I'm still a little sore about this losing streak we're on. Not even Jonathan Boutin's nearly ridiculous 50 save performance or Vasily Koshechkin's 6 shuouts in his last 9 games is fully cheering me up. Last time I felt low, Radek Smolenak's Gordie Howe hat trick picked me up.
Tonight I'm going to the QMJHL for winger Stanislav Lascek who tonight had 1G 4A and earned the game's first star in a 5-2 victory over the Brad Richards owned PEI Rocket (sorry Brad). Stan now has 16 goals and 43 points in 20 games. Get ready Springfield. He's a Falcon next season.
By now you might've seen the laughable hack job committed by Hockey's Future on the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospect system in their Fall Organizational Rankings. As if trying to outdo their previous display of shear ignorance, HF has moved the Lightning down from 29th to 30th despite the fact the Lightning organization's prospects, which they largely ignore, are performing better this year than at any time since the goldmine year of 1999-2000 when Brad Richards, Dimitry Afanasenkov and Sheldon Keefe were in their last year of junior.
What I find extremely laughable is that an organization that hasn't published an article on the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospects in over two months, and which still hasn't updated their top-20 prospects for the Lightning because they lack anyone competent enough to do the job, actually has the chutzpah to claim any legitimacy in their critique. This is a group which does not even have a writer for the Lightning at the moment. How can they be so irresponsible as to publish organizational rankings like this when they have so clearly ignored the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past year?
Coach Tortorella went on a poigniant profanity laced tirade tonight after the game with the best of his vitriol aimed towards Eric Boulton and his cheap shot elbow on young Paul Ranger.
"The . . . guy should be playing in the . . . East Coast Hockey League, but instead he takes out a . . . NHLer," Tortorella said. "He'll be suspended, but who . . . cares? No one wants to see him on the ice anyway."
Eric Boulton may have gotten away with his disgusting act of cowardice tonight by the grace of the officials ushering him out of the building quicker than Colonel Parker got Elvis off the stage in Vegas back-in-the-day, but sans a reprieve from Hartley in the form of a scratch or the league in the form of a well intentioned but ill timed suspension Boulton will have to face retribution Saturday October 29th. Circle it on your calendar Eric Boulton.
And if I may suggest to tool of Eric Boulton's execution. I'd tell Fritzy to put him in the morgue.
If you're looking for a silver lining tonight after the disgraceful effort against the Panthers, and you're looking to the junior ranks to deliver it, Radek Smolenak has you covered with the Gordie Howe hat trick in Kingston's 7-2 pole axing of Brampton. The 2005 third round draft choice now has 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points and 19 PIMs in 7 games for the Frontenacs. He has managed a point in each of his last 6 games.
Fans of teams in the Southern half of the US have been at a general disadvantage in following their prospects. The distance between folks in Tampa and destinations from Moscow to Moose Jaw made it nearly impossible to keep tabs on their future players leaving them to rely on static sources of information like the once a year THN Future Watch edition or sites like Hockey's Future which struggle to update content on a monthly basis.
Times are changing though. The internet allows real time posting of scores from around the globe. Bolt Prospects is taking advantage of the net to present information from a dozen leagues world wide as it occurs with commentary from a Lightning perspective. And now, the internet is looking like it will hold even more in the future for prospect watchers with cybercasts.