Is this rock bottom?
I want to vomit. Need more analysis? OK, I want to projectile vomit.
This team can't seem to buy a timely goal or save in the third period and now even bounces are going off the back of opposing players' necks and into the net. Sub-.500, terrible.
You don't want to see the game sheet.
To blow a 3 goal lead in less than five minutes in inexcusable. There's good points and there bad points (used to be good ties and bad ties, but the cliche has to change with the times), tonight was a bad point for the Springfield Falcons. And there's not a heck of a lot more you can say about it.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Lightning goaltending prospect Fredrik Norrena defeated Russia today in a shootout 3-2 to open the Karjala Cup tournament. The Finnish netminder stopped 20 of 22 shots faced before stopping all three Russian shooters faced in the shootout.
Andy Rogers of the Prince George Cougars was ejected in the third period of a 7-1 blowout loss to Justin Keller and the Kelowna Rockets Wednesday night. Down 6-1 late in the third, Rogers took a checking-from-behind major penalty and subsequently a five minute fighting major against 6-foot-1 Kelowna winger Liam Couture. Both received game misconducts. Rogers was minus-one at that point in the game. Keller, on the other hand, had a goal and an assist to go with a plus-one rating for the game. His goal was his 13th of the year. Kelowna, who has struggled of late, had no problem with the 13-6-0-2 Cougars, the CHLâ€™s No.7 team in the most recent CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top-10.
The Finnish leg of the Euro Tour begins today with the opening two matches of the Karjala Cup. The best club team players from European nations Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic will square off for bragging rights. The Lightning's sole representative at the tournament will be Finnish netminder Fredrik Norrena, a mainstay on Finland's Euro Tour roster.
Both Russianprospects.com and Chelya's Tampabaylightning.ru are reporting C/W Dimitry Kazionov has been transferred to Moscow Dynamo of the Russian Superleague. The move came amidst a mass exodus of players from Togliatti as Lada lost roughly half of its players in a massive salary dumping measure. Goaltender Vasily Koshechkin, for the time being, remains with Togliatti (unfortunately).
Kazionov will join Lightning prospect Albert Vishnyakov in a very deep Dynamo lineup. The bulk of Lada's players however, perhaps as many as eight depending on whether or not Caps prospect Alex Semin accepts his new playing address, ended up with Khimik MO. The mass influx of talent to Khimik MO may cost Alexei Glukhov valuable playing time, perhaps forcing him to transfer as well.
So, unfortunately, this scenario hasn't played out well for the Lightning's prospects. Kazionov will likely remain in the 4th line defensive role he had for Lada. Alexei Glukhov may be out of steady work in Khimik. And, worst of all, Vasily Koshechkin will now have to back stop the equivalent of an Upper League team. Bad news all around.
After missing six games with an ankle injury, Andy Rogers returned to the ice for Prince George Tuesday night. Rogers was held scoreless and had an even rating for the game as the Cougars dropped a 4-3 decision in Portland. Prince George visits Justin Keller and the Kelowna Rockets tonight.
Also Tuesday, Vladimir Mihalik was minus-one and had an obstruction-hooking penalty for Red Deer as the struggling Rebels lost 3-0 in Vancouver to the Giants. In the QMJHL, Mark Tobin was minus-two and had two penalty minutes as Rimouski lost to Lewiston, 4-2.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned Brian Eklund and Nick Tarnasky to Springfield of the AHL. Both players will be available for the Falcons' game Thursday at home against Manchester. As a consequence, expect Jonathan Boutin and perhaps one skater to be reassigned to Johnstown of the ECHL within the next 24-48 hours. The Chiefs' next game is Friday night against Trenton at home.
You've got a rookie goaltender in net... you've GOT to give him more than 2 goals of support.
On the one hand it's gratifying to see Ranger and Artyukhin be two of the best players for the Lightning tonight. On the other, it's frightening that they've been two of the best players for the Lightning both in Montreal and in Toronto. Shot totals were plenty lopsided at 34-19 in favor of the Lightning but scoring chances were pretty much even due to some thoughtless, sloppy play.
Paul Ranger ended with an assist, a team leading +2, and 2 shots on goal in 15:39 of ice time. His final shift in the third period epitomized just how well he is playing at both ends of the rink, taking the body to win the puck on a Montreal dump in, keeping a puck in at the Montreal blueline for a shot on goal, then breaking up a 2-on-1 when Boyle was caught pinching to finish the shift off. Evgeny Artyukhin also had an assist and an impressive 5 hits in 17:35 of ice time. The entire rest of the team only had 6 hits combined.
On the other side of the coin Nick Tarnasky only played 2 shifts tonight. 2. If that's all he's going to be used I believe the Lightning have an obligation to send him back to Springfield where he can actually play and develop. Brian Eklund stopped 16 of 19 shots faced in the loss. He was also beaten a handful of times and enjoyed the aid of the goalposts to save him. It was a rough spot to put Brian in for his premiere game and all told, he made enough saves to give the Lightning a chance at points. Again, with a rookie netminder in, just two goals is simply unacceptable in terms of support.
Game sheet from NHL.com.