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Game Night 12/22: Lightning at Rangers

If they had played 60 minutes of hockey instead of 30, they'd have won this game. TB-2 NYR-4 It was surprising to see this Lightning team come out so flat in the first period considering what transpired in the game against Carolina. The good news is that, despite the loss, I think John Grahame played very well stopping 32 of 35. He made a handful of very good saves late in the 2nd period that gave the Lightning an opportunity to steal a point or two. But, alas, their penalty kill was running around a bit when Tom Poti blasted a slapshot from the high slot right up Broadway to win the game. Ryan Craig has already settled into John Tortorella's regular rotation with 14:42 of ice time tonight and 1 shot on goal. He's exceptional at mucking on the forecheck below the goal line as he demonstrated again tonight, however his skating is a liability on the rush as evidenced by a turnover he made in the second period when a Ranger defenseman simply stepped up, not respecting his skating, took the puck and sent his team away on an odd man rush that nearly resulted in a goal and did result in Paul Ranger taking a penalty. Ranger played a stronger, more physical game tonight and was reqarded with more ice time. He was a -1 in 19:27 tonight blocking three shots. Evgeny Artyukhin played a more modest 8:49 with one shot on goal and sat for much of the second half of the game after taking a goaltender interference penalty while driving to the net on a one-on-one play. Darren Reid had one shot on goal in 3:38 of ice time. As with Tarnasky earlier this season, I don't believe it is positive to play a prospect so little over a long period of time. I'm sure Reid isn't complaining about the extra zeros on his paycheck, but it's not the best for his development if Torts doesn't have enough faith in Reid to play him more than the six shifts he got tonight. For the Lightning as a whole, it doesn't get any easier with Buffalo next on tap. Hard to believe, but the Lightning have now allowed more goals this season than they've scored with an overall differential of -1 on the season. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/standings/index.html]NHL.com.[/url]

Chicoutimi Still #1

Stanislav Lascek's Chicoutimi Sangueneens of the QMJHL [url=http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca/lang_en/index.php?page=232&id_nouvelle=919&PHPSESSID=079d33dfcd943d9da0b02bbf6aac3932]remain in first place[/url] in the latest Bank of Montreal CHL rankings. The Sangueneens have been in the #1 slot for three weeks in a row now and currently hold a 26-7-1-2 record this season. Lascek leads the way for the Sangueneens and the QMJHL as a whole with 78 points in 35 games. Lascek and his teammate Marek Zagrapan will be featured performers for Team Slovakia in the upcoming U-20 World Junior Championships. The Bank of Montreal rankings are decided through the votes of a panel of NHL scouts. Stanislav Lascek currently ranks in the top-10 in the QMJHL in all of the following statistical categories: Points (1st) Goals (10th) Assists (1st) Plus/minus (6th) Shorthanded goals (T-7th) Shots on goal (2nd)

Goc an Olympian Too

Team Germany has announced that defenseman Sascha Goc will represent that nation's contingent at the Olympics in Turin as well. Surprisingly, defenseman Timo Helbling [url=http://www.iihf.com/news/iihfpr0606.htm]was not selected to join Team Switzerland for the games.[/url]

Norrena an Olympian

TSN.ca is reporting the Finnish national team [url=http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=147920&hubname=]has named Lightning overage goaltending prospect Fredrik Norrena its third string netminder for the Turin Olympics.[/url] Norrena beat out the Flyers' Antero Nittymaki and Bruins' Hannu Toivonen, among others, for the honor.

Keller Named WHL Player of the Week

Kelowna LW Justin Keller [url=http://whl.ca/news/?id=3524&showToc=1&]was named WHL player of the week for December 12th through December 18th.[/url] Keller had 5 goals and 1 assist in three games for the week. On the season, he currently ranks in the top-10 in the WHL in all of the following statistical categories: Points (4th) Goals (3rd) Power Play Goals (T-1st) Game Winning Goals (T-3rd) Insurance Goals (T-5th) The 2004 8th round pick with turn 20 in March and should be signed this summer with a view towards developing next season in the AHL.
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