NHL Game Night: 12-2-09 Lightning at Bruins
Boston remains the Lightning's chamber of horrors.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 38 shots for the loss. I thought Smitty's play was subpar tonight. I think Boston's first and third goals were suspect, and I think they really changed the complexion of the game. You can't spot Tim Thomas two extra goals of support in his own barn. He'll beat you.
BOS 8:05, Savard 5 (Morris, Chara)(PP)
BOS 14:03, Bergeron 8 (Chara, Recchi)
BOS 13:36, Sturm 7 (Recchi, Bergeron)
BOS 16:09, Sturm 8 (Bergeron, Recchi)
TB 1:27, Halpern 4 (Downie, Malone)
The team didn't play as poorly as the score indicated, outside of the goaltending. The forecheck and the dirty work in front of the opposition's cage is coming along. They'd have gotten more were it not for Thomas being Thomas tonight.
It was good to see Matt Smaby back in action, although he only got one shift in the third period after seeing about 10-11 minutes in the first two periods. He was feeling his way out in this game. I think he needs a couple of games to get comfortable again and then the hits will start coming. I hope the Lightning recognize what they have in Smaby. Big, physical defensemen are rare and worth their weight in gold. It seems like every year teams draft 2-3 dozen of these types of guys out of junior and only a handful pan out. So, when you get one that does, you need to keep him and continue to develop him.
Steven Stamkos has gotten into more of a pass-first mode the past couple of games. Shoot the puck, young man. Shoot it from the team hotel. Shoot it from the nacho stand. Shoot it from the restaurant after the game. Shoot the puck. He had 5 shots tonight, but he gave up at least three shots from prime scoring areas. Shoot.
Zenon Konopka had 2 shots and 4 hits in 8:17.
Paul Szczechura had 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:16 but was 43% on draws. He's been one of the Lightning's better forwards over the past couple of games.
James Wright had 2 blocked shots in 8:53.
Victor Hedman was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:41.