Ashton, Carter

NHL Game Night: 10-13-11 Lightning at Islanders

At what point are these guys going to feel embarrassed?

TB-1
NYI-5

Dwayne Roloson allowed 5 goals on 18 shots for the loss before being lifted for Mathieu Garon, who stopped all 16 he faced the rest of the way.

First Period
NYI Tavares (1), (unassisted), 0:36
TB Stamkos (1), (Bergeron), 7:10
NYI Moulson (1), (Tavares, Eaton), 9:28
NYI Tavares (2), (Moulson, Parenteau), 15:15
NYI Parenteau (1), (Tavares), 18:39

Second Period
NYI Grabner (1), (Okposo), 6:47

Third Period
NO SCORING

Let me put this in very simple terms: in the last 3 games the Lightning have allowed 14 goals, and if you take Tomas Vokoun's softies out of the equation, they've only scored 4. They should have been -10 over the past 3 games, and that's terrible no matter how you slice it.

You would think they would've shown more pride than to allow the team that they fought tooth and nail to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to steamroll them in Boston. Nah. Their division nemesis who they battled in the playoffs and that has tormented them over the past 3-4 seasons? Nah. No pride displayed in either of those games. No forecheck. No focus. No attention to detail.

Having one of the best coaches in the league I wouldn't have expected that kind of effort in back-to-back games, and I damned sure wouldn't have expected it in 3 straight games. But, 36 seconds in, the Lightning started the cycle all over again, and this time they do it against a perennial bottom feeder in the Islanders. Seriously, other than Downie, Ritola, Moore, and maybe one or two others, did anyone else on the team mentally show up for the first 30 minutes?

Will they feel embarrassed now? I don't know. If I were GM, I'm not sure I'd wait for the team to decide to play focused, determined hockey. There are players like Carter Ashton and Tyler Johnson who already are playing focused, determined hockey in the minors. Why on earth they should be working for pennies on the dollar behind guys who should be -10 the past 3 games and have been stealing money from the organization. The complacency and the arrogance have to stop now.

Brett Connolly was +1 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 14:41. To finish a plus in a game you get clobbered 5-1 isn't shabby.

Mattias Ritola was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 8 shots, and 1 hit in 15:11. The +/- is ugly, but the effort he made on the forecheck and in the offensive third wasn't. I was impressed with how he played. If only a few more players on the team cared about more than their image.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Carter Ashton Receives 2 Weekly Awards

The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals right wing Carter Ashton was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 9, 2011. Ashton scored three goals and recorded an assist in two games to help Norfolk to a pair of victories.

The AHL stole our thunder as we at Bolt Prospects were set to name him our Prospect of the Week today. Yes, we're putting ourselves in the same category as the AHL Player of the Week. It's our site.

AHL Game Night: 10-8-11 Checkers at Admirals

The kids are still alright...

CHA-3
NOR-4

Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the win. With Dustin Tokarski being hurt in camp and after giving up 5 goals on opening night, there's a bit of an opening for Janus to win a few more starts. He helped his stock tonight with a perfect 13/13 in the final frame to slam the door shut and secure the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (3) (Barberio, Conacher), 12:58 (PP)
CHA Bowman, (1) (Sanguinetti, Matsumoto), 16:12 (PP)

Second Period
CHA Roy, (1) (Matsumoto, McNicoll), 9:40 (PP)
NOR Picard, (2) (Wright, Fornataro), 10:38
NOR Johnson, (2) (Vernace, Conacher), 15:44
CHA Bowman, (2) (Matsumoto, Bellemore), 19:50

Third Period
NOR Conacher, (1) (Ashton, Johnson), 5:50

Cory Conacher (pictured) and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars. Their linemate, Carter Ashton, also chipped in his 3rd goal of the season, and as a group they accounted for 3 of Norfolk's 4 goals.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 44-29 in the match.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-7-11 Checkers at Admirals

Comeback kids bury the Checkers.

CHA-5
NOR-6 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 29 shots for the win. He should be thankful his guys picked him up tonight.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (1) (Conacher, Barberio), 6:37 (PP)

Second Period
CHA Matsumoto, (1) (Sanguinetti, Boychuk), 4:26 (PP)
CHA Samson, (1) (Peters), 8:20
NOR Johnson, (1) (Barberio, Tyrell), 10:00 (SH)
CHA Samson, (2) (Sanguinetti, Matsumoto), 14:48

Third Period
CHA Boychuk, (1) (Krueger, Terry), 6:08
NOR Angelidis, (1) (Smith, Picard), 8:01 (PP)
CHA Matsumoto, (2) (Bowman), 12:44
NOR Labrie, (1) (Quick, Fornataro), 13:19
NOR Picard, (1) (Ouellet, Smith), 16:38 (PP)

Overtime
NOR Ashton, (2) (Petiot, Wright), 1:55

Carter Ashton (pictured) and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars. The kids are alright.

Mark Barberio starts his season with assists in triplicate.

Alexandre Picard had the biggest goal of the game on the power play to cap a 2 goal third period comeback and send the game to overtime. Who started the comeback? Pierre-Cedric Labrie with a nifty move to cut past the defense and cut the deficit in half. Somewhere Bolt Prospects writer and secret P-C Labrie fan Chad Schnarr is cringing and chuckling.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 45-29 in the victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-23-11 Panthers at Lightning

God even hates Panthers fans in preseason.

FLA-2
TB-5

Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 of 33 for the win. Hide the children and the silverware, old man Roli is back in town.

First Period
08:06 TB Ritola, (Kubina, Connolly)(PP)

Second Period
06:31 TB Shannon, (Kubina, Bergeron)(PP)
12:55 TB Shannon, (Stamkos, Clark)

Third Period
00:23 TB Ashton, (Brewer)
04:20 FLA Skille, (Robak)(PP)
16:20 FLA Repik, (Robak, Derlyuk)
18:46 TB Lecavalier, (Purcell, Hedman)

As the Lightning move a little closer to icing their opening night lineup, now reading the tea leaves gets more interesting.

Carter Ashton and Brett Connolly each got over 14 minutes of ice time, while Cory Conacher, Dana Tyrell, and Blair Jones got less, especially Jones. Connolly and Conacher remain decisive underdogs, but the battle between Ashton, Tyrell, and Jones for positioning is fascinating. Boucher knows what he has in Tyrell, and to a lesser extent Jones. For Ashton to get himself a goal and play 14+ quality minutes is a key step for him in trying to establish a comfort level with Boucher.

And, then there's the matter of Mattias Ritola, who is a different player now than when Boucher had him in the lineup the first half of last season. He got over 14 minutes and quite a bit of PK ice time. Like Ashton, for him to get a goal and play 14+ quality minutes helps establish a comfort level with the coaching staff. I'd say he was probably the big winner on the night.

Box score from NHL.com.

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