Bolt Prospects would like to announce the release of its 2006-2007 Midterm Rankings for prospects in the Lightning organization. There have been multiple changes since the Preliminary Rankings we released in October, most notably a new top prospect in the organization, AHL All-Star Karri Ramo, and the graduation of top ten prospect Nick Tarnasky who played his 41st NHL game of the season just this past weekend. Multiple prospects also managed to crack the rankings for the first time by virtue of their play so far this season.
Just a quick reminder on how we differentiate between "alumni", "prospect" and "overage prospect". Any player who plays 41 games or more at the NHL level in any single season or 82 or more total career NHL games will be considered graduated and will be moved to the "Bolt Prospects Alumni" section of the prospects page. With Tarnasky's full-time promotion to the NHL and prior graduations by Doug Janik and Eric Perrin, the alumni list has now grown to six players over the span of the past year and a half since we first put up the prospects page and profile content. Any player under the age of 24 on opening night of the 2006-2007 season who hasn't met the criteria for graduation is considered a "prospect" and is elligible for our rankings. Any player 24 or older who has not yet met the criteria for graduation is considered an "overage prospect" and is not elligible to make the list. In addition, with Johan Holmqvist on track for graduation this season, we've adopted new, but similar, rules for goaltenders whereby graduation will occur upon the 30th decision of any single NHL season or the 41st career NHL decision. For anyone wondering, Holmqvist has already earned 23 decisions this season (with a 14-9-0 record).
With all the legal disclaimers out of the way, here are the 2006-2007 Bolt Prospects Midterm Rankings which can also be found on our prospects page.
Vladimir Mihalik finally returned to the Prince George lineup and helped the Cougars to a 3-2 win over Kelowna Tuesday night. Mihalik was plus-1 for the game with two penalty minutes.
Also, while Dane Crowley and Everett were not in action Tuesday, Crowley is in the news in Washington as the Silvertips are counting on his addition to help them to a Memorial Cup appearance. Two articles on Crowley were released recently:
That one hurts.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 27 shots faced in the loss. Lightning goals came from Vincent Lecavalier and Dan Boyle with individual assists belonging to Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards.
The team deserved better. They absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of the game but Andrew Raycroft stood on his head and although they were running out of steam on the tail end of the back to back in the third period, they looked to have at least a point in hand before the lucky play that saw a scuffed shot by Stajan become an easy game winning goal.
Tampa Bay 14:52, Vincent Lecavalier 29 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich)
Toronto 2:18, Nik Antropov 6 (Alexei Ponikarovsky, Chad Kilger)
Tampa Bay 17:33, Dan Boyle 11 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Toronto 19:53, Johnny Pohl 7 (Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 15:39, Alexander Steen 10 (power play) (Matthew Stajan, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 19:05, Alexei Ponikarovsky 12 (empty net) (Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Tver's 3-2 win over Nizhnekamsk.
Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Yaroslavl's 4-2 loss to Ufa.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in Cherepovets' 1-1 tie with CSKA.
Vasily Koshechkin threw his 2nd consecutive shutout, and 4th of the season, in helping Togliatti defeat 4th place Novosibirsk 2-0. Koshechkin is now 14-10-3 on the season.
Anton But had a goal in SKA's 5-3 loss to Khimik.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play as Dynamo was shutout by Magnitogorsk 1-0.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 1-1 tie with Chelyabinsk.
Andreas Holmqvist assisted on his club's only goal as Linkopings fell to Skelleftea 3-1. Holmqvist's pairing was moved up to top pairing minutes in the game, the first time that has occured in over a month, and Holmqvist now has 5 goals and 18 points in 37 games.
Karri Ramo started the game and was in net until the 9:50 mark of the second period when he gave way to Jonathan Boutin for the final 10:10 of the period before returning for the third period. Boutin ended up taking the loss allowing a pair of power play goals on 3 shots. Ramo stopped 16 of 18 shots faced in his portion of the game. No word on if Ramo suffered any minor injury as of yet. Randy Rowe and David Spina had the Falcons' goals with assists going to Dan Cavanaugh, Mitch Fritz, Eric Healey and Daniel Corso. The Falcons did manage to outshoot Manchester 33-25 in the game buy allowed the Monarchs to go 3-for-5 on the power play giving up 3 PP goals in the span of 5 minutes in the second period to lose the game.
The Falcons drop to 1 game under .500 and are now in last place in the Atlantic Division. That's the bad news. The good news is they're only 2 points out of 4th place which represents the final playoff spot, so if Norm Milley and/or Justin Keller can get back in the lineup posthaste and the Falcons can find a way out of this tailspin, they're not sunk yet.
MCH Zeiler, (11) (Moulson), 15:25
SPR Rowe, (2) (Cavanaugh, Fritz), 17:36
SPR Spina, (5) (Healey, Corso), 7:37 (PP)
MCH Stephenson, (3) (Ryan, Hoffman), 9:50 (PP)
MCH O'Sullivan, (15) (Schmidt, Kemp), 11:28 (PP)
MCH Moulson, (9) (Werner, Clarke), 15:11 (PP)
MCH Gauthier, (8) , 18:48 (EN)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
It was a difficult week in the Lightning prospect system, but at least one player managed to shine through...
15 shots on goal?
Morgan Cey stopped 24 of 26 shots faced in the loss. Andrew Martens scored the lone Chiefs goal on the power play with assists from Zbynek Hrdel and Eric Przepiorka. The Chiefs were outshot 26-15 in the game as the Lightning minor league system continues to suffer from an organization-wide offensive power outage.
WHE Guenther, (18) , 11:25 (PP)
JHN Martens, (2) (Hrdel, Przepiorka), 17:10 (PP)
WHE Colwill, (5) (Sonnenberg, Foster), 14:48
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Happy Birthday Junior.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 33 of 36 shots faced for the win. Vaclav Prospal led the way for the Lightning with 1 goal and 2 assists while Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 1 assist. Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Perrin and Nolan Pratt each added individual helpers.
With the win the Lightning pull to 3 games over .500 and extend their winning streak to 5 games. They have temporarily solidified their hold on a playoff spot and, moreover, have moved within single digits at 8 points behind Atlanta for the division lead. Two words: road warriors.
NY Islanders 3:38, Alexei Yashin 13 (power play) (Chris Simon, Chris Campoli)
Tampa Bay 6:55, Vaclav Prospal 7 (power play) (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 9:21, Brad Richards 16 (power play) (Eric Perrin, Vaclav Prospal)
Tampa Bay 15:37, Martin St. Louis 29 (Vincent Lecavalier, Nolan Pratt)
NY Islanders 1:10, Viktor Kozlov 16 (power play) (Mike Sillinger, Jason Blake)
Tampa Bay 7:13, Vincent Lecavalier 28 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)
NY Islanders 10:40, Trent Hunter 9 (Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt)
Game sheet from NHL.com.