Lightning Likely to Hold 15th Pick

Barring the team repeating as Stanley Cup champions, the Lightning will pick 15th overall in the June draft. [url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/standings?season=2006&group=league&column=points&order=false&seasontype=2]A quick look at the standings reveals[/url] the Lightning with the least amount of points amongst the teams that made the postseason, placing them just outside the 14 team draft lottery. For those who are wondering, the Lightning [url=http://www.freewebs.com/eggmanandwalrus/draft_picks.txt]currently hold 4 picks in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.[/url] They will have their 1st round, 3rd round, 6th round and 7th round selections. The club traded its 2nd, 4th and 5th round selections in seperate deals with Philadelphia, San Jose and Dallas last year. Bolt Prospects will profile players we feel might be available at the Lightning's selection during the summer as draft day nears.

Game Night 4/18: Capitals at Lightning

The Lightning may live to regret having treated this game like a preseason tilt. WAS-4 TB-1 From the lack of any significant effort along the boards to John Tortorella's decision to rotate his goaltenders mid game, this had the feel of an exhibition. Problem is, no one told the Caps. As a consequence, the Lightning lost the opportunity to move into the 7th seed in the East due to Montreal's loss to New Jersey tonight. Instead, the Lightning are now the #8 seed and rather than playing Carolina they will have an opponent they don't match up as well with: the Ottawa Senators. Ryan Craig finished off the regular season of his rookie campaign off with a power play assist. Paul Ranger was -1 in 22:07 with 3 shots on goal, 1 hit and 3 blocked shots. Timo Helbling, filling in for a resting Pavel Kubina, was -1 in 16:20 with 1 shot, 3 hits and 3 blocked shots. Craig was even in 15:27 with 4 shots on goal. Evgeny Artyukhin was even in 9:09 with 1 shot and 1 hit. In addition to playoff matchups, by night's end we should have a good idea of what pick the Lightning will receive in the June entry draft. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021228.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

HPK/Assat Game Two

Miika Wiikman cooled off considerably today as Assat knocked off HPK 5-4 in overtime to knot their SM-liiga championship series at 1-1. Wiikman stopped 27 of 32 shots faced in the game. The loss possibly opens the door for [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] to start in game three.

Vesce Named AHL Rookie of the Month

Although it feels somewhat like a posthumous medal with the Falcons out of playoff contention, Ryan Vesce [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2989.shtml]has been named AHL Rookie of the Month.[/url] Vesce had 3 goals and 12 points in the final 9 games of the Falcons' season.

E-Mail for a Thrashers Homer

To: holly.gunning@hockeysfuture.com From: Pete Choquette and the Bolt Prospects.com Staff Subject: Nice Choke Holly, It's hard to believe the Thrashers, with the might of former HF Top-50 Prospect Garnett Exelby and his obvious greatness in the lineup, could choke so hard when the chips were down. Don't worry, there's always the lottery to look forward to determine when the Thrashers will select the next prospect you'll grossly overrate. Of course, on that day, some of the Lightning's prospects (you know, the ones you regularly abuse your position to take a crap on) will still be playing hockey in the playoffs, not that anyone associated with "Blue Land" (they certainly "blue" tonight didn't they?) would know anything about playoffs. Hugs and kisses from your pals, The Bolt Prospects.com Staff

Thrashers Choke, Lightning In

In the words of Nelson from the Simpsons, [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021215.HTM]"Haaaa haaaa!"[/url] [img]http://www.saintsok.com/pages/medicallibrary/choke1.gif[/img] The Washington Capitals defeated the Atlanta Thrashers tonight to eliminate Atlanta from postseason contention and insure the Lightning a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. At present, the Lightning hold the #8 seed in the East, but if Montreal fails to pick up two points tomorrow night the Lightning could move up to the #7 seed in their final game.

Falcons Announce Award Winners

The Falcons annual award winners [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2987.shtml]were named this weekend.[/url] The mood of the franchise is no doubt somber after a disappointing season and the dismissal of Coach Graham and Coach Russell, but the following players can take some pride in the honors they've earned: Unsung Hero (Flo Kurdziel) Award: Norm Milley Good Sportsmanship (Kay MacDonald) Award: Ryan Vesce Best Defensive Player (Fred Cowell) Award: Dan Cavanaugh Courage, Determination and Work Ethic (Dick Casey) Award: [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url] Good Guy (Jim Denver) Award: Mitch Fritz Player's Player (Roland Brault) Award: Mitch Fritz Winger of the Year: [url=marek-kvapil]Marek Kvapil[/url] Fan Favorite (Furmano’s Foods) Award: Jason Jaspers Most Valuable Player (Ross Lowe Memorial) Award: Jason Jaspers

Graham/Russell Dismissed

Springfield Falcons head coach Dirk Graham [url=http://www.tbo.com/sports/lightning/MGBP9DDX4ME.html]has been relieved of his duties by the Tampa Bay Lightning[/url] according to the Tampa Tribune. In addition, the club will not renew the contract of assistant coach Phil Russell. Graham has been given the option of taking another job in the organization.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/16

[b]OHL[/b] There are no Lightning prospects remaining who are active in the OHL playoffs after Owen Sound's loss last night to London. There are also no remaining Lightning prospects who are active in the QMJHL playoffs. [b]WHL[/b] Led by a goal and an assist in the third period by [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url], Moose Jaw rallied from a 1-0 deficit after 40 minutes to defeat Calgary 3-1. Jones was named the game's second star. The Warriors force a game seven now after tying the series at 3-3. [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller's[/url] season, and likely his junior career, are over. Kelowna was eliminated tonight after being pasted 6-2 in game six of their series. Keller was scoreless and -2 in the game. He should sign a pro contract with the Lightning this summer.

Omsk/Kazan Game Three

Ak Bars Kazan defeated Avangard Omsk 3-1 today to complete a three game series sweep and capture the Russian Superleague championship. Nikita Alexeev finished the playoffs scoreless and -2 with 2 penalty minutes.
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