Karjala Cup Day Two

Finland's starting goaltender Miika Wiikman was shelled in 40 minutes of play leaving Fredrik Norrena to pick up the pieces in a third period of mop up duty as Finland was steamrolled by the Czech Republic 6-2 today. Norrena gave up 1 goal in relief. Wiikman, you'll recall, is Lightning goaltending prospect Karri Ramo's tandem mate with HPK.

Lightning AHL Affiliation Moving to Orlando?

Here's a simply intriguing story [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBOJ5RDXFE.html]wedged in the middle of Erik Erlendsson's Lightning Notebook in the Trib today.[/url] As reported earlier this week, Bruce Landon is heading to Tampa in December to attempt to hammer out an affiliation with the Lightning through 2010. On the face of it, it seems like a natural fit. However, Erlendsson notes the (worthless, bottom feeding) Florida Panthers have been making noise about moving into a full affiliation in Orlando, former home of the IHL's Solar Bears. The Panthers currently share an affiliation with the Buffalo Sabres' affiliate in Rochester. Jay Feaster cannot allow the Panthers to set up shop in Central Florida thereby cutting into the Lightning's territorial base. So events may conspire that could see the [i]Lightning[/i] set up AHL shop in Orlando. Certainly, that situation would be a boon for Central Florida based fans of the team interested in seeing their young prospects develop. An AHL affiliate within driving distance would be fantastic for the Lightning fan base. On the other hand, one of the reasons that the Lightning and other clubs have balked at putting a team back in Orlando is the increased team travel costs. The AHL is primarily a Northeastern league, and distance is a disadvantage for the Orlando market. And, unfortunately, a decision to move to Orlando would hurt a Springfield market that has already had more than its fair share of being kicked while down. The Lightning's contract with Springfield expires after this year, so we should see the resolution of this situation very soon.

There's Another Name on Top of the QMJHL Scoring Race

As reported last night, Stan Lascek had four assists for Chicoutimi in a 6-0 win over PEI. With the four points, and only a goal and assist from teammate Maxime Boisclair, Lascek pulled into a tie with Boisclair for the QMJHL scoring lead with 49 points in 22 games (17-32-49). Lascek was the game's first star. Speaking of Boisclair, in a recent edition of The Hockey News, Boisclair states that Tampa Bay moved him from his natural wing position to center during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in September where he was trying out for the club, and because of the unfamiliarity with the position, Boisclair was extremely unhappy with his impact in the tournament. Boisclair was not offered a contract by the Lightning, but hopes to attend another NHL camp in the fall.

Lundin, Smaby Notch Assists in NCAA Action Friday

With the exception of Arthur Femenella, all Lightning NCAA prospects were in action Friday night. Femenella's team, the University of Vermont, did indeed play, but Femenella was scratched. Highlighting the night for Baby Bolts was Mike Lundin of Maine, who had an assist in a 9-2 Hockey East win over UMass-Lowell, and Matt Smaby, who had an assist as North Dakota beat WCHL opponent Minnesota Duluth 5-3. Also, P.J. Atherton, though scoreless, had a plus-two rating for Minnesota, who crushed Alaska-Anchorage 9-0. John Wessbecker (UMass), and Dusty Collins (Northern Michigan) both went scoreless i

Silver Lining Three: Tell Me Something Not Depressing

Stan Lascek [url=http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca/lang_en/index.php?page=342374&id_partie=2333&PHPSESSID=079d33dfcd943d9da0b02bbf6aac3932]had 4 assists and was named the game's #1 star tonight for Chicoutimi.[/url] So don't throw yourselves off any bridges just yet.

