Smaby, Matt

NHL Game Night 3/3: Penguins at Lightning

Trade deadline tomorrow.

PIT-3
TB-1

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the lost. He made some solid saves, but struggled with his rebound control. Still, I think if he gives the Lightning more games like this (.900+ save percentage and no softies) they'll be pretty satisfied.

First Period
07:38 PIT Kunitz (18), (Kennedy)
12:23 TB Prospal (17), (Lecavalier, Malone)
16:44 PIT Kunitz (19), (Sykora, Malkin)(PP)

Second Period
12:26 PIT Cooke (9), (Dupuis, Talbot)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts were held out pending likely trades or waiver claims tomorrow.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 22:33.

David Koci was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 6:43. Pittsburgh's third goal was on him.

Brandon Segal had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 14:45. First impressions: he didn't look completely out of place as far his skating goes. If he gets more decisive when he goes to the wall, I think he could do some business up top.

Paul Szczechura had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:53.

Box score and extended statistics from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/1: Lightning at Flames

It was 80's night in Calgary. Great for the fans. Bad if you're a goaltender.

TB-8
CGY-6

Mike McKenna allowed 6 goals on 39 shots for the... win? "Look Ma, I'm Grant Fuhr!"

First Period
11:07 TB Artyukhin (5), (unassisted)
15:44 CGY Iginla (25), (Moss, Cammalleri)(PP)

Second Period
01:19 TB St. Louis (21), (Stamkos, Recchi)
08:07 CGY Conroy (7), (Phaneuf, Iginla)
13:02 CGY Cammalleri (33), (Moss, Iginla)(PP)
14:19 CGY Lundmark (2), (Sarich, Lombardi)
14:57 TB Lecavalier (26), (Murphy, Melichar)
16:14 TB Stamkos (13), (Recchi, St. Louis)
18:27 TB Prospal (16), (Roberts, Eminger)(PP)

Third Period
00:14 CGY Iginla (26), (Conroy, Vandermeer)
02:39 TB Malone (22), (Recchi, Lecavalier)(PP)
08:32 TB Lecavalier (27), (Recchi, Murphy)(PP)
16:46 CGY Bertuzzi (15), (Iginla, Cammalleri)(PP)
19:28 TB St. Louis (22), (Recchi)(EN)

You know, in a couple of days the composition of this roster is going to change quite a bit. Some of these veterans are going to be shuffling out and there's going to be some young guys shuffling in. So, it's nice to see these guys get one last game like this on the road together. Particularly, old man Recchi dropped 5 assists in what may be his second to last game in a Lightning uniform, which is a heck of a thing for a 41 year old player. I wouldn't mind seeing him brought back as a free agent in the offseason, but it's hard to know what the future holds.

The league office has to be wishing they could bottle a game like this, because it had a little of everything that is the best of the game. It was like the golden days of the 80's again with offense flowing like wine, mixed in with big hits and some fisticuffs as well. I'm hard pressed to think of a more entertaining game I've watched in Lightning history. Bigger games? Sure. More satisfying? Definitely. More fun? Even the Lightning's cup clinching Game Seven victory was more an exhale of relief to me than a sheer joy to watch like this was.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in 21:35. Iginla's goal to tie the game at 5 at the start of the third period was on Smaby on a really bad turnover. This wasn't a game for the defense and goaltenders, anyway.

David Koci was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 8:42. I think a goal or a colossal brawl by Koci between he and Vandermeer was about the only thing that was missing from this contest.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/27: Lightning at Canucks

Vancouver gets a bounce and the Lightning don't.

TB-1
VAN-2

Karri Ramo allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the loss. No complaints tonight. He made a handful of key saves to give the Lightning a chance in the third period, not the least of which was a huge save moving right to left on a 2-on-1 that became a partial break for one of the Sedins.

First Period
11:41 VAN Edler (7), (Kesler, Demitra)(PP)

Second Period
14:36 TB Stamkos (12), (St. Louis, Recchi)

Third Period
09:26 VAN Bernier (13), (Demitra, Johnson)

With 20 games left to go in the season, Steven Stamkos is suddenly en fuego despite not having a steady set of linemates. It's a very positive sign. I think people are going to be shocked how good Stamkos is going to be next season.

Matt Smaby had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 22:57. Despite having one bad wheel, he's consistently making plays for this club. He's taking the body. He's breaking up plays with the stick. He's blocking shots at key times. He's playing around 22 minutes a night lately and he looks good doing it. That tells me this guy may have top-four potential after all.

David Koci played 7:33.

In case anyone is wondering, Smaby is 17 games away from graduating from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria. Ramo is now 11 decisions away from graduating by site criteria, as well. Both look achievable, and the top-5 of our rankings look destined for some major changes at year's end.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/24: Lightning at Oilers

A soft goal was the difference.

TB-3
EDM-5

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 44 shots in the game. He had a respectable save percentage in the game, but he never looked completely comfortable to me and the soft goal he allowed to Jason Strudwick on a long point shot that he badly misplayed his angle on ended up being the difference. It's nothing that will get him demoted, but I would expect McKenna back in for the next game.

First Period
02:20 EDM Cole (15), (unassisted)
05:40 EDM Strudwick (2), (Gagner)

Second Period
02:30 TB Murphy (2), (St. Louis, Recchi)(PP)
12:23 TB Stamkos (11), (Malone)
13:15 EDM Souray (16), (Cogliano)

Third Period
02:20 EDM Cogliano (14), (Stortini, Moreau)
13:46 TBL Murphy (3), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)
19:58 EDM Souray (17), (Brodziak)(EN)

Marek Malik needs to be put down like Old Yeller. Man up, Brian Lawton. It's time. Erik Cole made Malik look like he was moving in reverse on the Oilers' first goal. Sad.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in 21:59.

David Koci had 7 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 6:09.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day 2/22: Bruins at Lightning

The Lightning steal the win.

BOS-3
TB-4

Karri Ramo stopped 40 of 43 shots for the win. He's not playing perfect hockey, but he is playing relaxed and making saves and keeping the Lightning in a position to compete. Tonight he won despite his club being outshot 43-18. His night in a nutshell: he gave up an awful rebound to Phil Kessel coming in off the wing with the game tied 3-3 and then made an athletic pad save in close to bail himself out. Flawless? No. But he's battling, and getting fair results.

Bobby Taylor has talked recently on the broadcasts how defensemen who come up to the NHL sometimes find it easier because the forwards are always in the proper position on the breakout. I wonder if Ramo is looking more relaxed partially because he worries less about the team in front of him being in the proper position and not overcompensating for odd man rushes or back door plays.

First Period
01:38 BOS Kessel (25), (Savard, Lucic)
04:44 TB Halpern (4), (Pettinger, Eminger)
04:59 TB Hall (4), (Craig, Artyukhin)
16:42 BOS Ference (1), (Savard, Wideman)(PP)

Second Period
10:00 TB Recchi (13), (Melichar, Koci)
15:17 BOS Chara (14), (Kobasew, Ward)

Third Period
18:27 TB Prospal (15), (Halpern, St. Louis)(PP)

It's nice to be able to take Jeff Halpern's picture off the milk carton, too.

Matt Smaby had 4 hits and 5 blocked shots in 22:06. I'll bet you, dollars to donuts, 75% of the GM's who talk to Brian Lawton next week ahead of the deadline will try to scam him out of #32, and that Lawton will tell them, "No thanks."

David Koci had his first NHL assist, was +1, and had 3 hits in 7:06. David Koci: The Secret Weapon.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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