Seattle Thunderbirds 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 3 (OT)
G Riku Helenius, SEA: OTL, 24 saves on 27 shots
Game Notes: Heleniusâ€™s first regular season game in North America was looking strong as he had a shutout through the first half of the game, but the T-Birds couldnâ€™t hold a 2-0 lead and fell in overtime, 3-2 in Kamloops. Helenius is wearing No. 30 for Seattle.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 4
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Game Notes: With his secondary assist, Fadden helped Lethbridge to an early 2-1 lead but the Hurricanes couldnâ€™t hang on and dropped the second of a home-and-home series with the Tigers. The Hurricanes won on Friday. Fadden has a goal and an assist in two games this year.
Son of a gun. Dan Boyle had a freak accident involving a skate falling out of his locker after tonight's preseason game against the Capitals. According to Erik Erlendsson's blog the blade of the skate caught Boyle's wrist, which will now require surgery.
The good news is that Vincent Lecavalier's undisclosed injury is evidently not serious.
The Lightning's first round of cuts have been posted on tampabaylightning.com. All have been assigned to Norfolk.
The battle for the last defensive spot goes down to Smaby, Lundin, Bryce Lampman, and Doug Janik.
A 20-19 shot barn burner. Yes, that's sarcasm.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 18 of 20 in the loss.
First, Vincent Lecavalier left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. Cuts and third pairing defensive jobs and fourth liners aside, the obvious priority for the Lightning in this preseason is to make sure Lecavalier, Richards, St. Louis, and Boyle get out of it healthy. Hopefully the Lightning were just being extra cautious in shutting down #4 for the evening.
Martin St. Louis had the Lightning's goal shorthanded off assists from Lecavalier and Boyle.
Big winner of the night: Doug Janik. Of all the Lightning d-men battling for the last two defensive spots he got the most ice time at 16:24 with 2 shots and 3 blocked shots. He, Lecavalier, and St. Louis were also the only Lightning players to be plus players for the night.
Big loser: Dan Jancevski. 7 shifts. 5:20 of ice time. Looks from the outside like he might be the one shuffling off to Norfolk tonight and Bryce Lampman could possibly survive the first wave.
Matt Smaby got 12:54 of ice time and was even with a blocked shot and 2 penalty minutes.
With Lecavalier, Gratton, and Craig all nicked, Craig MacDonald looks like he might stick around a bit.
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4 @ Victoria Grizzlies 5
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 2 PIM
Game Notes: Justin Courtnall registered the secondary assist on Victoriaâ€™s game winning goal late in the third period to give the Grizzlies their first victory of the year, 5-4 over Alberni Valley. Victoria blew a 4-2 third period lead before winning late. Courtnall has one goal and two assists in four games so far this season for the 1-1-1-1 Grizzlies.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 2 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 8 (9.16.07)
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM, 3 SOG
Game Notes: Ward notched his first two points of the year, albeit in a typical QMJHL blowout, with two primary assists, including one on the power play. Impressively, Ward was also plus-1. Ward has two points in four games this year.
Evgeny Artyukhin scored a goal today in Omsk's 6-2 win over Khabarovsk.
Albert Vishnyakov was scoreless in Spartak's 2-1 loss to Chekhov.
Alexei Glukhov recorded an assist and 2 penalty minutes in Cherepovets' 2-1 loss to Ufa.
Lightning Russian Prospect Statistics Through 9/22/07
Alexei Glukhov (Cherepovets), 8 GP, 1-6-7, 8 PIM, +1
Dimitri Kazionov (Kazan), 8 GP, 3-3-6, 2 PIM, -1
Anton But (St. Petersburg), 8 GP, 2-2-4, 8 PIM, +5
Evgeny Artyukhin (Omsk), 8 GP, 1-2-3, 14 PIM, +2
Albert Vishnyakov (Spartak), 8 GP, 2-0-2, 14 PIM, -3
Denis Kazionov (Novokuznetsk), 8 GP, 0-0-0, 8 PIM, -2
Vasily Koshechkin (Kazan), 6 GP, 3-3-0, 0 SO, 2.54 GAA
Just to reiterate what I posted earlier this summer, I hate having to post about the business side of hockey. I don't enjoy it. I find it unnecessarily sordid compared to the integrity and purity of the sport itself.
However, Lightning fans might want to know that according to Erik Erlendsson's blog the Absolute Hockey group which is attempting to buy the Lightning added local attorney Steve Burton of Tampa as a general partner today. Burton is the Managing Partner of the law firm Broad and Cassel's Tampa office.
According to numerous published reports it appears the Lightning will be cutting 7 players from their roster after Saturday's preseason game against the Caps. Here's my initial thoughts on the seven who will go (subject to change based on performance in the Washington game, of course):
The showdown for the #6 and #7 defenseman jobs for the Tampa Bay Lightning looks like it will begin in earnest on Saturday night against the Caps.
According to Carter Gaddis on Erik Erlendsson's blog, the night will mark this year's preseason debut for the pairing of Brad Lukowich and Matt Smaby as well as for the pairing of Dan Jancevski and Doug Janik. From the outside looking in, it appears Smaby, Jancevski, and Janik are all vying for one the two open vacancies. One will be left out, but whom?
Saturday's lines and pairings: