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:
According to the Hampton Roads Daily Press, former Johnstown Chiefs head coach Frank Anzalone has been named "Development Coach" for the Norfolk Admirals. Anzalone spent the last two seasons tutoring the Lightning's prospects at the ECHL level and has a reputation for being a strong teaching coach.
Also in the article, Admirals GM and Lightning Assistant GM Claude Loiselle singles our Justin Keller, Marek Kvapil, and free agent tryout Justin Taylor for praise. Taylor, a 24 year old 6'4" 210 lbs center, spent the past three seasons with Omaha and Lowell in the AHL. Last season with the Ak Sar Ben Knights he registered 8 goals and 20 points in 51 games with 20 penalty minutes.
Evgeny Artyukhin had an assist and 2 penalty minutes in a wild 7-5 Omsk win over Chekhov.
Albert Vishnyakov was scoreless in a 5-1 victory over Khabarovsk.
Alexei Glukhov had an assist and 2 penalty minutes in Cherepovets' 6-2 win over Togliatti.
Anton But had a goal in St. Petersburg's 2-1 win over Nizhnekamsk.
Six players under contract to the Mississippi Sea Wolves are attending AHL training camp with the Norfolk Admirals. Both Norfolk and Mississippi are minor league affiliates of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The six Sea Wolves at the Norfolk training camp include forwards Torry Gajda, Mark Hurtubise, Mike Falk, Mark Rooneem, Lance Monych, and Chase Trull. Mississippi head coach Steffon Walby is assisting the Norfolk coaching staff with practice sessions and scrimmages.
The Mississippi Sea Wolves training camp opens in 30 days.
This just in... according to the Virginian-Pilot's Paul White, Lightning style training camps are grueling. Who knew?
Also, Head Coach Steve Stirling praises Justin Keller, Chris Lawrence, Brandon Elliot, Jay Rosehill, Jonathan Boutin, and Dana Tyrell. Also, Marek Kvapil scored two goals on the first day of scrimmages.
A little excitement to send the people home happy in preseason!
Marc Denis stopped 35 of 38 faced for the win. Brad Richards led the way with assists in triplicate. Goals came from Andreas Karlsson, Jason Ward, Kyle Wanvig, and Mathieu Darche. Filip Kuba, Shane O'Brien, and Mike Lundin added individual helpers.
Darche looks like the big winner on the night getting 21:46 of ice time, the game winning goal, registering 7 shots, and having a +1 rating. And 5 hits too? This after a scrimmage hat trick yesterday? Mr. Darche, you sir are making an impact.
Bryce Lampman and Mike Lundin also checking in with well over 20 minutes of look-see a piece. Both were even.
Kyle Wanvig checked in with 16:07 of ice time and a +1 rating with 4 hits and a penalty shot goal, possibly keeping his bubble from bursting and running Karl Stewart to the state of Virginia.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 1 @ PEI Rocket 4
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Game Notes: The MAINEiacs fell to 1-2 after giving up four unanswered goals, including an empty netter, in a 4-1 loss to Prince Edward Island. Ward is still looking for his first point of the season.
The WHL gets underway tomorrow night with Kootenay @ Edmonton. WHL Lightning prospects begin their season Friday night with Mitch Fadden and Lethbridge hosting Medicine Hat.
The Canadian Hockey League today announced the pre-season CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for the 2007-08 season. The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey Leagueâ€™s Top 10 are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts. Dane Crowley's Everett Silvertips are No.4. The London Knights are No.1.
Victoria Grizzlies 2 @ Cowichan Valley Capitals 3 (OT)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 0 PIM
Game Notes: Justin Courtnall registered the primary assist on Victoriaâ€™s game tying goal in the 13th minute of the 3rd period, but the Grizzlies fell in overtime to Cowichan Valley 3-2. Courtnall has one goal and one assist in three games so far this season for the 0-1-1-1 Grizzlies.
It is well known Justin is the son of former NHLer Geoff, and nephew of Russ Courtnall. The BCHL is evidentially popular for relatives of former NHLers as scoring the game winner for Cowichan Valley last night was Bryce Reddick, son of former NHL goaltender Pokey Reddick. Cowichan Valley's number-1 goaltender, who did not play last night, is Matt Ferraro, son of former NHLer and ESPN analyst Ray "Chicken Parm" Ferraro. Matt Ferraro is 3-0 on the year so far.
Team White defeated Team Black today by a final count of 3-0 on the back of a Mathieu Darche hat trick in the final day of camp scrimmages. According to Erik Erlendsson of the Trib, two of Darche's goal were of the "soft" variety, given up by Johan Holmqvist. Brad Richards, Matt Smaby, Brad Lukowich, Chris Gratton and Kyle Wanvig each had assists.
Karri Ramo was a perfect today between the pipes and unofficially takes the camp statistical title among goaltenders with a sparkling 1.08 GAA and .967 save percentage, followed closely by Denis.
Erlendsson also reports a minor foot injury to forward Jan Hlavac and a potentially bad tailbone injury to enforcer Andre Roy which could possibly open up a spot for someone like Karl Stewart if it is serious.
Lines have been announced for tomorrow's exhibition game against Dallas:
According to TSN.ca, former Lightning goaltender Sean Burke has retired.
Yahoo! Sports is reporting former Bolt Jassen Cullimore has been invited to the Red Wings' training camp. Cullimore and Nolan Pratt were rumored to be a considerations for the Lightning's No.6/7 defenseman spots before Tampa Bay decided they'd let younger players battle it out. There remains/remained a possibility that Pratt or Cullimore could be signed late in camp if none of the youngsters impressed enough to earn a spot.
Also, Jay Feaster's first draft pick as Lightning GM, Adam Henrich, is camping with the Philadelphia Flyers.