Sweden Wins Silver in LG Games

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.

Pogge Wins WHL MVP

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.

Evaluating Tampa

[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.

Evaluating Johnstown

[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.

Playoff Game Night: 4/29

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]

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/28

[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.

Playoff Game Night 4/27: Senators at Lightning

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]

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/26

[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.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/25

[b]WHL[/b] [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] and the Moose Jaw Warriors failed to take a stranglehold on Medicine Hat in their Eastern Conference Final Tuesday night as the Warriors fell on home ice to the Tigers, 5-3. Moose Jaw, who had won both Games 1 and 2 in Medicine Hat, still leads the series, but instead of 3-0 as expected, it's 2-1. Jones had a goal and an assist in the game, as well as an Even rating. He opened the scoring half-way through the first period with his seventh goal of the playoffs. The Tigers would score the next three and four of the next five goals before Jones assisted on Troy Brouwer's goal at the 14-minute mark of the third to bring Moose Jaw within one. Jones leads all playoff scorers in the WHL with 7 goals and 17 points in 16 games.

Playoff Game Night 4/25: Senators at Lightning

Ottawa now leads the series 2-1 after a blood bath in game three. OTT-8 (7) TB-4 (5) I'd like to thank the refs for A.) awarding Ottawa their third goal by not calling a blatant boarding penalty on the Sens third goal and B.) robbing [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] of his first career playoff goal late in the third period on a phantom "kicking motion" call on a goal that never should've even been reviewed. Apparently the league office didn't want Ray Emery's stats/confidence to be scarred by a meaningless goal in the final minute of the contest. Ridiculous. The referees certainly didn't cost the Lightning this game, they did that all by themselves, but Kerry Fraser and Eric Furlatt should be severely reprimanded by the league for an inept display of officiating that allowed the game to degenerate into a small scale riot. I'd also like to thank Chris Neil for proving to the entire league that he is a guttless puke who doesn't have the rocks to stand accountable for his actions on the ice. After challenging a 40 year old goaltender to a fight (very brave) he proceeded to turtle and pee himself in fear when squaring off with Chris Dingman (who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper sack). My guess is Neil probably confused Ottawa's training staff when he first got to the team when he tried to give them his skirt size instead of his jersey size. And Vaclav Varada? Not much better. On the positive side, [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] scored his first two career NHL playoff goals in the game in garbage time. No matter what happens from here on out, I am happy that many more people around the league are finally being exposed to what a fine young player Ranger is. Also, I'd like to applaud the work of Ryan Craig in this game. He came back from a puck in the face to consistently answer the bell to defend his teammates throughout the game. My only regret is that he couldn't get ahold of Varada after he boarded Ruslan Fedotenko and choke the life out of the rotten little weasel. Ranger was -1 in 23:30 with 7 shots on goal, 1 hit and 3 blocked shots. Tonight may have been the night his offensive potential finally began to blossom. Craig was -2 in 10:26 with 1 shot and one hit. His speed has put him at a disadvantage in this series, but there's still time for him to contribute in other areas, particularly on the Lightning's slumbering power play. Evgeny Artyukhin was +1 (should've been +2) with 3 hits (and should've been 1/1 on shots on goal too). The Lightning now have to regain their composure going into a critical game four matchup. A loss likely spells the end of the season. A win will throw the pressure right back onto the Sens' backs in game five. Tim Taylor missed the second half of the game with an "upper body injury" which may lead to the first appearance of Rob Dimaio in this series. Either way, the Lightning must balance the need to be physically aggressive with the need to stay out of the box in game four and they must begin to minimize the mistakes made by their defensemen and backchecking forwards alike that are leading to breakdowns and odd man situations. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS030113.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
Syndicate content