Game Night 11/11: Titans at Chiefs

And the Chiefs still haven't won a game. TRN-3 JHN-2 (SO) It's good to see Justin Kelly in the lineup and scoring a goal for the Chiefs. He's a player Johnstown definitely needs. It's also good to see Chateau du Bow Wow's penthouse suite occupant, Adam Henrich, get a goal tonight. Still, Morgan Cey's pro debut was ruined in the shootout despite stopping a staggering 26 of 28 shots faced. The good news is with Kelly and Henrich in the lineup along with Greco and Egener already in place, the Chiefs managed 44 shots on goal tonight, perhaps showing signs of turning the corner. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=summary&id=2380]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 11/11: Falcons at Pirates

Ahhhhh, it's like a deep dark soulless pit of despair right now... SPR-1 POR-5 Brian Eklund gets torched for five goals as the Falcons, who were no doubt emotionally shellshocked after last night's collapse against Manchester, got roughly doubled up on shots. Game sheet from [url=http://stats.theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001199]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 11/11: Lightning at Thrashers

OK, OK, is this finally rock bottom? TB-2 ATL-5 I would've preferred Gerald Coleman's debut had come under better circumstances. The Tampa Bay Lightning just blew a two goal lead and allowed themselves to be beaten by an ECHL level goaltender. That's the plain, unvarnished truth. I have no doubt that the word of closed door players only meetings is right around the corner. There needs to be a "come to Jesus" for this team. And it's clear to me that it is no longer Dave Andreychuk and Tim Taylor's ship to fix. They have fulfilled their charge to nurse a bunch of kids into an NHL contender and Stanley Cup champion. Those kids are all grown up, and those kids are the ones who now need to step up and take ownership of what is happening to this team. There are about $15 million dollars being tied up in three players on this team: Lecavalier, St. Louis and Richards. We can talk about the unstable goaltending or the fact Darryl Sydor couldn't defend his way out of a wet paper sack right now, but that ignores the obvious. In all of these games where the Lightning knew going in they had a goaltender with flagging confidence or a wet behind the ears rookie between the pipes they still only managed to score a couple of goals against Atlanta, New York and Montreal. The timely goal scoring has simply not been there. Much of the reason for that is that the Tampa Bay Lightning simply have not made the commitment in moment-of-truth situations in this six game losing streak to make the hard, dirty play. To shoot the puck and crash the net. This team is still looking for answers in tic-tac-toe plays that never work when you're struggling instead of putting on their hard hat, grabbing their lunch pail and doing what it takes to get points in crunch time. It's time to start making that commitment again. It's time to start talking about accountability again. But the one's stepping up in those closed door meetings to talk about accountability need to be the $15M men. It's time to grow up. It's time the torch was passed. It's time that Vincent Lecavalier no longer leads the team in zeros and the end of his check but also he leads vocally in the dark times. And no, I'm not blaming Vinny or saying he's dogging it. Quite the contrary, he's one of the few players on this team playing decent hockey right now. But he can't just sit back anymore while Dave Andreychuk and Tim Taylor do all the heavy lifting in the locker room. Nor can Brad Richards. Nor can Martin St. Louis. This is their time, and if things are going to turn around they need to make this, unequivocally, their team. Right now. By the grace of God, this team plays in such an awful division 2 games under .500 can still find you in second place ahead of Florida. But that won't last forever. It's time to get back to work.

Cey/Henrich Reassigned to Johnstown

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that the Springfield Falcons have reassigned Morgan Cey and Adam Henrich to Johnstown of the ECHL. Cey is expected to make his first professional start this weekend after missing the first month of the season with a groin pull. For Henrich, the demotion is his second wake-up-call trip to the ECHL. Johnstown still seeks its first victory of the season.

Todd Rohloff: One Man MASH Unit

The Springfield Republican [url=http://www.masslive.com/falcons/republican/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1131698513104841.xml&coll=1]reports that Todd Rohloff underwent surgery yesterday to repair his broken nose. [/url]Rohloff's beak straightening comes as his third run in with the injury bug this season. He was already sidelined for much of Lightning camp with back spasms and missed weeks of action after hurting his knee in a spill in the Falcons' opening night victory.
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