on it's team as well as a ton of injuries. Niklas Lidstrom, Mattia Ohlund and Daniel Alfredsson are on the roster to play their fourth Olympic Winter Games.19 of the announced players are from the NHL, 3 from the Swedish Elite League and 1 from the KHL. Injury wise right now, the Swedish team has 4 players out: Kronwall, Alfredsson, Forsberg and Zetterberg. And yes, I did just write Forsberg.

Henrik Ludqvist (NYR) will be in goal along with Jonas Gustavsson (Leafs) and Stefan Liv (HV 71).

Victor Hedman was not named to the roster.

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Written by Dani Toth | 26 December 2009


Mike Smith was in net and Riku Helenius was the backup. Yes it was a scary thought, but Smith pulled out a huge with for the Lightning tonight. I didn't catch the whole game as I've been a little sick and the thought of listening to Mishkin yell into my laptop did not sound appealing, so only a few quick thoughts from the recap I saw.

  • Lecavalier had 3 assists and was a +3 tonight
  • Mike Lundin who was just recalled from Norfolk got 1 goal and was a +2
  • Steve Downie had 1 goal and 1 assist, but it's still hard for me to think of him as an offensive winger
  • This was a huge win since they got the win in regulation instead of making this a 3 point game to a SE division opponent
-WJC games tomorrow are: Austria v. Sweden, USA v. Switzerland, Czech Republic v. Finland and Latvia v. Slovakia
-Sweden announces it's Team Sweden roster for the Olympics tomorrow, will we see any of our Lightning on that roster?
-Next game is on Monday against the Bruins
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