Submitted by pete on April 15, 2006 - 21:37
The magic number is one. CAR-2 TB-3 (OT) My girlfriend would like to thank Martin St. Louis for the temporary case of deafness she currently has in her left ear suffered while sitting next to me at the moment of that game winning overtime goal. John Grahame stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the victory. I will not defend the year Grahame has had nor do I think he has much more time left in this organization, but Lightning fans should forever respect the game he played tonight. His stop on Cory Stillman's third period breakaway may have saved this season, to make no mention his save on Mark Recchi's tip late in regulation. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] was a man tonight. I lost count of how many goal saving poke checks and how many two on ones he broke up in this game. The fact that this is the tip of the iceberg for this young man is one reason to be very optimistic about the future of this team's blueline. Ranger led all Lightning rookies with 19:06 of ice time and was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] had 15:51 of ice time with 2 shots and 1 hit. [url=evgeny artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] played his customary 4th line minutes with 4:38 and 2 hits. With the win the Lightning's magic number falls to 1 with just Tuesday's home game against the Washington Capitals remaining. Martin St. Louis' overtime winning goal gave the Lightning the point they needed to eliminate Toronto from the postseason. Two things: the Lightning CANNOT relax. They MUST assume that the Trashers will win their two remaining games. They also MUST not adapt the disasterous mindset of playing for one point on Tuesday if the situation does indeed put us in the situation of having to get a point to get in the playoffs. John Tortorella must get his team in the mindset that Tuesday is THE must win game of the season. The Lightning survived a war in back-to-back games against a club that will be no worse than the #2 seed in the East. The conditions are ripe for a letdown against a Capitals team that, however lowly, has two game changers in Ovechkin and Kolzig. If the Lightning don't approach Tuesday's game with the same fear and desperation they showed these last two night's against Carolina, they WILL be golfing by weeks end. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021206.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 15, 2006 - 13:09
Miika Wiikman's incredible playoff run continued today as he knocked off Assat 1-0 in game one of the SM-liiga championship series. Wiikman stopped all 25 shots he faced and was named the game's first star. That likely means [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] will again be on the bench for game two.
Submitted by pete on April 14, 2006 - 21:22
Johnstown now trails the series 1-0. JHN-2 TOL-3 [url=morgan-cey]Morgan Cey[/url] took the loss for Johnstown stopping 43 of 46 shots faced. Dimitri Tarabrin and Brett Peterson had the goals for the Chiefs. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=3176]ECHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 14, 2006 - 20:52
There were no Lightning prospects in action in the CHL playoffs last night. [b]QMJHL[/b] [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url] and the Chicoutimi Sangueneens were eliminated tonight as Gatineau triumphed in game five of their series 4-2. Lascek had an assist in what will likely be his last game in junior hockey. The 20 year old winger is likely to sign a pro contract with the Lightning this summer. [b]OHL[/b] London defeared Owen Sound 6-5 in overtime. Marek Bartanus had an assist and was +1 in the game. London now leads the series 3-2. [b]WHL[/b] With less than a minute left in the first overtime period, Calgary defeated Moose Jaw 4-3. [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] scored the tying goal with 5:02 left in regulation on the power play to send the game to the extra period and was named second star of the game despite compiling a -2 rating. Calgary now leads the series 3-2. Troy Bodie scored a game winning goal 7:50 into double overtime to lift Kelowna to a 3-2 overtime win over Everett. The win keeps Kelowna alive in a series they still trail 3-2. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] had an assist in the game and was +1.
Submitted by pete on April 14, 2006 - 20:49
One more game left to go... SPR-1 POR-3 Gabe Winer actually did pretty well in his AHL debut stopping 39 of 42 shots faced. [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] scored the Falcons' lone goal, his 14th of the season, on the power play. He'll be a member of the Lightning's playoff taxi squad. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002090]TheAHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 14, 2006 - 20:40
The magic number is 3. TB-4 CAR-5 (SO) Sean Burke stopped 17 of 21 before losing in the shootout. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] had 2 assists in the game including one on a beautiful Martin St. Louis shorthanded goal from Vincent Lecavalier. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] led all rookies in ice time at 16:55 with 1 shot on goal. Ranger was +2 in 15:38 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was an undisciplined mess taking two minor penalties in 3:31 with 4 hits. The Lightning still control their destiny with 2 games left to play. They hold a 3 point lead over 9th place Atlanta and a 4 point lead over 10th place Toronto going into tomorrow night's rematch with Carolina. Both Atlanta and Toronto now hold a game in hand. A win tomorrow night and an Atlanta *tie* or loss would seal a playoff berth. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021196.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 13, 2006 - 20:15
Shame. ALB-5 SPR-3 [url=gerald-coleman]Gerald Coleman[/url] stopped 22 of 27 shots faced in the loss. The shame of this game is that the Falcons actually outplayed Albany and got nothing for their efforts. I watched the final two periods on B2 Networks. Read my thoughts after the flip. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002083]TheAHL.com[/url]
Submitted by pete on April 13, 2006 - 14:16
Miika Wiikman intensified his stranglehold on HPK's starting job today throwing a materful 30 save shutout to usher HPK into the championship game with a 1-0 win over HIFK. Wiikman was named the game's first star. HPK will advance to play Pori Assat, who upset #1 seed and defending champion Karpat, in the championship round. Assat was the #5 seed entering the playoffs while HPK was the #3. That means [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] could add an SM-liiga championship to his resume within the next couple of weeks.
Submitted by chad on April 13, 2006 - 14:14
The University of North Dakota (UND) Athletics web site is reporting Matt Smaby has been signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Smaby told UND that he will forgo his senior year at the university to join the Lightning this summer. He plans to finish the spring semester at UND, thus ending speculation that he would join Johnstown for the ECHL playoffs. Smaby, a second round pick in 2003, played in 129 games over three seasons for UND, scoring six goals and recording 23 assists for 29 points. The defenseman had a career-best 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) this past season. The UND captain is the first prospect signed by the Lightning during the spring signing period.