Written by Dani Toth | 26 December 2009

I hope you all had a great Christmas, today is Boxing Day in Canada...which also notes the start of the WJC which is in Saskatoon and Regina this year and the return of hockey after a little Christmas break. A little bit of a lineup shuffle for the Lightning for the game tonight...ok maybe it's a little bit more than a little one....

Enemy blog: Check out Thrashing The Blues

Let's just start with the line-up notes for tonight's game, because this is the main story:
-Lightning recall Mike Lundin and Riku Helenius from Norfolk
-Helenius is up because Niitymaki is taking the game off as his wife is about to expect a baby
-Halpern and Fedoruk have been put on the injured reserve and are expect to be out for 2 weeks each
-Matt Walker has also been put on injured reserve, day-to-day
-With Lundin up, Hale will switch to being a forward

The lines tonight will look like: Tanguay-Vinny-Downie, Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis, Jones-Szczechura-Veilleux, Wright-Konopka-Hale. Oh the Lightning...it's beginning to get a bit comical.

For a warm your heart story on James Wright and his first Christmas as an NHL player, check out Erlendsson's aritcle here. Wright's family will be in attendance for tonight game as they will by flying in for the game.

The games on deck for the WJC is: Czech Republic v. Sweden, Canada v. Latvia, Russia v. Austria and USA v. Slovakia

Game time: 7:30pm ET on SUN

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Written by Dani Toth | 21 December 2009


The Lightning have put together another win, that's two in a row for those of you who are counting. The Bolts were down by one goal to the Islanders, twice, and managed to come back both times. Thoughts on the game:

  • The three guys who got on the score sheet for the Lightning are the guys you want to see get on the score sheet every night: Stamkos, Lecavalier and Malone


PSA: Ryan Malone would like to remind the he's the sh-t
  • Ryan Malone had two PPG's


Ohlund to Smith: "Now this is your pad, you could stop pucks with it..."

  • Mike Smith got a win, that's 6 this year for him. Wow that sounds terrible for our 'starting goaltender'.
  • Fedoruk thought he got a goal, but he didn't
  • Lecavalier's shot came from a pass from Tanguay at 19:41 in the 2nd, and he just ripped it towards the net. He also got an assist off of Malone's 2nd goal
  • Some guy name Nate Thompson (who?) got his first goal this year (again, who?)
  • The Islanders were 0 for 17 on the powerplay during the last 4 games, I'm glad we could help them out ending that streak. You can always count on the Lightning for helping out like that.

Moment That Made You Think Erik Erlendsson Had Lost It on Twitter:

#TBLightning seriously getting outworked to this point, Islanders are forechecking the %#!@# out of them right now, NY 13-6 shot advantage

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Written by Dani Toth | 21 December 2009

Saturday night in Long Island there was a blizzard. Whiteout. Not many fans attended, announced was 7842, but HNIC said it was closer to 5000. But the kicker was that according the HNIC, approx 3000 of them were Habs fans, in fact 22 bus loads of them. The Islanders Hockey Blog declares them the worst fans in hockey....get ready Tampa Bay, the Canadiens are coming to St. Petersburg on December 30th and you know they will are bringing the Ole.

Enemy blog: Check out Islanders Hockey Blog

The Lightning flew out of St. Louis on Saturday was diverted to Newburgh, NY because of the storm on Saturday. They then had to take a 2 1/2 hours bus ride to their hotel in Uniondale, but arrived just as the storm was starting to drop snowflakes.

Hoping the win over St. Louis has the Lightning out of their downward spiral, the Lightning play their last away game of the year against the Islanders tonight. The Lightning will try to win the first back to back win for the first time in 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Before St. Louis, the last win the lightning had was over the Islanders back on Dec 5th, where they took it 4-0.

Stamkos is currently 3 goals away from tying his goal total from his rookie season last year.

The Islander have lost 2 straight games so far and are 13-16-7. They have gone 0 for 17 on the power play  in the last 4 games. Dwayne Roloson (11-6-5) is expected to start for the Islander as Biron (2-10-2) lost another game for the Islanders on Saturday.

Line-up Notes:

  • *updates to follow*
Game time: 7:00pm ET on SUN no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 20 December 2009


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.

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Written by Dani Toth | 20 December 2009


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

Written by Dani Toth | 19 December 2009


-Tampa Bay was one of the 3 teams that dropped 10 spots in the last NHL power rankings of 2009
-Even after a 6 game losing streak, there weren't in last place (shocking I know), only 29th...

Click here for the rankings and insight from Bloguin's NHL writers
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Written by Dani Toth | 19 December 2009

It's your 19th birthday! ....
(well it was yesterday, but I was at the Canucks/Caps game watching Ovechkin play, so I'm allowed to be late)


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...

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