Linkopings ran roughshod today defeating Leksands 5-2. Fredrik Norrena stopped 23 of 25 shots faced for the victory. The win runs his record to 10-3-2 on the season. Linkopings is currently 3rd in the Elitserien 5 points behind first place HV 71.
Given that both netminders have led the Russian Superleague in every statistical category over the past month, maybe it isn't surprising Vasily Koshechkin and Travis Scott's showdown today in Magnitogorsk ended the way it did. Lada and Metallurg battled to a 0-0 tie as Vasily Koshechkin secured his 5th shutout in his last 8 starts. His record is now 6-2-1 for the season.
Meanwhile, in Omsk, Anton But snapped out of a slump with a huge third period as he notched 3 helpers as Lokomotiv trounced Avangard 5-1.
The following Lightning prospects are currently playing in the NCAA. Stats are as of November 2, 2005. The Lightning has only one forward prospect playing in the collegiate ranks, as General Manager Jay Feaster has recently favored college hockey to stock the Lightning farm with defensemen.
Matt Smaby, D, U of North Dakoka (Jr.): 8GP, 1-2-3, 25PIM
Mike Lundin, D, U of Maine (Jr.): 6GP, 0-2-2, 2PIM
P.J. Atherton, D, U of Minnesota (Sr.), 6GP: 0-1-1, 23PIM
Dusty Collins, RW, U of Northern Michigan (Jr.): 6GP, 0-1-1, 19PIM
John Wessbecker, D, U of Massachusetts (Fr.): 5GP, 0-0-0, 8PIM
The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League as of November 2, 2005. Leading the way are Stan Lascek, whoâ€™s third in the QMJHL in scoring, and Justin Keller, who stands at fifth in the WHL.
Stanislav Lascek, RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 18GP, 15-21-36, 24PIM (+7)
Justin Keller, RW, Kelowna (WHL): 17GP, 12-10-22, 12PIM (+4)
Blair Jones, C, Moose Jaw (WHL): 15GP, 7-14-21, 19PIM (+6)
Radek Smolenak, LW, Kingston (OHL): 16GP, 9-10-19, 39PIM (+1)
Mark Tobin, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL): 17GP, 6-5-11, 34PIM (-14)
Chris Lawrence, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 16GP, 1-9-10, 18PIM (+3)
Very disappointing outcome for a Lightning team that could've gone a long way towards burying a division foe by running their record to 3-0 head to head.
I continue to be amazed at the trust being earned by young Paul Ranger. 17:12 of ice time tonight was just 3 seconds less than veteran Darryl Sydor. Granted, Sydor hasn't been a pillar of strength this season, but it shows how well the young defenseman is meshing into the defensive corps already. Ranger was +1 with 1 shot on goal for the game. Tarnasky and Artyukhin played a very sparing three and a half minutes each. Tarnasky had 2 shots on goal and R2 had 3 hits, so they made the most of their limited time. Still, it seems to me the clock is ticking for the Lightning to make a decision about their lower lines.
Springfield has a game tomorrow night so if Feaster is going to make a roster move word should come down pretty soon. In my opinion, developing players like Tarnasky and Artyukhin aren't well served playing 4 minutes (or less) a night for long periods of time. It's especially troublesome given the team's cap condition. So, to me, either there needs to be a commitment from Tortorella to play one or both of these players more that grows from the outright statement that they have won Cibak or Dingman's spot on the team (and that Feaster will bite the bullet and send one or both of those vets down and through waivers), or Tarnasy and R2 need to rejoin the Falcons.
Game sheet from NHL.com.