NHL Game Night 10/5: Lightning at Thrashers

That was entertaining. TB-3 ATL-2 (SO) I thought the Lightning played their system to a tee tonight with only a couple of blemishes on an otherwise masterful defensive performance. To hold ANY NHL team, much less one with Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa on it, to just 11 shots in 65 minutes of play is amazing. Some of that is due to the Thrashers having a completely watered down roster with little if not nothing at the center position this year, but a lot of it also has to do with an outstanding total team effort from Denis, the defensive corps and hard backchecking from the Lightning's forwards. Game sheet from [url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/boxscore?gid=2006100528]yahoo.com[/url] because the NHL website is still working out the bugs on their new design.

I Don't Know, You Don't Either

It's a little over 3 hours until the puck drops on the 2006-2007 season. Looking around the internet, including this site, it seems the Lightning fan base has divided into two camps. One camp seems to believe the acquisition of Marc Denis will propel the Lightning back into the stratosphere of the Eastern Conference elite. The other camp seems far more pessimistic and tends to believe what much of the national hockey media is spouting about the Lightning falling from playoff contention this season. Both sides seem pretty dug in with their beliefs and both sides have shared a good amount vitriol with their counterparts on the other side. Both sides need to slow down. I don't know. You don't either. I suspect this is the nature of the beast in the new NHL where teams will be remaking at least 1/4 of their roster every offseason due to the relaxed free agency rules and the salary cap. It's impossible to tell how this year's version of the Tampa Bay Lightning will perform, and anyone who tells you they know one way or the other is dilluding themself. Team chemistry is a mysterious thing and, I would argue, not even John Tortorella has a complete idea when, if or how this team will gel with its new additions. With that in mind, here are some of the questions that will begin to be answered tonight in Atlanta:

Wednesday's Superleague Scores

Novosibirsk defeated Khimik 4-3. [url=alexander-polushin]Alex Polushin[/url] did not play for Khimik. Kazan crushed St. Petersburg 8-3. Dimitri Kazionov had 2 goals and an assist for Ak Bars. Anton But was scoreless for SKA. With his three point effort, Kazionov (the elder) now leads all Lightning Russian prospects in scoring. Nizhnekamsk defeated Cherepovets 3-1. Alexei Glukhov was scoreless for Severstal.

CHL Game Night: 10/4

[url=dane-crowley]Dane Crowley[/url] was scoreless and even as Swift Current defeated Kelowna 1-0 in a shootout. [url=vladimir-mihalik]Vladimir Mihalik[/url] was -1 with 2 penalty minutes as Prince George fell to Vancouver 5-4 in a shootout. Prince George also pulled off a key trade in the WHL today acquiring Sharks 2005 1st round pick Devin Setoguchi from the Saskatoon Blades.

Bolt Prospects in the News!

In today's Tampa Tribune, [url=http://www.tbo.com/sports/lightning/MGBE7QC3VSE.html]Erik Erlendsson cites Bolt Prospects[/url] as the source regarding news for goaltender [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius'[/url] shoulder injury. To my knowledge, this is the first time the site has ever been cited as a source by the mainstream media, so today we've taken another important step as a website. And the beauty of it is, we have our community of readers/bloggers to thank for it. Finnish community member Vsala first brought the injury to everyone's attention and member yackacack contributed the link to the Finnish website with information of the story. Then Chad went and got confirmation of the injury from the Lightning and a milestone was made. That's the beauty of a fully interactive blogging community. So, special thanks and kudos to all involved and by all means, keep blogging.

Update on Helenius' Status

Bolt Prospects has learned from the Lightning that Helenius did indeed dislocate his shoulder in warmups against Espoo, but the team won't know more until they get his MRI results from Finland. So, Helenius' injury has been confirmed but the extent and timeframe for his return is still uncertain.

Chiefs Acquire Defenseman's Rights for Cash

[url=http://daytonbombers.com/news.php?action=get_article&aid=00000000737]The Dayton Bombers announced[/url] they have traded veteran defenseman Bryan Nathe to the Johnstown Chiefs for cash. Nathe is entering his third pro season after spending his first two with Dayton. His career year came last season when he had 2 goals and 17 points in 72 games. He split his junior career between Northeastern University and Brandon and Everett of the WHL. In 2003-2004 the Minnesota native had 4 goals and 23 points in 72 games for Everett to go with 82 penalty minutes.

Bolt Prospects 2006-2007 Preliminary Rankings

The Bolt Prospects staff has completed it's evaluation of the Lightning organization's prospects. The rankings take into account how the players performed last season, their Lightning prospect and Traverse City play, how well they did at Lightning training camp and in exhibition games, as well as their performance at Springfield Falcons camp and in AHL exhibition games. We also factor in a player's potential upside as well as their NHL readiness in reaching our decisions. One note: due to his age, [url=morgan-cey]Morgan Cey[/url] is now classified as an "Overage Prospect" by Bolt Prospects criteria and is not elligible for the Top-25 Rankings. Any player 24 years of age or older on opening night, October 5th, 2006, who has not already graduated as an NHLer is an "Overage Prospect". For skaters, graduation occurs when a player either A.) plays 41 NHL games in a single season or B.) reaches 82 NHL games in their career. With [url=johan-holmqvist]Johan Holmqvist[/url] as the Lightning's backup entering the season, Bolt Prospects is establishing graduation criteria for goaltenders for the first time. For goaltenders, graduation occurs when a player either A.) has 30 decisions in a single season or B.) reaches 41 decisions in their NHL career.

Tuesday's Superleague Scores

Goaltender [url=vasily-koshechkin]Vasily Koshechkin's[/url] record moved to 4-2-2 today in a 3-3 tie with Ufa. Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Yaroslavl's 5-3 win over Chekhov. Tver defeated Dynamo 4-2. Both Albert Vishnyakov and [url=denis-kazionov]Denis Kazionov[/url] were scoreless for their respective clubs.

Preliminary Rankings Coming Soon

Just to update our readers: The Bolt Prospects staff are currently in the process of completing our 2006-2007 Preliminary Rankings for the team and we expect to have all lists in and votes counted by the end of the weekend. The list will include new prospects from the 2006 NHL Entry Draft for the first time in our rankings. In the meantime, [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/prospects]we have updated our prospects page[/url] to reflect the assignments of all our prospects organization-wide to start the year. Thanks for your all your patience.
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