NHL Game Night 2/29: Maple Leafs at Lightning

Love the win, but can the Lightning defer the points in the standings?

TOR-2
TB-3 (OT)

Mike Smith allowed 2 goals on 25 shots to collect his first win in a Lightning uniform.

First Period
Tampa Bay 8:51, Michel Ouellet 10 (power play) (Jeff Halpern, Dan Boyle)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 12:13, Alexandre Picard 1 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Vincent Lecavalier)

Third Period
Toronto 0:27, Alexander Steen 12 (Mats Sundin, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 11:29, Jason Blake 12 (Ian White)

Overtime
Tampa Bay 2:02, Dan Boyle 4 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Jussi Jokinen)

Contributions from all the new acquisitions tonight. The Captain, Alexandre Picard, got his first goal for the Lightning and Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokinen had helpers.

If the Lightning can just find a way to get Stamkos this June, I think they're going to be alright.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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Filatov

Hey Pete, any opinions of Filatov? He's shot up the rankings, and I've read tons of good things about him. If Tampa can't get Stamkos, do they go for Filatov, or head in another direction?

The Lightning are very leery

The Lightning are very leery of Russians because of the lack of a transfer agreement.

Why no love for Kyle Beach?

Why no love for Kyle Beach? This guy can be a scraping 2nd line center on this team. He's a big guy 6'3" and is not afraid to get his nose dirty. And if the end up with the 4th or 5th pick, it could be a perfect spot to grab him. Now if they have the top pick, its a no-brainer in my opinion and I totally agree about Stamkos. Check out some you-tube videos of this guy(Beach). There's a good one of him fighting Vladimir Mihalik.

Beach made more sense when

Beach made more sense when we were looking for a power forward to compliment Brad Richards. Now that Richards is gone, the gaping hole is that this team needs a playmaking center on the second line. That player is Stamkos.

In addition, Stamkos is considered to be can't miss. Beach has some character issues and might be a scout killer.

Kyle Beach

I said if they have the 1st pick, there's no doubt they should take Stamkos. I was refering to if they had another pick outside of the first one. Not sure if you read that in my post.

Do you know personally if he has character issues? I am being serious, I figured you seem to know a hell of a lot about the minor leagues and juniors, maybe you heard something first hand. I have read some of the same things about Beach, but I also read how a bit of polishing and he could be a diamond in the rough. And if Gratton comes back next season, between he and Halpern, thats a couple of perfect scrapping centers to learn from. I like the fact, that at such a young age, this guy isn't afraid to fight guys bigger and older than he is. It sure would be nice if the 2nd line center played with a little emotion and not be scared to death of contact. I know the last few games w Halpern playing there, seems to have made a difference.

Whatever it takes

If the Bolts DON'T have the top pick in the draft, you do darn near whatever it takes to get that top pick. You get Stamkos. You just find a way.

Every team in the league

Every team in the league wants Stamkos obviously. The Bolts do have a good chance of landing the top pick in the lottery and the right to draft him. This though is widely said to be a very deep draft year. The bolts will have a top 5 pick and hopefully they pick well and the kid pans out. At the same time though, the scouting staff needs to make sure they have all their ducks in a row so that each time they come up on the board they can grab a player that can help the organization in the future. If this is supposed to be a deep draft year, they need to do their best to make the most of it. Building through the draft and developing your own prospects is the way to go. If it take a couple losing seasons to do so, that's how it goes sometimes. Pittsburg has done well that way and Chicago is coming along as well as Phoenix. Hey I don't think there is a Bolt fan that wouldn't mind landing Stamkos this year and John Tavares next year. Time and patients will be the key. Hopefully the fans can deal with it.

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