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.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned right wing prospect Steve Downie to the Norfolk Admirals (AHL), it was announced on Friday by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Downie, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Newmarket, Ontario, appeared in eight games with the Lightning after being recalled on November 27. He posted one goal and 16 penalty minutes. Downie was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on November 7 and has skated in 10 AHL games between Philadelphia and Norfolk this season, tallying a goal, 12 assists and 51 penalty minutes.
On Thursday, the Lightning recalled defenseman Jamie Heward from Norfolk. Heward, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman, leads all Norfolk defensemen in scoring with 14 points. In 20 games, Heward has six goals and eight assists with 25 penalty minutes. Four of his goals and seven of his assists have come on the power play. Heward ranks in the top 15 of AHL scoring by defensemen. The 37-year-old from Regina, Saskatchewan, has two assists and four penalty minutes in four games with the Lightning this season.
Those Quebecois boys sure do enjoy that home cooking.
Olaf Kolzig allowed just 1 goal on 32 shots for the win.
05:34 MTL Brisebois (2), (Kovalev, Markov)(PP)
10:49 TB St. Louis (9), (Recchi, Lecavalier)
12:03 TB Lecavalier (12), (Meszaros, Krajicek)
08:31 TB St. Louis (10), (Krajicek)(SH)
Is it fixed? Not really. The Lightning were outshot 32-22 on the night. But, at least the streak is over, and it's nice to be a winner for a change.
Steve Downie had 1 shot in 7:21.
Zenon Konopka had a fight and 2 hits in 5:16.
Paul Szczechura had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 38% on draws in 13:39.
Radek Smolenak had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 9:07.
Steven Stamkos had 1 shot and 1 hit in 13:57.
Helpers for Courtnall, Tyrell, and Wright (2) ... Ward back to even for struggling Lewiston, but how long will he be with the team?
If you keep losing games where you seem to constantly be close on the scoreboard, but your play is nowhere near to par, is that not the definition of purgatory?
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 36 shots in the loss.
10:21 TB St. Louis (8), (Stamkos)
16:18 TB Recchi (7), (Ranger, Szczechura)
19:22 BUF Stafford (5), (Spacek, Pominville)(PP)
11:52 BUF Vanek (21), (Kotalik)
19:45 BUF Vanek (22), (Roy, Pominville)(PP)
19:47 BUF Pominville, (Hecht)(SH)(EN)
I almost wish this team would get blown out 8-1 one of these nights so that the handful of players who still don't understand the urgency will finally stop fooling themselves. Yes, the Lightning are losing a lot of close games, but they're running around constantly. They're losing the large majority of battles. They're not making the little plays necessary to get pucks in deep or get pucks out of their end. It's bad. It's a personnel issue, because this team has, quite probably, the softest and dumbest d-corps in the entire NHL, and it's an effort issue. At this point, other than Mike Smith, I don't have a lot of affection for any of these players, sans the handful of recent recalls. They may be close on the scoreboard, but they're nowhere near close on the ice right now.
This is disgusting to watch, and I wonder, at what point does pride kick in for this ownership? At what point do you take your cowboy hats off and say, "Maybe we don't know everything?" And I'm not talking about the whole Barry Melrose baloney. Barry Melrose is a disgruntled ex-employee with a platform in Bristol, Connecticut to spew venom and a pack of co-workers who live by a high school code to defend the people in their cool kid clique. Bully to them. The fact is that after 13 years away from the game Barry Melrose couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper sack.
But, you know, that doesn't excuse the fact that this ownership, full of hubris and vanity, strode into town and decided to destroy half the foundation of a fairly talented franchise by dealing off Brad Richards and Dan Boyle, and decided that they, with exactly zero experience, were perfectly qualified to make those kinds of decisions (and, ignored the counsel of people with Stanley Cup rings on their fingers in the process, no less). Those are the kind of decisions that can set a franchise back 3-4-5 years easily. They were the ones that chose to spend their money on players who were either past their prime or didn't have a track record rather than keep the ones they had that actually did. And they, it shouldn't be overlooked, were the ones who picked the guy who after 13 years couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper sack, to begin with. And, that's just a small sampling of what bothers me about what has happened in Tampa Bay over the last 365 days.
So it's not just players who need to get kicked in the butts. It's time for everyone, starting at the top, to stop fooling themselves. The whole organization needs to stop fooling itself and start being honest about what is going on right now before it can ever hope to get where everyone wants it to go.
Steve Downie had 1 shot and 1 hit in 6:41.
Paul Szczechura had an assist and was +1 in 16:26. He was also 29% on draws.
Radek Smolenak had 3 shots and 1 hit in 8:24 including a breakaway chance. He beat Ryan Miller on the deke but hopefully learned a valuable lesson about goaltenders at this level. You've got to get the puck up off the ice to finish in this league. These guys have the athleticism to get across and cover along the ice, even when they're down and out and beaten. He's close though, and you get the feeling once he gets the first goal, a couple more might follow.
Steven Stamkos had an assist and was -1 in 18:15 tonight with 3 shots and 1 hit. He was also 75% on draws. And he stunk tonight. He was rancid. And Barry Melrose is wrong, he's not too weak to play at this level. But, he makes weak plays because he doesn't make that extra effort. He doesn't take that extra half step. He doesn't put that extra little bit of muster on his clears or on his passes. And he has lapses in discipline with the puck. The extra effort that I know he's fully capable of isn't there, and he needs someone to very politely tell him to stop fooling himself, too. There's absolutely no reason with his talent that he couldn't have almost twice the production he has now. Part of that is mismanagement from the coaching staff, but part of that in a player who isn't competing with everything he's got to offer. And, just because some of the veterans do it doesn't make it acceptable.
Goodnight and good luck.