We can dissect this thing in comments, but I just want to throw these rankings out as Exhibit A as to why we do things the way we do here at Bolt Prospects. Hockey's Future has a habit of releasing their first rankings either before or during teams' training camps and preseason games and their final rankings before the hockey season finishes. We do the opposite (and do a midseason set of rankings) and the reason we do it should be pretty clear.
For instance, they have Mike Lundin at 14. Now it appears Lundin might have a 50/50 or better shot of making the Lightning's opening night roster. How is that going to reflect on HF's rankings if they have Lundin at 14 when he's in the NHL? That's why we do our rankings in early October after camp and the preseason is over.
It only takes a couple of good weeks of camp, a couple of good preseason games, and one or two injuries for a middle of the pack prospect to dramatically improve their stock and radically alter the landscape of a team's system. And it happens all the time in the NHL.
That is very well what Lundin may be doing right now, and why we're going to wait to see how this plays out before passing any judgements. It's fair. It's prudent. It's the right thing to do. We wish HF's upper management would adopt the same policy. It would improve the quality of their product.
Erik Erlendsson has the lineup for tonight's game against Detroit.
At first blush, it looks like Karri Ramo is going to get the start tonight in net. Count me as in favor of Ramo having about a 34 save shutout tonight and really putting the Lightning brass under the gun. A little controversy is healthy.
More importantly though, Torts is going with seven defensemen and it looks to me like these might be the seven he is currently thinking of keeping in Tampa while Dan Boyle recovers from wrist surgery. Doug Janik and Bryce Lampman will be the #5 and #6 defensemen tonight while Mike Lundin will be the #7. Is this a signal that Matt Smaby is on the outside looking in?
On Sunday at the Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex in Chesapeake, Radek Smolenak scored the game-tying and go-ahead goals to propel Team White past Team Blue 6-4 in the Admiralsâ€™ annual Blue vs. White intra-squad scrimmage game.
Boxscore (Team, Period/Time, Scorer, Assists):
1. BLUE 1/5:38 Rob Klinkhammer (Unassisted)
2. WHITE 1/9:40 Stan Lascek (Unassisted)
3. WHITE 1/10:14 Matt Radoslovich (Lance Monych, Vladimir Mihalik)
4. BLUE 1/11:50 Mike Falk (Rob Klinkhammer)
5. BLUE 2/6:21 Dana Tyrell (Mathieu Melanson)
6. WHITE 2/9:59 Radek Smolenak (Daine Todd, Vladimir Mihalik) (Power Play)
7. WHITE 2/13:20 Radek Smolenak (Marek Kvapil, Jay Holladay)
8. WHITE 3/7:58 Justin Keller (Brandon Elliott)
9. BLUE 3/16:24 Dana Tyrell (Unassisted) (Shorthanded)
10. WHITE 3/19:17 Justin Keller (Justin Taylor)
Penalties, goaltender stats, Norfolk cuts and scrimmage stats from the week on the flip.
Seattle Thunderbirds 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 3 (OT)
G Riku Helenius, SEA: OTL, 24 saves on 27 shots
Game Notes: Heleniusâ€™s first regular season game in North America was looking strong as he had a shutout through the first half of the game, but the T-Birds couldnâ€™t hold a 2-0 lead and fell in overtime, 3-2 in Kamloops. Helenius is wearing No. 30 for Seattle.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 4
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Game Notes: With his secondary assist, Fadden helped Lethbridge to an early 2-1 lead but the Hurricanes couldnâ€™t hang on and dropped the second of a home-and-home series with the Tigers. The Hurricanes won on Friday. Fadden has a goal and an assist in two games this year.
Son of a gun. Dan Boyle had a freak accident involving a skate falling out of his locker after tonight's preseason game against the Capitals. According to Erik Erlendsson's blog the blade of the skate caught Boyle's wrist, which will now require surgery.
The good news is that Vincent Lecavalier's undisclosed injury is evidently not serious.
The Lightning's first round of cuts have been posted on tampabaylightning.com. All have been assigned to Norfolk.
The battle for the last defensive spot goes down to Smaby, Lundin, Bryce Lampman, and Doug Janik.
A 20-19 shot barn burner. Yes, that's sarcasm.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 18 of 20 in the loss.
First, Vincent Lecavalier left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. Cuts and third pairing defensive jobs and fourth liners aside, the obvious priority for the Lightning in this preseason is to make sure Lecavalier, Richards, St. Louis, and Boyle get out of it healthy. Hopefully the Lightning were just being extra cautious in shutting down #4 for the evening.
Martin St. Louis had the Lightning's goal shorthanded off assists from Lecavalier and Boyle.
Big winner of the night: Doug Janik. Of all the Lightning d-men battling for the last two defensive spots he got the most ice time at 16:24 with 2 shots and 3 blocked shots. He, Lecavalier, and St. Louis were also the only Lightning players to be plus players for the night.
Big loser: Dan Jancevski. 7 shifts. 5:20 of ice time. Looks from the outside like he might be the one shuffling off to Norfolk tonight and Bryce Lampman could possibly survive the first wave.
Matt Smaby got 12:54 of ice time and was even with a blocked shot and 2 penalty minutes.
With Lecavalier, Gratton, and Craig all nicked, Craig MacDonald looks like he might stick around a bit.
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4 @ Victoria Grizzlies 5
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 2 PIM
Game Notes: Justin Courtnall registered the secondary assist on Victoriaâ€™s game winning goal late in the third period to give the Grizzlies their first victory of the year, 5-4 over Alberni Valley. Victoria blew a 4-2 third period lead before winning late. Courtnall has one goal and two assists in four games so far this season for the 1-1-1-1 Grizzlies.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 2 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 8 (9.16.07)
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM, 3 SOG
Game Notes: Ward notched his first two points of the year, albeit in a typical QMJHL blowout, with two primary assists, including one on the power play. Impressively, Ward was also plus-1. Ward has two points in four games this year.
Evgeny Artyukhin scored a goal today in Omsk's 6-2 win over Khabarovsk.
Albert Vishnyakov was scoreless in Spartak's 2-1 loss to Chekhov.
Alexei Glukhov recorded an assist and 2 penalty minutes in Cherepovets' 2-1 loss to Ufa.
Lightning Russian Prospect Statistics Through 9/22/07
Alexei Glukhov (Cherepovets), 8 GP, 1-6-7, 8 PIM, +1
Dimitri Kazionov (Kazan), 8 GP, 3-3-6, 2 PIM, -1
Anton But (St. Petersburg), 8 GP, 2-2-4, 8 PIM, +5
Evgeny Artyukhin (Omsk), 8 GP, 1-2-3, 14 PIM, +2
Albert Vishnyakov (Spartak), 8 GP, 2-0-2, 14 PIM, -3
Denis Kazionov (Novokuznetsk), 8 GP, 0-0-0, 8 PIM, -2
Vasily Koshechkin (Kazan), 6 GP, 3-3-0, 0 SO, 2.54 GAA
Just to reiterate what I posted earlier this summer, I hate having to post about the business side of hockey. I don't enjoy it. I find it unnecessarily sordid compared to the integrity and purity of the sport itself.
However, Lightning fans might want to know that according to Erik Erlendsson's blog the Absolute Hockey group which is attempting to buy the Lightning added local attorney Steve Burton of Tampa as a general partner today. Burton is the Managing Partner of the law firm Broad and Cassel's Tampa office.