It'll all be worth it when Steve Stamkos is a Bolt.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 23 shots for the loss.
Matt Smaby was even in 9:13 with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. Again, I thought he had a good first period in which he made a made a really nice block on a point shot and a really strong hit along the boards. In the second period his group got hemmed in a lot and although he wasn't terrible there were times he was floating a bit down low defensively. At one point, his pairing partner Mike Lundin had to bail him out. The general reviews were fair. The speed at the NHL level doesn't seem to be scaring him as much this go round, and he seems to be moving the puck crisply and efficiently. And, yes, he's still occassionally laying the wood to people which is the special characteristic that really stands him out from the crowd, in my opinion. This is a big audition for Smaby right now. With Alex Picard playing so well, it could make someone like Brad Lukowich or even Filip Kuba expendable if Smaby can step up and show he's ready to be the #7 defenseman in Tampa next year. Those millions could potentially be better spent on some second line scoring help. The key is going to be if Smaby improves in the coming games and if he can get his ice time to increase. The opportunity is there with Paul Ranger banged up. He needs to step up and close the sale.
A monumental come from behind victory in the Steve Stamkos sweepstakes.
Karri Ramo allowed 6 goals on 31 shots for the loss. When you're staked a three goal lead coming into the third period, you have to get the W. I don't care how bad the team plays in front of you. Ramo had to make it stand up, and he failed miserably. That's probably only the fourth bad start he's had this year.
Matt Smaby was -1 in 12:11 with 4 hits, including one particularly vicious hit standing up and dropping Patrick Kaleta on the rush. Like the rest of the team, I thought he played a pretty good first 40 minutes. But he didn't see much ice in the third. He did tie Vincent Lecavalier for the team high in hits with 4 though in his limited ice time, so there's something to build on.
Just like last season, the Baby B's own the Lightning's farm team.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 7 goals on 33 shots in the loss. Marc Denis stopped 6 of 6 shots in relief.
PRO Bitz, (9) (Sigalet, Karsums), 3:03 (PP)
PRO Hoggan, (28) , 16:29 (PEN/SH)
PRO Thompson, (16) , 0:45 (SH)
PRO Collins, (18) (Hendricks), 12:45
PRO LoVecchio, (2) (Thompson, Curry), 18:34 (SH)
PRO Hendricks, (20) (Hoggan), 11:09
PRO Collins, (19) (Sigalet, Hendricks), 11:21
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Western Hockey League announced the 2007-08 WHL Eastern Conference First and Second All-Star Teams and Lightning draft pick and Lethbridge Hurricane Mitch Fadden was named a Second Team All-Star. Fadden was not a finalist for an award.
The center was named team co-MVP with Ben Wright this week.
Fadden, a 2007 fourth round pick of the Lightning, had 34 goals and 55 assists for 89 points in 72 games this season for the Hurricanes.
While both the Prince George Citizen and Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News are reporting 2007 Lightning second rounder Dana Tyrell will join the AHL's Norfolk Admirals for the remainder of the season, Lighting General Manager Jay Feaster told BoltProspects an amateur tryout agreement is still being discussed between the NHL club and Tyrell's agent.
Feaster said the club will also attempt to negotiate a professional deal with Tyrell before next season. The ownership situation with the big club continues to make signings "tricky," however.
Tyrell finished the year with 25 goals and 40 assists for 65 points with the WHL's Prince George Cougars. The Cougars did not qualify for the playoffs.
In other Admirals news, the club has signed left wing Andy Contois to a professional tryout contract.
Contois, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound left wing from Marquette, Michigan, was an ECHL All-Star this season, winning the eventâ€™s fastest skater competition and scoring one goal and one assist in the All-Star Game.
CHL, BCHL, and USHL stats for Lightning prospects as of March 16, 2008.
Key (Skaters): Games Played, Goals-Assists-Points, Plus/Minus, Penalties in Minutes.
Key (Goalies): Wins-Losses-Overtime Losses-Shootout Losses, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, Shutouts.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 3 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, -2, 5 PIM (plus match penalty), 0 shots on goal
After dropping their last two regular season games in Cape Breton, Lewiston (37-26-5-2), the Eastern Division's fifth seed, will open the playoffs this week in the same arena against the fourth seeded Screaming Eagles.
Update: Ward has been suspended by the QMJHL for one game "after he spit in the direction of an opponent during last Sundayâ€™s game versus the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles."
(6) Everett will play (3) Spokane in the first round.
(4) Seattle will host (5) Kelowna in the first round.
Prince George Cougars 4 @ Kamloops Blazers 2
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM (roughing)
Tyrell and PG's tough season mercifully ends, but on a high note with a win.
Edmonton Oil Kings 1 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 4
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
(3) Lethbridge will face (6) Brandon in the first round.
*Final regular season stat update coming soon.
BCHL Coastal Conference Semifinals
Game 6: No.2 Langley Chiefs 3 @ No.5 Victoria Grizzlies 2 (OT)
Chiefs win Best of 7 series 4-2
W Justin Courtnall, VIC:
Game: 0-1-1, 0 PIM
Series: 6 GP, 1-2-3, 8 PIM
Playoffs: 11 GP, 3-2-5, 12 PIM
Langley wins four straight to end Victoria and Justin Courtnallâ€™s season.