Mihalik, Vladimir

NHL Game Night 1/4: Lightning at Thrashers

That's more like it.

TB-4
ATL-1

Mike Smith stopped 27 of 28 shots for the win.

First Period
02:48 TB Eminger (3), (Jokinen, Hall)(PP)

Second Period
16:20 TB St. Louis (14), (Lecavalier, Prospal)

Third Period
01:00 TB St. Louis (15), (Prospal, Eminger)
18:16 TB Malone (10), (Halpern, Mihalik)
19:38 ATL Christensen (2), (Slater, Boulton)

I'll have to investigate who broke code by uttering the "s" word before the game was over to cost Smith the goose egg.

You get a new appreciation for the difference between an NHL defenseman and a minor league defenseman watching what getting Krajicek back in the lineup does for the team. You also have to admire the toughness of Andrej Meszaros and you see that when Eminger's offensive game shows up, along with the MVP line, the Lightning are very potent offensively.

Matt Smaby had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 14:58. I believe when Ranger and Heward come back, that Heward should be sent back to Norfolk of the AHL and Smaby should be the new #7 defenseman. It's time for him to learn his craft at the NHL level.

Vladimir Mihalik got his first NHL assist in 6:52 of ice time. Hopefully this emergency recall will energize Vladimir to reapply himself when he goes back to Norfolk. He pouted a bit when he was sent down at the start of the season. The psychology will be different on an emergency recall, I hope.

Steven Stamkos had 1 shot and was 20% on draws in 11:35. He's now 2 games away from his Bolt Prospects graduation from prospect status.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/3: Hurricanes at Lightning

Not as close as the score indicates.

CAR-2
TB-3

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 28 shots in the loss.

First Period
05:05 TB Craig (1), (Hall, Pettinger)
06:41 TB Prospal (8), (Lecavalier)
14:46 CAR Williams (2), (Brind'Amour, Seidenberg)(PP)
15:57 CAR Larose (9), (Seidenberg, Pitkanen)

Second Period
06:21 CAR Pitkanen (4), (Williams, Whitney)

Third Period
NO SCORING

The Lightning could only muster 19 shots in the game, and after a good first 10 minutes the team was completely dominated by Carolina.

Ty Wishart was -1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 7:53. He looked lost, tenatative, and slow. He's not ready for primetime.

Matt Smaby had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 18:50. His mistakes were a bit more pronounced in this game.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot in 10:47. He's sort of fallen off the face of the earth since his big game against Pittsburgh.

Vladimir Mihalik had 1 shot and 2 penalty minutes in 10:47, and 3 giveaways. Athletically he's capable of playing at the NHL level. Metally, he's not there yet.

Steven Stamkos was 50% on draws in 9:50. Non-factor.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night 1/2: Admirals at Sharks

The Lightning injury problems trickle down to the farm.

NOR-1
WOR-5

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 19 shots before giving way to Riku Helenius who made his AHL debut allowing just 1 goal on 12 shots in the third period.

First Period
NOR Lundin, (1) (Gratton, Henley), 13:25
WOR Armstrong, (11) (Wilson, Kaspar), 18:58 (PP)

Second Period
WOR Armstrong, (12) (Desjardins, Westgarth), 2:47
WOR Fornataro, (2) (Vesce, Traverse), 14:37
WOR Vesce, (11) (Desjardins, Greiss), 19:26 (SH)

Third Period
WOR Armstrong, (13) (Desjardins, Lemieux), 16:40 (PP)

The Admirals were in a very tough spot with Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby up in Tampa and Andy Rogers still hurt. Outside of Mike Lundin they had rookie Darryl Boyle, rookie Scott Jackson, virtual rookie Kevin Quick, and two converted ex-defensemen in Brent Henley and Jay Rosehill. Between that and some flukey goals by the Sharks and the Admirals were in a really tough position.

Why not Ty Wishart, you ask? Erik Erlendsson reports with Lukas Krajicek and Paul Ranger still hurt and Jamie Heward having had his clock cleaned in Washington, Wishart will make his NHL debut Saturday night against Carolina. Andrej Meszaros may have to play 30-35 minutes tomorrow night.

1/3 Update: Wishart has been recalled by Tampa Bay.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/1: Lightning at Capitals

Thin Lightning defensive corps gets thinned out even more.

TB-4
WSH-7

Mike Smith allowed 7 goals on 35 shots in the loss.

First Period
03:58 WSH Collins (1), (Ovechkin, Morrisonn)
08:02 WSH Steckel (5), (Bradley, Jurcina)
18:29 WSH Green (9), (Ovechkin, Backstrom)

Second Period
00:58 TB Lecavalier (15), (Prospal, St. Louis)
02:37 TB Malone (9), (Halpern)
02:48 WSH Bradley (4), (Gordon)
19:44 TB Lecavalier (16), (Prospal, St. Louis)

Third Period
08:07 WSH Gordon (5), (unassisted)
12:22 TB Recchi (9), (St. Louis, Meszaros)
12:47 WSH Clark (1), (Nylander, Green)
18:14 WSH Ovechkin (26), (Backstrom)

Paul Ranger and Lukas Krajicek were already scratches when Jamie Heward got sent to the hospital in the third period with a concussion. It left the Lightning with an incredibly short bench at the end of the game, with the coaching staff not having much confidence in recall Vladimir Mihalik.

Matt Smaby was -2 with 1 shot, 6 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 21:22. He has 13 hits in his last two games. That's something, although he was also on the ice for five Capitals goals (albeit, he was saddled with Eminger as a pairing partner).

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots in 15:13.

Vladimir Mihalik had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:22. He saw precious little ice though after Heward went down, which is telling.

Steven Stamkos was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit and he was 50% on draws in 12:20.

I think you ball this one up and forget about it, considering all the injuries and other odd circumstances. The good news is: Lecavalier and St. Louis woke up.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Mihalik on Emergency Recall

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger will miss tonight's game against Washington with an injury. Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times reports prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik has been recalled on an emergency basis from Norfolk to take his place. Lucas Krajicek is expected to sit due to injury as well.
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