Ahead of the pending return of Lightning center Jeff Halpern and forward Ryan Malone from injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospect forward Radek Smolenak to the Norfolk Admirals in a press release Sunday by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smolenak, a 6-foot-3, 183-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, skated in six games with the Lightning after earning his first NHL recall on December 2, recording an assist and 10 penalty minutes while averaging 8:20 in ice time. He made his NHL debut on December 2 at Philadelphia and recorded his first NHL point with an assist in that game.
Smolenak has appeared in 23 games for Norfolk this season, scoring eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points. The 22-year-old remains Norfolk's leader and ranks seventh in the AHL in penalty minutes with 93 PIM.
Tyrell got the secondary assist on Stefan Della Rovere's goal for Team Read. He remained on a line with Rimouski shut-down center Patrice Cormier. Chet Pickard took over for Tokarski in the second half of the game and didn't allow a goal.
CHL: First Star for Courtnall ... Luke going streaking ... Vancouver vs. Tri-City.
There's not a worse team in the NHL on the forecheck than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 32 shots and still had to eat the loss.
05:04 OTT Picard (3), (Bell, Zubov)(PP)
19:15 OTT Alfredsson (8), (Kuba, Fisher)(EN)
Jussi Jokinen hasn't won a battle along the wall in a month.
Zenon Konopka had 1 hit and a real nice fight with Chris Neil in 3:22.
Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and he was 27% on draws. And, again, he was awesome. Good positionally. Great in terms of his effort and battle level. Szczechura is the exact same size as Jokinen and smaller than 75% of the forwards on this team and yet, consistently, he's been better along the wall and braver in the high traffic areas than most every other player on the Lightning team since his recall. That's high praise for Szczechura, and a condemnation of the rest of the Lightning team.
Steven Stamkos had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:43. Tocchet has been, rightfully, ramping down Stamkos' ice time. His decision making was better in this game, but he's still tip toeing around too much.
Even with Lundin, the Admirals defense remains a sieve.
Mike McKenna allowed 6 goals on 27 shots for the loss.
BRI Lee, (1) (Iggulden, Hillen), 0:30
BRI Hennigar, (3) (Hillen, Iggulden), 8:16
NOR Ward, (1) (Downie, Lundin), 10:31
BRI Tambellini, (1) (Walter), 14:21
NOR Lawrence, (1) (Downie, Rosehill), 18:30
BRI Smith, (12) (Colliton, Iggulden), 14:07
NOR Keller, (2) (Downie), 16:34
NOR Keller, (3) (Downie, Mihalik), 17:13
BRI Smith, (13) (Colliton, Skinner), 16:47
BRI Smith, (14) (Iggulden, Hillen), 19:59
Downie is reacting just like you would hope a guy who has just been sent down would: like a guy who has gotten a taste of the show and wants to get back. Mike Lundin had an assist in his Norfolk debut. Chris Gratton is in Norfolk, but did not suit up for the Ads.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that defenseman and BoltProspects alumni Mike Lundin has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Norfolk of the AHL.
Personally, so long as Mike doesn't pout in Norfolk, I think this could be a positive for his career, in the long term. When he was originally drafted Lundin was considered to be a young defenseman with some offensive upside. However, in the NHL, he's been asked to play a very simple game as a third pairing blueliner and simply not make mistakes. In Norfolk he should receive over 20 minutes a night including a healthy amount of power play time, which should help flesh out his game and could help him progress from being a #5/6 type defenseman in the NHL to a #3/4 type.
Word on the street is that Chris Gratton has reported to the Admirals and is likely to make his Norfolk debut tonight as well.
Tokarski performed well after replacing division rival Chet Pickard at the halfway point of the game. He would allow John Tavares' second and third goals of the game.
Tyrell lined up on a checking unit with big Rimouski center Patrice Cormier (New Jersey) and Atlanta prospect Angelo Esposito. Known as a scorer for the Montreal Juniors, TSN reported Esposito was being tried in a two-way role next to shut-down expert Cormier and the defensive savvy Tyrell.
CHL: Scoresheet sightings for Courtnall, Barberio, DeCoste, and Witkowski ...
Riku Helenius made 49 saves in his debut with the Mississippi backstopping the Sea Wolves to a 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators and earning Second Star honors. Helenius joined the team on Wednesday after being assigned by Tampa after former Bolt goaltending prospect Ryan Munce was recalled to Syracuse.
Mississippi 4 @ Gwinnett 2
G Riku Helenius: 2 GA; 60:00 MIN; 51 SH; 49 SV; *SECOND STAR*
It won't be long until guys like Segal and Jones get their shots in Tampa too.
Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 33 shots in the win.
NOR Segal, (11) (Downie, Rosehill), 5:04
NOR Potulny, (4) (Kearns, Segal), 18:27
BRI Bentivoglio, (4) (Colliton, Callahan), 18:51
BRI McLean, (7) (Iggulden), 0:30
NOR Jones, (6) (Segal, Downie), 6:29 (PP)
Box score from TheAHL.com.