We. Are. Back.
With St. Louis out, with the Lightning riding a 6 game losing streak, with the Philadelphia Flyers riding a wave of momentum into town, you saw something you haven't seen in the Lightning all season. Desperation.
They challenged the Flyers for every inch of ice. Every loose puck. Not just two lines getting all the ice time, but four. All physically competing. THAT is Lightning hockey, and it looks like maybe this team has finally received the wake up call.
And oh yeah, Marty Cibak with the timely goal. I forgot what those look like.
Paul Ranger played a ton, 18:58 in all including more power play time than I think he's ever gotten. There were a few frightening moments where he had to be bailed out by Grahame, but he ended +1 on the night. Evgeny Artyukhin assisted on Marty Cibak's breakaway goal. I wish he was a little surer on the first touch with the puck, but once he gets ahold of it steaming down the wing, you're hard pressed to take it from him, and you'll pay the price to do it. +1 and a team high, by far, 7 hits. If he had made the team from opening night, I think he would've had an excellent chance of leading the league in that statistic.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned Gerald Coleman to Springfield of the AHL. Coleman got a brief taste of NHL action in relief of John Grahame in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Thrashers. The interesting dilemma now becomes what happens to Jonathan Boutin, who shined in his first two games at the AHL level.
The following are statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League as of November 14, 2005. Leading the way are Stan Lascek, whoâ€™s first in the QMJHL in scoring, and Blair Jones, whoâ€™s in the WHLâ€™s top-10.
Stanislav Lascek, RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 24GP, 17-34-51, 32PIM (+16)
Blair Jones, C, Moose Jaw (WHL): 21GP, 10-17-27, 25PIM (+8)
Justin Keller, RW, Kelowna (WHL): 21GP, 13-12-25, 16PIM (+4)
Radek Smolenak, LW, Kingston (OHL): 19GP, 10-10-20, 46PIM (Even)
Chris Lawrence, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 20GP, 1-12-13, 24PIM (-3)
Mark Tobin, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL): 22GP, 7-5-12, 43PIM (-22)
The following Lightning prospects are currently playing in the NCAA. Stats are as of November 14, 2005.
Matt Smaby, D, U of North Dakoka (Jr.): 12GP, 1-3-4, 59PIM (+2)
Mike Lundin, D, U of Maine (Jr.): 10GP, 0-4-4, 2PIM (+2)
P.J. Atherton, D, U of Minnesota (Sr.), 10GP: 0-1-1, 25PIM (+2)
Dusty Collins, RW, U of Northern Michigan (Jr.): 8GP, 0-1-1, 21PIM (-1)
John Wessbecker, D, U of Massachusetts (Fr.): 10GP, 0-0-0, 10PIM (-2)
Arthur Femenella, D, U of Vermont (Jr.), 5GP: 0-0-0, 10PIM (N/A)
Joe Pearce, G, Boston College (Jr.): No Games Played
Stanislav Lascekâ€™s 14 game point streak, the third longest in the QMJHL this year, came to an end Sunday as Chicoutimi dropped their second straight game, falling 4-1 to expansion St. John. Lascek was minus-one for the game and had two shots on goal. It was the third game in as many nights for the Sagueneens. Also in the QMJHL Sunday, Rimouski was crushed 8-0 by rival Quebec. Mark Tobin was minus-3 on the night, bringing his team-worst plus/minus rating to minus-22.
In the OHL, Radek Smolenak misses his second straight game, a 9-8 Kingston win over Ottawa. The Frontenacs have scored 17 goals in their last two games, so it doesnâ€™t appear they miss Smolenakâ€™s 10 goals and 20 points on the year just yet.