Szczechura, Paul

NHL Game Night: 12-13-09 Lightning at Blackhawks

I'm hard pressed to remember an offensive effort that pathetic.

TB-0
CHI-4

Antero Niittymaki allowed 4 goals on 29 shots. The goal he allowed at the end of the second period was painfully soft and essentially ended the game. He also tried to allow another softie late in the third that he barely swept off the line. It was not a strong performance, although the Lightning weren't much of a threat to Chicago all game long, so it didn't really matter.

First Period
CHI 7:42, Kane 10 (Keith)

Second Period
CHI 10:42, Eager 2 (Hossa, Sopel)
CHI 19:44, Hossa 4 (Sharp, Seabrook)

Third Period
CHI 6:01, Toews 9 (Byfuglien, Seabrook)

18 shots on goal. How does an NHL team with this kind of offensive talent allow itself to be held to 18 shots on goal? Vincent Lecavalier (-3, 1 shot on goal) still is doing nothing on the forecheck around the opposition cage, which is where he showed he was an elite player. His failures are helping to drag down Martin St. Louis. Alex Tanguay has been lost all season. Steven Stamkos has forgotten about the necessity of shooting the puck (2 shots), and that's hurt Ryan Malone because he's the type of guy who hops on rebounds and excels in scrums around the cage.

The power play is a joke right now. They don't surround loose pucks and win one on one battles. They don't make smart, short passes to loosen up the opposing PK. They labor trying to free up Kurtis Foster for his shot and have forgotten they have lethal options like Vincent Lecavalier around the circles and Steven Stamkos around the circles and in the slot.

It's bad. This is a team that is fundamentally awful offensively right now. When Stephane Veilleux is the best player on the ice on a team with this roster, that also suggests a lack of effort, too.

Zenon Konopka had 5 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and was 33% on draws in 7:45.

Paul Szczechura had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 15:36.

James Wright was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 12:55.

Victor Hedman was -2 with 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 19:05. His poor decision on the Blackhawks second goal was terrible, and that was a very deflating goal for the Lightning. That's a mistake that cannot happen.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-11-09 Lightning at Avalanche

Keep your foot on the gas and you win.

TB-1
COL-2 (SO)

Antero Niittymaki allowed 1 goal on 35 shots but he also allowed 1 goal on 3 shootout attempts and that was all it took for him to get the penalty shot session loss. He deserved a lot better. He was absolutely brilliant in the third period.

First Period
TB 12:12, Downie 6 (Lecavalier, St. Louis)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
COL 12:11, Wolski 12 (Stastny, Wilson)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- NONE
COL- Wolski

The Lightning were actually leading in shots after two periods 17-14, primarily on the strength of a very good first 30 minutes. They started to let off the gas midway through the middle frame, and then suddenly the Avalanche hung a 20-5 shot disparity on them the rest of the way. It's unacceptable. The forecheck just evaporates way too easily for this team, especially when they're trying to protect a lead. Take a tip from Chris Dingman, the best way to protect a one goal lead is to get the puck behind their net and sit on it for 30 seconds. The Lightning are lucky to hold possession in the other team's zone for 3 seconds in scenarios like tonight. Someone's got to start paying the price to hold onto the puck.

And for the love of God, someone please score a (Ooh La La!) shootout goal.

Matt Smaby led the Lightning in hits with 4 in 15:30. Hello old friend. We missed you.

Zenon Konopka had 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 63% on draws in 8:37.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 4 shots and 1 hit in 18:18.

James Wright had 1 shot, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 67% on draws in 15:32.

Victor Hedman had 1 shot in 25:31.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-9-09 Oilers at Lightning

Lightning fall to .500. Season at a crossroads.

EDM-3
TB-2

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
TB 1:08, St. Louis 6 (Lecavalier, Malone)
EDM 11:21, Gilbert 2 (Nilsson, Stortini)

Second Period
EDM 6:31, Penner 17 (Gagner, Brule)
TB 7:34, Hedman 2 (St. Louis)
EDM 11:07, Stortini 3 (Stone)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Ryan Malone left in the first period with a lower body injury. Steven Stamkos didn't see the ice again after what turned out to be Edmonton's winning goal with an injury.

Messages are being sent. If they aren't received, changes are almost sure to be the next option.

Zenon Konopka was -1 with 12 penalty minutes, and was 80% on draws in 7:48.

Paul Szczechura was -2 with 2 shots and 1 hit and was 56% on draws in 20:50.

James Wright was -2 in 13:57.

Victor Hedman had a goal, 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots as he rose back to the 26 minute mark with 26:04 of ice time.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-7-09 Capitals at Lightning

They can skate with the Caps, but they couldn't finish their chances.

WSH-3
TB-0

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
WSH 7:39, Ovechkin 19 (Semin)
WSH 12:32, Eric Fehr 8 (Fleischmann)
WSH 19:35, Ovechkin 20 (Fleischmann, Semin)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Steven Stamkos 0 shots on goal. I rest my case. The coaching staff needs to get on Steven hard to shoot the puck more. If I was Tocchet I'd tell Lecavalier, Stamkos, and St. Louis the first one to 5 shots in the next game gets $500.

Zenon Konopka was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:57 and was 50% on draws.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 80% on draws in 13:17.

James Wright had 2 shots and was 50% on draws in 13:38.

Victor Hedman was -1 with 2 hits in 19:11.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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