Jones, Blair

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9/26/10 Lightning at Flames

My kingdom for some goaltending.

TB-4
CGY-5 (SO)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 4 goals on 23 shots and 1 goal on 2 shootout attempts for the penalty shot session loss.

First Period
TB 0:27, Lecavalier 1 (unassisted)
CGY 6:59, Brodie 1 (PP) (Giordano, Kotalik)
CGY 10:20, Brodie 2 (PP) (Giordano, Kotalik)

Second Period
CGY 8:30, Conroy 1 (Kronwall, Cunning)
TB 9:45, Gagne 1 (Stamkos, St. Louis)

Third Period
CGY 6:33, Kotalik 1 (Glencross, Giordano)
TB 8:59, Lecavalier 2 (PP) (Kubina, St. Louis)
TB 18:48, Stamkos 1 (PP) (Kubina, St. Louis)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB - NONE
CGY - Kotalik

Vincent Lecavalier was named the game's third star.

What did we learn from this preseason road trip? Three good things and one very ominous thing. 1.) The Lightning offensive firepower does translate from paper onto the ice. 2.) The Lightning's lower line depth is better than at any time I can remember. Even in the Stanley Cup season, the team was a little thin. 3.) Guy Boucher's system, right now, is translating to drastic reductions in the shots on goal the Lightning are giving up. But, 4.) All of that is for naught if the Lightning can't find a goaltender who can stop at least 90% of the shots they face. Get well soon Mike Smith, and get back on schedule soon, Dan Ellis.

Blair Jones was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 10:51 of ice time.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9/23/10 Lightning at Oilers

Yeah, we at BoltProspects always liked Magnus Paajarvi in his draft year.

TB-2
EDM-5

Dan Ellis allowed 5 goals on 21 shots for the loss. Ugly stat line.

First Period
TB 4:33, Jones 1 (Purcell, Persson)
EDM 15:09, Paajarvi 1 (Belle, Plante)
EDM 18:34, Cogliano 1 (PP) (Foster, Paajarvi)

Second Period
EDM 6:50, Paajarvi 2 (PP) (Penner, Plante)

Third Period
EDM 7:57, Hall 1 (PP) (unassisted)
EDM 9:52, Paajarvi 3 (SH) (Foster)
TB 17:19, Ashton 1 (PP) (Wright, Clark)

Not an entirely surprising outcome, I suppose, considering Edmonton had most of its regular skaters going against the Lightning's lower liners, AHLers, and prospects. The only thing really concerning is to allow 5 goals on 21 shots in that scenario. Still, I wouldn't read much into tonight unless they get blown out in Calgary against the Fighting Feasters on Saturday with most of the regulars in.

Carter Ashton had 1 goal and was +1 with 1 shot and a slashing minor in 13:26. I'm of the opinion it would behoove the Lightning to, at the very least, use the 9 game tryout on Ashton. If he can stick on the team and develop over the course of the year, he could give the Lightning a lot of roster flexibility in February.

Brett Connolly was even with 1 shot in 12:13. I think he'll get a contract and then be ushered away to Prince George fairly soon.

Radko Gudas was even with 1 shot in 13:51. I doubt he makes it past the first round of cuts. He needs to get stronger and he needs some seasoning in Norfolk.

Johan Harju was -1 with 1 shot in 13:20. He got more ice time than the 9:30 Linus Omark got for the Oilers. I expect him to be on the bubble another week.

Blair Jones was -1 in 12:53. He could not duplicate what he did against the Hawks, which is the story of Blair's pro career. Probably on the bubble another week.

Vladimir Mihalik was -1 with 1 shot and a hooking minor in 16:43. He might survive the first round of cuts, but I doubt he survives the second.

Niklas Persson had 1 assist and was +1 with 2 shots in 16:09. Niklas seems to be on track to make the team. In fact, he might be the first of the bubble guys to move into the safe column.

Dana Tyrell was even with 2 shots in 14:02. He'll stay on the bubble another week, I think.

Michael Vernace was -1 with 1 shot in 22:02. He got a ton of ice time given Boucher's familiarity with him, but he was awful, by all accounts.

Box score from Yahoo! Sports.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9/22/10 Blackhawks at Lightning (in Winnipeg)

Still, so far so good.

CHI-2
TB-4

Cedrick Desjardins got the win for the Lightning.

Steven Stamkos, Carter Ashton, Simon Gagne, and Blair Jones had the Lightning's goals.

Bolts Re-sign Blair Jones

According to capgeek.com, the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed prospect forward Blair Jones to a 1 year, two-way contract. The numbers on the contract indicate that Jones may have accepted his qualifying offer, as the contract is identical to his 2009-10 deal with the exception of the mandatory 10% raise for RFA's making less than $1M.

Jones is entering his 5th year as a pro, and with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman publicly stating a main focus to revamp the Lightning bottom two lines, Jones' fierce forechecking style may very well earn him a roster spot out of camp. The 6'3" and 215 lbs forward was a 4th round pick by the Bolts in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and has been on the cusp of earning an NHL roster spot for the last two seasons.

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