Submitted by pete on May 5, 2006 - 18:25
Some of you may have read about an article from the Red Deer Advocate which has bubbled to the surface this week speculating that Head Coach Brent Sutter is dissatisfied with the play of Lightning first round pick [url=vladimir-mihalik]Vladimir Mihalik[/url] and may be looking to replace the big Slovakian defenseman via the CHL Import Draft. Bolt Prospects correspondant Chad Schnarr contacted Greg Meacham of the Advocate and obtained a copy of the story which ran in March at the Rebels season end. Meacham admits that he was never told by Sutter directly that Mihalik wouldn't be asked back and that the story was his opinion/speculation. Bolt Prospects then contacted the Lightning organization to get their reaction to the story. The Lightning have not heard anything from their scouts or Red Deer about a falling out and intend to look into the matter further. The story leads to a number of questions regarding Mihalik's relationship with Coach Sutter in Red Deer. Most notably, why does the Advocate's WHL reporter get the impression from Sutter that the coach has such a negative opinion of Mihalik that he might not ask him back? Bear in mind, Sutter reportedly had a falling out last season with Lightning prospect [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] who was traded at midseason in 2004-2005 to Moose Jaw where he blossomed into the WHL's 6th leading scoring this year. In addition, Schnarr and Bolt Prospects have learned the Lightning still have not made decision regarding whether or not they will sign defenseman PJ Atherton.
Submitted by pete on May 5, 2006 - 15:20
The World Championships got underway today in Latvia with three Lightning properties thus far named to their nations' teams. Martin Cibak has been selected to Team Slovakia, Andreas Holmqvist to Team Sweden and Fredrik Norrena to Team Finland. The Finns got underway today as one of four opening matches knocking off Slovenia 5-3. Fredrik Norrena stopped 13 of 16 in the win. [b]Update:[/b] Defenseman Timo Helbling has also been named to the Swiss team's roster.
Submitted by pete on May 3, 2006 - 17:31
Andreas Holmqvist and Sweden won silver yesterday in the LG Games, losing to Russia 2-1 in the final match. Holmqvist had 2 assists in 4 games in the tournament. Finland, backstopped by Fredrik Norrena, defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 to win bronze stopping 27 of 29 shots faced in the game. Norrena stopped 31 of 32 in his other start in the tournament, a 5-1 win also against the Czechs.
Submitted by chad on May 3, 2006 - 13:14
Lightning prospect Justin Keller, one of two finalists for the 2005-2006 WHL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, watched as Justin Pogge of the Calgary Hitmen was named WHL MVP at an awards luncheon held today. Pogge, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, also won the top goaltender award. Keller, who scored 51 goals this year for the Kelowna Rockets, is expected to be signed by the Lightning in the next few weeks.
Submitted by pete on May 1, 2006 - 21:59
[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Tampa Bay Lightning finished 43-33-6 this season with 92 points, eighth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Southeast Division. In 2003-2004, prior to the lockout, the club finished with 3 more wins but 14 more points in the standings. The Lightning's goal production this year actually improved by 7 goals, but their defense declined by a shocking 68 goals (that is not a typo) and the team actually scored 8 less goals than it allowed this season. The most important number though is 15, as in the 15 less playoff games the team won this season after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs 4 games to 1 by the Ottawa Senators.
Submitted by pete on April 30, 2006 - 12:10
[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Johnstown Chiefs finished 30-26-16 with 76 points in 4th place in the American Conference North Division. After sweeping their playoff play-in round against 5th place Trenton 2-0 they were swept by Toledo in the first round of the playoffs 3-0. The year was a marked improvement over the 2004-2005 season when the Chiefs finished 7th in the North Division, out of the playoffs, with a 22-36-14 record and 58 points. The Chiefs offensive production improved this season by 32 goals while their defense relented 15 less goals.
Submitted by pete on April 29, 2006 - 20:42
Ottawa eliminates the Lightning in 5 games. TB-2 OTT-3 I hope the Lightning remember the bad taste they have in their mouths tonight. And now the focus shifts off the ice to Jay Feaster in the aftermath of a season that failed to even remotely approach expectations. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] scored his first official NHL playoff goal in the game after being robbed on one by the officials in game three. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS030115.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 28, 2006 - 22:36
[b]WHL[/b] [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] and Moose Jaw wrapped up the WHL Eastern Conference crown tonight in Medicine Hat. The Warriors defeated the Tigers are currently tied 4-3 in overtime to send them to the WHL finals against the Vancouver Giants.. Jones has 1 assist in the game. Moose Jaw wins the series 4-1. Blair Jones leads the WHL in playoff scoring with 19 points in 18 games.
Submitted by pete on April 27, 2006 - 20:45
Senators lead the series 3-1. Give credit to Ottawa. They bury their chances and they've buried the Lightning. A lot of soul searching may be in the offing for the Lightning this summer. OTT-5 TB-2 [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] had 2 assists. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS030114.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 26, 2006 - 22:33
[b]WHL[/b] Moose Jaw now holds a commanding 3-1 series lead on Medicine Hat after defeating the Tigers 3-1 Wednesday night. [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] was an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick after fighting Brett Robertson early in the first period and scoring his 8th goal of the postseason in the second. The Warriors held a 3-0 lead until the 19:29 mark of a penalty-filled third period. Jones finished plus-1 for the game with 7 minutes in penalties. He was named the game's Third Star.