Trade deadline tomorrow.
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.
07:38 PIT Kunitz (18), (Kennedy)
12:23 TB Prospal (17), (Lecavalier, Malone)
16:44 PIT Kunitz (19), (Sykora, Malkin)(PP)
12:26 PIT Cooke (9), (Dupuis, Talbot)
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.
Vancouver gets a bounce and the Lightning don't.
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.
11:41 VAN Edler (7), (Kesler, Demitra)(PP)
14:36 TB Stamkos (12), (St. Louis, Recchi)
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.
A soft goal was the difference.
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.
02:20 EDM Cole (15), (unassisted)
05:40 EDM Strudwick (2), (Gagner)
02:30 TB Murphy (2), (St. Louis, Recchi)(PP)
12:23 TB Stamkos (11), (Malone)
13:15 EDM Souray (16), (Cogliano)
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.
The Lightning steal the win.
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.
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)
10:00 TB Recchi (13), (Melichar, Koci)
15:17 BOS Chara (14), (Kobasew, Ward)
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.