Game Night 2/11: Lightning at Bruins

First one to six wins... TB-6 BOS-5 John Grahame stopped 21 out of 26 in his last start before joining Team USA at the Olympics. The Lightning have now cut Carolina's division lead to 12 points with the Hurricanes playing one more game tomorrow before the Olympic break. Vaclav Prospal had 2 goals including the game winner while Dimitry Afanasenkov had a flashback to his days in the QMJHL and had a pair of markers of his own. Among Lightning rookies, Ryan Craig had a goal and an assist while Paul Ranger chipped in a helper of his own. Craig played 19:47 and was +2 with 4 shots on goal. Paul Ranger was +3 in 13:35 with 1 shot on goal. Evgeny Artyukhin played 12:03 with 3 shots on goal. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020852.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Ramo/Rask III

In the rubber match of young Finns today it was Tuukka Rask who bested Karri Ramo in the shootout as Ilves defeated HPK 2-1. Ramo stopped 25 of 26 shots faced before falling in penalty shots. He was named third star of the game by the media and was again voted best player in the match in fan voting. Ramo's record is now 8-7-4 this season.

Game Night 2/10: Storm at Chiefs

Big big win as the Chiefs strive to climb the ladder in the division. TOL-3 JHN-5 Morgan Cey stopped 33 of 36 shots faced for the win. 1G 1A nights for Dimitri Tarabrin, Steve Cygan, Justin Kelly and Adam Henrich. 2A nights for Brad Thompson and Joe Tallari. Brandon Elliot also scored a goal for the Chiefs. With the victory the Chiefs are now 20-17-10 and have lept over Toledo into 3rd place by one point. That's the good news. The bad news is that Toledo has 7 games in hand, so the Chiefs will have to remain red hot and do a considerable amount of scoreboard watching if they're to maintain their newfound position. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=summary&id=2838]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 2/10: Falcons at N.Admirals

You've got to give Boutin more support than that. SPR-2 NOR-5 Jonathan Boutin played better than the final score indicated stopping 37 of 41 shots faced before Norfolk added an empty net tally. Among the four goals Boutin allowed was a penalty shot goal by Quintin Laing who was obstructed by Gerard Dicaire on a shorthanded breakaway. The frightening thing is that the Falcons only two goals came from newcomer Zdenek Blatny. The Falcons' big guns, Jason Jaspers and Ryan Vesce, were limited to just one shot on goal between them. Chris Dingman, Gerard Dicaire and Doug O'Brien had helpers in the contest. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001712]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 2/9: Hurricanes at Lightning

Tonight, we're still the class of the Southeast Division. CAR-3 TB-5 John Grahame stopped 28 of 28 faced in relief for the win. Fredrik Modin led the Lightning attack with 2 goals. Rookie Evgeny Artyukhin opened the scoring for the Lightning on a long slapshot on the rush that found Martin Gerber's five hole. Paul Ranger had 2 assists. The Lightning pull to within 14 points of the Hurricanes in the division. Ryan Craig played 16:55 and was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits. Ranger was +3 in 14:33 with no shots. Artyukhin was +1 in 13:09 with 2 shots on goal and 3 hits. Norm Milley forms the rear with 2 minutes even and no shots. Game sheet at [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020837.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

THN Lightning Top-10: Who Wasn't Even Considered

I finally was told who the top-10 Lightning prospects were in The Hockey News' Future Watch issue. As I explained in my previous entry, whoever made the list several top prospects didn't. And, as a consequence, those players were not even considered by THN's mysterious panel which saw it fit to (erroneously) name the Lightning the worst prospect system in the league. Again, to reiterate, THN's evaluators only look at the top ten prospects in an organization thereby ignoring whatever depth an organization might have from being considered in the final grade. And [i]that[/i] faulty methodology is one reason I take so much issue with the decision to give the organization a D+.

Assat Crushes HPK

HPK fell 5-3 today to Pori Assat. Lightning goaltending prospect Karri Ramo stopped just 21 of 25 shots faced. Assat added an empty net goal in garbage time. The young goaltender's record falls to 8-7-3 this year.

Holmqvist to Participate in Tre Kronor

Andreas Holmqvist has been selected to play for Team Sweden in the Tre Kronor tournament. Similar to the Euro Tour tournaments, the Tre Kronor is a two game exhibition set pitting Sweden against the best European club players from Slovakia and Switzerland. The tournament begins today with Sweden taking on Slovkia and conlcudes February 12th as the Swedes travel to Lugano to play the Swiss.

Game Night 2/8: River Rats at Falcons

Man, we was low. ALB-5 SPR-2 Jonathan Boutin had his first rough start in the AHL stopping just 24 of 29. Andre Deveaux and Chris Dingman had the Falcons goals. Dennis Packard and Doug O'Brien contributed assists. Zdenik Blatny did not play for Springfield. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001703]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Eklund Traded to Boston

According to a Springfield Falcons press release, the Tampa Bay Lightning, after deciding that both Jonathan Boutin and Gerald Coleman have passed Brian Eklund on the goaltender depth chart, have traded Eklund to the Boston Bruins in his home state of Massachusetts. In return, the Lightning pick up former Atlanta third-rounder, winger Zdenek Blatny. Blatny is in his fifth season of professional hockey and has spent time with both the Providence and Boston Bruins this season. In 35 games with Providence this season, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of Brno, Czech Republic, has recorded eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points. Blatny is currently ranked fifth on Providence in scoring this season and also ranked fifth on the team in plus/minus with a +6 rating.
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