Lundin Placed on Waivers

Damian Crisdotero of the St. Pete Times is reporting that defenseman and BoltProspects Alumni Mike Lundin has been placed on waivers. According to the claim period will last until Saturday at noon. If Lundin passes, he will likely be assigned to Norfolk of the AHL.

Bolts Reassign Steve Downie to Norfolk; Recall Jamie Heward

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.

NHL Game Night 12/11: Lightning at Canadiens

Those Quebecois boys sure do enjoy that home cooking.

TB-3
MTL-1

Olaf Kolzig allowed just 1 goal on 32 shots for the win.

First Period
05:34 MTL Brisebois (2), (Kovalev, Markov)(PP)
10:49 TB St. Louis (9), (Recchi, Lecavalier)
12:03 TB Lecavalier (12), (Meszaros, Krajicek)

Second Period
08:31 TB St. Louis (10), (Krajicek)(SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

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.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 12/10

Helpers for Courtnall, Tyrell, and Wright (2) ... Ward back to even for struggling Lewiston, but how long will he be with the team?

NHL Game Night 12/10: Lightning at Sabres

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?

TB-2
BUF-4

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 36 shots in the loss.

First Period
10:21 TB St. Louis (8), (Stamkos)
16:18 TB Recchi (7), (Ranger, Szczechura)
19:22 BUF Stafford (5), (Spacek, Pominville)(PP)

Second Period
11:52 BUF Vanek (21), (Kotalik)
19:45 BUF Vanek (22), (Roy, Pominville)(PP)

Third Period
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.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/10: Admirals at Penguins

I don't know what it's going to take to fix #31's game.

NOR-3
WBS-7

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 9 shots for the loss before being pulled after one period for Mike McKenna, who allowed 3 goals on 16 shots the rest of the way.

First Period
WBS Jeffrey, (4) (Pesonen, Caputi), 3:55 (PP)
WBS Letestu, (2) (Stone, Johnson), 4:33
WBS James, (10) (Jeffrey, Pesonen), 8:50
WBS Letestu, (3) (Pesonen, Richmond), 11:32

Second Period
NOR Segal, (10) (Keller), 5:30
WBS Bissonnette, (1) (Henrich, Goebel), 6:22

Third Period
NOR Heward, (6) (Potulny, Kearns), 0:36
WBS Goebel, (1) (Henrich, Bissonnette), 6:05
WBS Kemp, (1) (Mormina, Letestu), 10:46
NOR Keller, (1) (Rosehill), 19:32 (SH)

It's becoming fairly obvious there need to be some wholesale changes in Norfolk.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Lightning Sign Prospect Dana Tyrell

(WHL release) The Prince George Cougars are proud to announce and wish to congratulate team captain Dana Tyrell, who has agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. The Lightning selected Tyrell in the second round, 47th overall, in the 2007 NHL draft.

Prince George Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson says; "Dana is very deserving for achieving this goal of his. All the effort and hard work he has put into his game and the commitment to the Prince George Cougars has certainly helped Dana achieve this terrific milestone in his life.”

Tyrell leads the Cougars in scoring in his fourth full WHL season, with 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points, and is ranked tied for 13th in league scoring. Tyrell leads the Cougars in power-play goals with 7 and short handed tallies with 3. Tyrell will also attend the National Junior Team selection camp in Ottawa, ON, December 11-15, in hopes of wearing Canada’s colors at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in the nation’s capital, beginning December 26.

Konopka Called Up

The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL affiliate of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled Admirals captain Zenon Konopka, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton.

Konopka's recall is an emergency call-up due to an upper body injury to Adam Hall, and does not subject Konopka to recall waivers.

Konopka, a 6-foot-1, 213-pound center, has played in 27 games with the Admirals this season, recording seven goals and 21 points while serving as team captain. He is tied for third on the team in points and is fifth in goals. His three game-winning goals lead the team.

N.A. Juniors Game Night 12/9: Tokarski Blanks Bruins

WHL
Swift Current Broncos 3 @ Edmonton Oil Kings 6
G Torrie Jung, EDM: Did not play
Season totals: 17 GP, 8-6-0-3, 2.75 GAA, .908 sv%, 2 shutouts

Jung go the night off and watched from the bench as Cam Lanigan stopped 18 shots for the win. The Oil Kings (15-17-1-3) sit in 5th in the Central Division, three points back of Kootenay. Edmonton is 10-8-0-3 since Jung joined the club.

Spokane Chiefs 1 @ Chilliwack Bruins 0
G Dustin Tokarski, SPO: Win, 23 saves, shutout
Season totals: 27 GP, 16-9-0-2, 1.97 GAA, .938 sv%, 4 shutouts

Tokarski re-gained a share of the CHL shutout lead by stopping 23 shots for a close win over Chilliwack. Tokarski and Lethbridge’s Juha Metsola (undrafted) both have four shutouts in the WHL, and Windsor’s Andrew Engelage (undrafted) has four in the OHL.

This was the last game before Tokarski joins Team Canada WJC hopefuls in Ottawa on Thursday.

Gratton Assigned to Norfolk, Helenius Assigned to Mississippi

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced the assignment of veteran center Chris Gratton to Norfolk of the AHL. Gratton cleared waivers today after being put on the wire to make roster room to allow the Lightning to retain recent callups like Paul Szczechura and Radek Smolenak and to make room for veteran center Jeff Halpern, who is set to return from IR soon.

In addition, the Lightning have assigned goaltending prospect Riku Helenius to Mississippi of the ECHL. Helenius was recalled to Norfolk after the Augusta Lynx ECHL franchise folded earlier this month. Mississippi was the Lightning's ECHL affliate last season. There is no word as yet if additional players will be headed to Biloxi as well.

Norfolk's press release on Helenius' reassignment after the jump:

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