The Lightning finally implode under the weight of injuries and youth.
Karri Ramo allowed 7 goals on 42 shots in the loss. He was mediocre on a night where the Lightning needed a lot better to stay competitive. His rebound control wasn't there all night, although a couple of the rebound goals San Jose got came off of initial shots that were tipped on the way in. Still, you saw the difference tonight between what Mike Smith has been doing all season in controlling rebounds and what Ramo couldn't do.
02:17 SJ Setoguchi (20), (Thornton, Murray)
14:19 SJ Thornton (10), (Marleau, Blake)(PP)
07:47 TB Stamkos (5), (Recchi, Artyukhin)
10:00 SJ Thornton (11), (Setoguchi, Marleau)
17:21 SJ Michalek (10), (Cheechoo, Vlasic)(PP)
19:56 SJ Clowe (18), (Pavelski, Michalek)(PP)
00:34 SJ Pavelski (12), (Michalek, Murray)
02:12 SJ Plihal (5), (Staubitz, Semenov)
This is a critical next 36 hours or so for the coaching staff. They can't allow the team to quit or pout based on what happened tonight. They went 2-2-0 on the west coast swing. Is that perfect? No. But, it's acceptable given the rash of injuries on defense and the fact they had to play two games with just 3 or 4 NHL caliber defensemen. The team showed briefly tonight that their system can work, even against a team as deep and as talented as San Jose, just like it worked against LA and Anaheim. This is where Tocchet's got to make sure the room stays fully invested in the foundation that's being laid.
David Koci was +1 with 12 penalty minutes and 5 hits in 9:08. He got some shifts on defense in the third period once things got out of hand. When you're down six goals, why the heck not?
Paul Szczechura left the game after 3:10 of ice time with an injury.
Kevin Quick was -1 with 1 shot in 15:40 in his NHL debut. He made an ill-advised pass that eventually led to San Jose's last goal. Other than that, he wasn't bad. He didn't look timid and he used his wheels to keep pucks moving and the play in front of him. I was struck by how much better he looked at this level than Mihalik or Wishart. It's just 1 game for Kevin, and it was just 1 game for Wishart, but I have to wonder if the pecking order in the organization may get a second look now.
Vladimir Mihalik was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 15:25. He really needs a brain transplant. With his size and athleticism, he could be a world beater if you could wire the six inches of gray matter between his ears properly.
Taking care of business.
Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 30 shots in the win.
18:16 TB Artyukhin (4), (Stamkos, Mihalik)
18:57 TB Recchi (10), (Lecavalier, Prospal)
05:48 TB Lecavalier (17), (St. Louis, Krajicek)
18:02 LA Harrold (3), (Kopitar)
They fell asleep in the second half of the second period, but other than that it was a very solid, workmanlike effort by the Lightning. It was actually pretty phenomenal considering the team only dressed five defenseman, and one of them played under a dozen minutes.
David Koci had 15 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 2:28.
Paul Szczechura had 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 33% on draws in 11:54.
Vladimir Mihalik had 1 assist and 1 blocked shot in 11:19.
(Norfolk Release) The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled defensemen Vladimir Mihalik on an emergency basis from the Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.
Mihalik, 6-foot-7, 222 pounds, appeared in his 100th career AHL game on Saturday night in Norfolk versus Manchester. The native of Presov, Slovakia, has appeared in 32 games with Norfolk this season scoring two goals and six assists with 30 penalty minutes. In 100 career AHL games â€“ all with Norfolk â€“ Mihalik has three goals and 24 points.
Mihalik, 6-foot-7, 222 pounds, appeared in three games with Tampa Bay after being recalled on January 1. He registered his first NHL point with an assist yesterday in the Lightning's 4-1 win at Atlanta. During the recall, Mihalik registered one assist and two penalty minutes. Mihalik has appeared in his first five career NHL games with Tampa Bay this season, registering one assist and two penalty minutes. He was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 30th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Wishart, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound rookie defenseman, made his NHL debut Saturday, January 3 versus Carolina. He logged 7:53 of ice time and blocked two shots.
Concurrent with the return of Mihalik and Wishart, the Admirals have released defenseman Mitch Ganzak from his Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).