Welch, Noah

NHL Game Night 3/17: Maple Leafs at Lightning

Lightning crumble in final 20:24.

TOR-4
TB-3 (SO)

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 39 shots before allowing 2 of 6 shooters to convert for the shootout loss. He looked really good for the first 39:36 of the game. He was moving well. Following the puck. Then he overplayed on Jason Blake to allow the first goal and his fundamentals started to come unglued. His rebound control went straight to hell. His five-hole got big enough to drive a truck through. I give him credit for battling his way to get the point and he was game in the shootout, but that's a game Karri's got to help his team close out. Fundamentals. Fundamentals. Fundamentals. On the good side, he's claimed 6 of the last 8 available points.

First Period
13:39 TB Lecavalier (29), (Murphy, St. Louis)(PP)

Second Period
02:26 TB Stamkos (15), (St. Louis, Ramo)(PP)
02:36 TB Pettinger (5), (Karsums, Krajicek)
19:36 TOR Mitchell (9), (Blake, Stralman)

Third Period
03:24 TOR Blake (24), (Stempniak)
14:29 TOR Hamilton (2), (Devereaux, Stajan)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TOR- Hamilton, Mitchell
TB- Lecavalier

Hard luck by the Lightning in the shootout as Stamkos and St. Louis both rang posts. Hint to Rick Tocchet: Lashoff's awesome at shootouts.

We'll have to see if the Lightning make a recall with Cory Murphy going down to injury. Vladimir Mihalik?

Noah Welch had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:29. If he plays every game down the stretch, he'll graduate and be a Bolt Prospects alumni. This saddens me. See: Stewart, Karl.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 20:57. He was more subdued than usual tonight.

David Koci had a 10 minute misconduct, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 4:47.

Paul Szczechura was +1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 13:31. He was also 70% on draws. He looked good tonight. His whole line did with Pettinger and Karsums.

Martins Karsums had an assist and was +1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 10:19. Still waiting for him to put it all together, but he was better tonight.

Richard Petiot had 2 hits in 18:59 against his former organization.

Matt Lashoff was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 22:58. You can see why he was a guy the Lightning were willing to give considerably to get. His skating is smooth as silk, and he's got some skill. Between Lashoff, Ranger, and Meszaros the Lightning will have a ridiculously mobile defense next season. The downside with Lashoff? Tocchet needs to get him to take the body more in the defensive zone. If he can get that out of Lashoff, he's a top-four in this league. Even if he doesn't, he's a real nice number five d-man in the making; a great piece to add to the puzzle.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Upcoming Graduations

A quick update for anyone interested in upcoming prospect graduations...

Karri Ramo needs just 6 more decisions to graduate from prospect status according to our site's criteria.

Matt Smaby needs just 11 more games this season to graduate.

Noah Welch needs just 13 more games this season to graduate.

The Lightning have exactly 13 games remaining on their schedule. Bolt Prospects will issue its Final Rankings for the 2008-2009 season following the conclusion of all prospects' playoff seasons, and with prospects like Dustin Tokarski, James Wright, and Luca Cunti possibly poised to make some deep runs, it may be a while. Expect significant changes at the top of the list, though, with two of the only four prospects ever to hold the #1 spot (Stamkos and Downie being the other two) on our rankings likely to graduate by year's end. And then there's the playoffs...

It should be fun.

NHL Game Night 3/12: Lightning at Leafs

A crushing blow in the Tavares/Hedman Derby.

TB-4
TOR-1

Karri Ramo allowed just 1 goal on 21 shots for the win, playing both ends of the back-to-back. Getting 3 points out of 4 in a back-to-back situation is another big step for a guy trying to win a job in Tampa next season.

First Period
03:21 TOR Stempniak (13), (Blake, Schenn)

Second Period
05:25 TB Pettinger (4), (Karsums)
17:19 TB St. Louis (25), (Stamkos, Malone)

Third Period
14:35 TB Malone (24), (Murphy, Lecavalier)(PP)
17:54 TB Szczechura (3), (unassisted)

Noah Welch was +1 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 16:40.

Matt Smaby had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 22:42.

Paul Szczechura had 1 goal on 1 shot with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 14:55. He was also 4-for-4 on draws.

Martins Karsums had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:30.

Richard Petiot was +1 with 1 shot, 6 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:31.

These prospect stat reports are getting as long as Smaby's arm.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/11: Lightning at Senators

So, this team has some pride after all? Or, at the very least, some fear of Rick Tocchet?

TB-2
OTT-3 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the overtime loss. More good than bad. He made THE save all alone with an Ottawa shooter late in the third period to get the Lightning into the OT session, but he's still struggling with his rebound control, which cost the team the winning goal. I don't think anyone blamed him or McKenna for the debacle against McKenna, but it was definitely something worth monitoring going into this game. How would Ramo respond? And, he didn't respond badly.

First Period
02:37 TB Murphy (4), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP)
04:53 OTT Shannon (4), (Spezza, Alfredsson)(PP)

Second Period
09:25 OTT Kelly (9), (Alfredsson, Phillips)(SH)
09:38 TB Hall (5), (Artyukhin, Krajicek)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
02:38 OTT Fisher (11), (Phillips, Volchenkov)

Noah Welch had 4 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 15:41. That's a far better number in terms of ice time for Welch to be getting.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 23:35.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and 4 hits in 11:40. He made some dumb plays coming through the neutral zone, which is uncustomary for such a smart player.

Martins Karsums had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 11:06. The guy is just less than the sum of his parts right now.

Richard Petiot had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 18:13. He looks a step slow for the NHL level, but he's fairly servicable positionally and he looks like he competes. He may be a good spare part to keep around as a #8 type guy down in the minors.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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