NHL Game Night 1/18: Lightning at Penguins
I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Cam Neely? Andre Roy? They're the same guy.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 27 of 27 shots faced to post the first shutout by any Lightning goaltender this season. He was excellent, and seems to be settling nicely into the Lightning's new tandem arrangement, alternating starts with Karri Ramo.
For anyone thinking that the Lightning had given up, were tuning out their coach, were already making tee times etc etc after the Colorado game, tonight was an object lesson in the heart and pride that still exists in that Lightning locker room. This season may very well be a wash, but the Lightning cannot allow bad habits to sink in and they must continue to compete night in and night out, regardless of what the standings say.
On the other side of the rink, can you imagine a worse scenario for Pittsburgh? Not only do you get shutout by Johan Holmqvist and drop your 7th straight game on home ice to the Lightning, but you lose your superstar to a high ankle sprain in the process? Ouch. They have to be wishing they had never taken the ice tonight.
Mathieu Darche was even in 8:25 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots. Tonight was his 40th game of the season, meaning he will graduate to NHLer by this site's criteria if he plays against Ottawa. Congratulations will definitely be in order.