Commentary: Hockey's Future = Hacks

By now you might've seen the laughable hack job committed by Hockey's Future on the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospect system in their [url=http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=8041&mode=threaded&order=0]Fall Organizational Rankings.[/url] As if trying to outdo their previous display of shear ignorance, HF has moved the Lightning down from 29th to 30th despite the fact the Lightning organization's prospects, which they largely ignore, are performing better this year than at any time since the goldmine year of 1999-2000 when Brad Richards, Dimitry Afanasenkov and Sheldon Keefe were in their last year of junior. What I find extremely laughable is that an organization that hasn't published an article on the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospects in over [b]two months[/b], and which still hasn't updated their top-20 prospects for the Lightning because they lack anyone competent enough to do the job, actually has the chutzpah to claim any legitimacy in their critique. This is a group which [b]does not even have a writer[/b] for the Lightning at the moment. How can they be so irresponsible as to publish organizational rankings like this when they have so clearly [b]ignored[/b] the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past year?

Game Night 10/28: Titans at Chiefs

Still winless, but getting closer. TRN-3 JHN-2 (SO) Jonathan Boutin stopped 37 of 39 in regulation and overtime before taking the shootout loss. Brady Greco with his second goal in as many games. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=summary&id=2317]ECHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 10/28: Lock Monsters at Falcons

[i]Oh no, we suck again.[/i] LOW-7 SPR-3 Brian Eklund straffed with 46 shots on net and a penalty shot to boot. Unfortunately Todd Rohloff didn't return in this game, although at this stage I'm not sure how much of a difference he alone can make. The Falcons were outshot 46 to 29 in this game, which is far to reminiscent of many a performance last season. The struggles then were a consequence of inexperience. Now? It's probably no coincidence the level of play dropped off in Springfield from opening night when Paul Ranger left the team. And it's also no surprise it fell completely off the table without Artyukhin. Springfield lost, arguably, 2 of their 3 best skaters from opening night and it shows. I hope Jay Feaster makes some sort of decision regarding the checking liners soon for Springfield's sake. Lone silver lining in the game: Marek Kvapil got his first two pro points. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001125]TheAHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 10/28: Capitals at Lightning

If you don't give up breakaways on the old man, Burke will make saves for you. WSH-2 TB-4 11:30 of ice time and a +2 for Paul Ranger with 2 blocked shots. Artyukhin and Tarnasky were effective with some ice time early in the first, but rode the pine most of the game. 3:28 with 1 hit for Artyukhin. 3:08 and a -1 for Tarnasky. Considering how badly the Falcons got pasted tonight and the salary cap space that is evaporating day by day, I hope Feaster makes a decision soon on Artyukhin, Tarnasky, Dingman and Cibak. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020155.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Koshechkin Throws Fourth Shutout in Six Games

It's beginning to reach the point of being ridiculous. For the fourth time in his last six starts Vasily Koshechkin pitched a shutout today defeating Chekhov 1-0. The victory moves Koshechkin to 5-1 since assuming the starting job in Togliatti. In those six starts, Koshechkin has only allowed 5 goals. Koshechkin now leads the Russian Superleague in both save percentage and GAA. In addition, Albert Vishnyakov made a speedy recovery from his automobile accident, scoring a goal in today's 4-1 Dynamo victory over Novosibirsk. Finally, Nikita Alexeev returned to the lineup today for Omsk and scored a goal in Avangard's 3-2 victory over CSKA.

Holmqvist Scores in Linkopings Victory

Defenseman Andreas Holmqvist scored a second period goal today as Linkopings defeated Mora IK 3-1. Through 14 games Holmqvist has 2 goals and 5 points with a +6 rating. Goaltender Fredrik Norrena took the game off as Linkopings started backup Jonas Fransson.

Game Night 10/26: Storm at Chiefs

Chiefs fall in OT. TOL-5 JHN-4 (OT) Brady Greco scored his first professional goal. Unfortunately, [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=summary&id=2310]ECHL.com's scoresheet[/url] doesn't tell much else, other than the fact David Currie was in net. Will post a full box score when it becomes available. [b]Update[/b] Some 36 or so hours later [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=box&id=2283]ECHL.com finally has the box score.[/url] Zbynek Hrdel also had an assist on the game on top of Brady Greco's goal.

Game Night 10/26: Lightning at Devils

Hard to believe the Lightning actually trailed in this game early in the third. TB-6 NJ-3 Tarnasky and Artyukhin were effective in limited ice time. Artyukhin with his first NHL point assisting on Andreychuk's game winning goal. Paul Ranger returned with 13:57 of ice time, 1 takeaway, 3 giveaways, 2 blocked shots and a -1 rating. I thought he struggled a bit at times. It might be considered natural that he wasn't as aggressive as usual given what he's been through. Artyukhin and Tarnasky each got a shade under 5 and a half minutes of ice time, both +1, and Evgeny landed 2 hits on the game. Game sheet at [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/ES020141.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Comings and Goings on the Tampa Farm

Today, the Springfield Falcons have announced that they have recalled Adam Henrich from Johnstown of the ECHL. Also,as expected, the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled Nick Tarnasky and Evgeni Artyukhin. Both are likely to dress for tonight's game against the Devils.

Rohloff Close to Returning/Greco Sent to Johnstown

Fran Sypek [url=http://www.masslive.com/falcons/republican/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1130283601162920.xml&coll=1]speculates that with Brady Greco being sent down to Johnstown of the ECHL that defenseman Todd Rohloff is likely close to returning to the lineup for the Falcons.[/url]ff was injured in Springfield's season opener when a hit from behind led to an awkward legs first spill into the end boards. Greco will be a welcome addition to a Johnstown club that is in need of a competent puckmoving defenseman. Evgeny Artyukhin and Nick Tarnasky are slated to be recalled tomorrow for the Lightning's game against the New Jersey Devils. They could be joined in the lineup by defenseman Paul Ranger who returned to practice Monday after suffering a hairline jaw fracture and a concussion at the point of Eric Boulton's elbow in Atlanta.
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