Dustin Tokarski spent the first weekend of the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2011 training camp in a nice new Lightning cap and standard-issue Lightning shorts and t-shirt, standing at the glass watching his teammates make their impressions on Lightning management. An abdominal injury kept Tokarski out of the Coral Springs rookie tournament, and now the highly competitive start of training camp.
Things started looking up for the former Memorial Cup MVP Wednesday as the Tampa Tribune reported the two MRIs done on Tokarski revealed no damage. He was back on the ice Wednesday morning.
And just in time.
The Cinderella run of Cory Conacher continues.
Jaroslav Janus took the loss for the Lightning in Orlando.
15:22 STL NIKITIN 1 (STEWART, PIETRANGELO)(PP)
15:30- TB BERGERON 1 (GERVAIS)(PP)
17:55 STL COLE 1 (STEWART)(PP)
8:13 TB CONACHER 1 (CONNOLLY, BERGERON)(PP)
10:03 STL STEWART 1 (STERLING)
14:41 TB BREWER 1 (STAMKOS)(PP)
17:40 STL CRACKNELL 1 (UNASSISTED)
Box score from yahoo.com.
Not much to see here.
Mathieu Garon allowed 1 goal on 9 shots before giving way to Jaroslav Janus who allowed 1 goal on 18 shots for the hard luck loss. If there was one lesson out of this game, it's that Janus continued his decent play in camp.
15:16 STL Grachev, Langenbrunner, Backes (PP)
09:35 TB Downie, Kubina, Clark (PP)
16:53 ST D'Agostini, Cheechoo, McRae
19:28 STL Grachev, Langenbrunner, Backes (EN)
If the coaching staff has favorites amongst the young players trying to climb the ladder, they sure didn't tip their hand with their ice time allocation. It's a pretty even 9-14 minutes across the board for everyone, be it veterans or rookies.
As an aside, I find it bizarre that NHL.com included the likes of Dmitri Bezrukov has healthy scratched for this game. Really strange to see that list of names.
Box score from NHL.com.
2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup
Owen Sound Attack 3 vs. Kootenay Ice 7
D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
Memorial Cup Totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Did not dress.
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO
OHL champion Owen Sound was eliminated from the Memorial Cup tonight after losing a tiebreaker game vs. WHL champion Kootenay, 7-3. The Attack beat the Ice 5-0 in their first game of the tournament, but with stars Joey Hishon (Avalanche) and Garret Wilson (Panthers) both out with concussions, they didnâ€™t have a lot to offer. They certainly tried, holding a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Kootenay exploded for three goals in the second period and four in the third to advance to the semifinals vs. tournament host Mississauga.
This marked the final game of the season for Lightning prospects Geoffrey Schemitsch and Michael Zador. After missing several weeks at the end of the regular season due to a broken arm, Schemitsch was finding his groove late in the playoffs. He is all but set to return to Owen Sound next season. Zador, who didnâ€™t dress again Thursday, likely played his last game as a Lightning prospect. The 2009 draft choice must be signed by June 1 and all indications are heâ€™ll be allowed to re-enter the draft. Zador has great size and superb raw skills, and was drafted in front of Jaroslav Janus by the Bolts, but he just struggles to stop the puck consistently. The signing of NCAA free agent Pat Nagle by the Lightning earlier this spring probably sealed Zadorâ€™s fate with the Bolts.
Speaking of deadlines, we learned from the Lightning today that overager Teigan Zahn of Saskatoon does not have to be signed by June 1 to retain his rights. Zahn, like all of the 2010 draftees, must be given a "bona fide offer" to maintain his rights for another year, but he is not in danger of being lost. The rugged character defenseman is out of junior eligibility so he could be signed by the Lightning's AHL affiliate to a one year contract.
Today the Norfolk Admirals announced the signing of Adam Janosik's teammate, Philip-Michael Devos of Gatineau, to a two-year AHL contract. Devos was the Q's leading scorer this year with 47 goals and 114 points in 68 games.
Schemitsch and Zador were the last two Lightning prospects playing this season, so the 2010-2011 prospect season has come to a close. Thank you for your faithful readership and keep up with us for Lightning analysis and pre-draft coverage.
It's an organization-wide Lightning vs. Penguins playoff matchup.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the victory.
NOR Pouliot, (25) (Ritola), 9:26
NOR Szczechura, (21) (Milam, Barberio), 15:46 (PP)
NOR Jones, (24) (Pouliot, Ritola), 19:22 (PP)
CT Mitchell, (8) (Couture, Valentenko), 1:02
NOR Ritola, (9) (Jones), 3:15
NOR Szczechura, (22) (Wright, Harju), 5:34
CT Valentenko, (5) (Yogan, Dupont), 13:10
CT Niemi, (3) (Grachev, Couture), 11:56 (PP)
NOR Angelidis, (20) , 17:36
In 56 games, Blair Jones set a new career high in points with 55. His previous high was 54 in 80 games two seasons ago.
Johan Harju finishes his rookie AHL campaign with 23 goals and 52 points in 63 games, and a +15 rating.
With the victory, Norfolk leapfrogged Binghamton into 4th place in the East Division. That means Norfolk will draw the top team in the Eastern Conference, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, in the first round. The Pens have the stingiest goaltending and defense in the conference, allowing just 183 goals (2.29 GAA). It'll also be an interesting meeting of old friends, as a key member of the Pens is BoltProspects alumni Ryan Craig. Craig had 19 goals and 48 points to finish 2nd on the Pens in scoring this season.
It's a brutally tough matchup. The key will be for Norfolk to focus on getting a win in the first two on the road. Get that win, settle into the grind of the series, and let the chips fall where they may. On paper, Norfolk is as talented as anyone in the conference, although there's a question mark in net with Dustin Tokarski recovering from getting slashed with a skate. If they get goaltending, though, they have a chance.
Box score from TheAHL.com.