In an interview for the Springfield Falcons' website, FalconsAHL.com, Springfield Head Coach Steve Stirling has announced that forward Justin Keller will return this weekend after missing over a month with a high ankle sprain. Before his injury, Keller had been playing well on a line with fellow Lightning prospects Blair Jones and Marek Kvapil and the young left winger's return could offer a shot in the arm to the team's anemic offensive attack. In 29 game this season Keller has 9 goals and 17 points with 10 penalty minutes and a -7 rating.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports:
First the tradeâ€¦
Lightning have traded Andy Delmore and Andre Deveaux to Atlanta in exchange for Stephen Baby and Kyle Wanvig. All four players will remain in the minors for now, Delmore and Deveaux to Chicago while Baby and Wanvig will be assigned to Springfield.
Of note, apparently Delmore may more than likely stay in the minors as Philadelphia is ready to swipe him off waivers if he is put on recall, so there is a good chance that Delmore wonâ€™t come back to bite the Lightning as a member of the Thrashers this season.
Dane Crowley continued his point-per-game pace since being traded to Everett when he earned an assist in the Silvertips' 4-1 win over Tri-City Wednesday night. Crowley now has 8 points in 8 games with Everett. He was plus-2 Wednesday night, which raises his plus/minus ranking with the 'Tips to plus-14. Everett, who won their 40th game last night, remained the CHL's No.1 ranked team in the rankings released Wednesday. They have been in the top-10 for all 18 weeks of the season.
Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and minus-1 as Prince George won again on the road, beating Seattle 3-2 in overtime.
In the OHL, the All-Star Game was held Wednesday night and East beat West 13-9. No Lightning prospects were involved in the game. Hunter Tremblay, an undrafted fifth-year player for Barrie, was named player of the game for scoring 3 goals and 2 assists.
There was a comment left a few weeks back in comments regarding the whereabouts of defenseman Jan Zapletal who seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth after spending most of last season with the Vsetin organization in the Czech Republic. Well, Zapletal is playing in the Czech 2.liga (third tier) for VSKA Technika Brno where he has 1 goal and 4 points in 19 games with 28 penalty minutes and an even rating.
Defenseman Marek Posmyk, whom you might remember was acquired along with Mike Johnson in the Darcy Tucker trade many moons ago, is still playing in the Extraliaga for Ceske Budejovice (now going by the name HC Mountfield) where he has 8 goals and 12 points in 36 games with 67 penalty minutes and a -10 rating. Incidentally, looking through the Extraliga leading scorers, I can't believe Robert Reichel is still alive and playing hockey.
In Switzerland, forward Eero Somervuori is still making bank for Ambri-Piotta of the NLA where he is third on his team in scoring behind former Falcons star J.G. Trudel and former Thrasher Hnat Domenechelli. In 40 games Somervuori has 13 goals and 30 points with 16 penalty minutes.
Oh by the way, Sascha Goc is leading his team in scoring in the German DEL. In 30 games with the Hannover Scorpions the oldest of the Goc boys has 16 goals and 38 points with 87 penalty minutes and a +6 rating. I'm half expecting an e-mail from the shadowy Mr. X telling us we might want to put Goc back up on the prospects page too.
RussianProspects.com is reporting Lightning prospects Anton But and Vasily Koshechkin have been named to the Russian roster for the upcoming LG Games. The LG Games are the Swedish leg of the annual Euro Tour which features national teams comprised of the best club team players from Europe. The games will run from February 8th to February 11th.
Vladimir Mihalik had a career high 3-point game as Prince George defeated the Winter Hawks 6-2 in Portland Tuesday night. Mihalik had three assists on the night - all at even strength - and finished plus-3. He was also named the game's third star. After returning from World Juniors, Mihalik finished the month of January with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in 6 games. He was also plus-5 for the month.
All hail King Holmer.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 29 of 32 shots faced in overtime and regulation before stopping 2 of 2 in the shootout to remain a perfect 15 for 15 in the shootout this season. A bit of a softie on the Richardson goal tonight, but Holmqvist made up for it on several stops tonight. This was not necessarily a game the Lightning deserved to win, but as road warriors they've been finding ways to grind out two points out of these games lately. The win is the Lightning's sixth straight road win which is a new team record.
Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each had a goal and an assist to lead the Lightning offensively. Ruslan Fedotenko had the other Lightning goal (and played great tonight) and Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle, Andreas Karlsson, Paul Ranger and Filip Kuba added individual helpers. Lecavalier and Brad Richards (who also played great tonight) had the Lightning's shootout talleys.
For anyone wondering, Blair Jones played just 4 shifts tonight for 2:36 of ice time. He had 1 blocked shot and was 2-for-2 on faceoffs. His last three shifts he must've been in stealth mode, because his first period shift was the only time I saw him all night.
The win, coupled with a Carolina loss against Toronto tonight, moves the Lightning within 2 points of second place in the Southeast Division with a game in hand and the Hurricanes on the slate for Thursday night. The team also maintains pace with Atlanta 10 points back of the division lead with 1 game in hand on the Thrashers and 2 head-to-head matchups remaining on the schedule. The Lightning can almost certainly make a run at this, especially with the bottomfeeding Panthers on the schedule 5 more times.
Tampa Bay 6:32, Martin St. Louis 31 (power play) (Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle)
Philadelphia 7:23, Mike Richards 2 (shorthanded) (Alexei Zhitnik, Joni Pitkanen)
Philadelphia 18:49, Jeff Carter 7 (shorthanded) (Simon Gagne, Denis Gauthier)
Tampa Bay 19:24, Ruslan Fedotenko 11 (power play) (Andreas Karlsson, Paul Ranger)
Philadelphia 3:13, Peter Forsberg 9 (Joni Pitkanen)
Tampa Bay 12:06, Vincent Lecavalier 31 (Filip Kuba, Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay: Lecavalier, Richards
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Tver's 5-2 loss to Omsk.
Alexei Glukhov stayed hot offensively with an assist in Cherepovets' 4-3 win over Kazan. Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Ak Bars.
Evgeny Artyukhin did not play in Yaroslavl's 3-1 win over Salavat Yulayev.
Vasily Koshechkin got the day off as Mike Fountain and Togliatti shut out Khabarovsk 2-0.
Anton But had 1 goal and 1 assist in SKA's crushing 7-3 victory over Novokuznetsk.
Albert Visnyakov was scoreless in Dynamo's 2-0 win over Chelyabinsk.
Hartford Wolf Pack forward Ryan Callahan scored the game winning goal with under 4 seconds left in regulation tonight to lift the PlanetUSA All-Stars to a 7-6 win over the Canadian All-Stars at the AHL All-Star Game. Lightning goaltender Karri Ramo played in the second period for the PlanetUSA Team stopping 9 of 12 shots faced. Callahan's goal came just after a mildly controversial no call by the referees after PlanetUSA netminder Marek Schwarz clearly handled the puck below the goal line outside of the trapezoid. Hershey forward Thomas Fleischmann subsequently guided his team down on a 2-on-1 and shot the puck, leaving Callahan a juicy rebound for the winning marker.
According to the press release, Jones, 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, has played in 45 games for the Falcons this season. He has scored five goals and recorded 21 points. He played in two games with the Lightning during the 2006 preseason and logged nearly 10 minutes of ice time in each game while landing two hits, recording one takeaway and blocking three shots.
He has already played six games with the Lightning this season. He appeared in his first NHL game November 20 at Buffalo and logged nearly 10 minutes of ice time. He recorded his first career point with an assist on the game winner on November 22 at Florida. He has two assists this season with Tampa Bay.