Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

NHL Game Night: 2-16-12 Sharks at Lightning

The Lightning remind us that hockey games are played on ice, not on paper.

SJ-5
TB-6 (OT)

Dwayne Roloson allowed 5 goals on 50 shots for the victory. I know someone who is glad for goal support.

First Period
SJ Couture (24), (Thornton, Marleau)(PP), 1:16
TB Stamkos (38), (Mikkelson, Downie), 9:30
TB Purcell (14), (Mikkelson, Stamkos)(PP), 19:35

Second Period
SJ Handzus (7), (McGinn, Mitchell), 1:44
TB Downie (12), (Brewer, Hedman), 14:08
SJ Vlasic (4), (Wingels, Boyle), 14:37
SJ White (1), (McGinn, Mitchell), 15:44

Third Period
TB Stamkos (39), (Hedman, Malone), 2:44
TB St. Louis (17), (Lecavalier, Purcell), 8:01
SJ Wingels (2), (Couture, Boyle), 14:50

Overtime
TB St. Louis (18), (Hedman, Stamkos), 4:27

Steven Stamkos and Brendan Mikkelson were the game's first and third stars. Congratulations to Mikkelson on his first points in a Lightning jersey.

On paper, the Lightning looked to have no shot in this game. They got humiliated in San Jose the last two times these teams played, and today came the news that Dominic Moore had been traded, Pavel Kubina was being held out awaiting a trade, and the Lightning were unilaterally disarming for the season. I expected the Lightning to give up a ton of goals. I didn't expect them to score a ton plus 1 to get the victory.

J.T. Wyman had 3 hits in 5:51. If Wyman plays in every Lightning game until the end of the season, he'll fall 1 game short of graduation on the website. Cold.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-14-12 Senators at Lightning

That's all, folks?

OTT-4
TB-0

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss. He also stopped a Kyle Turris penalty shot in the contest.

First Period
OTT Karlsson (10), (Spezza, Butler), 1:04

Second Period
OTT Spezza (23), (Kuba, Karlsson)(PP), 16:32

Third Period
OTT Spezza (24), (Butler, Michalek), 12:37
OTT Spezza (25), (Gonchar)(EN), 18:58

You got the sense the Spezza goal that got the score in this game to 3-0 really made reality set in for the Lightning. They can't afford to be losing back-to-back games right now and they can't afford to be losing 4-point games against teams they're competing against for position in the conference, and they just did both. With the loss, you'd have to expect the Lightning to be sellers at the deadline with several potential UFA's as rental opportunities for playoff-bound teams like Pavel Kubina, Dominic Moore, and Brett Clark. Unfortunately for the Lightning, it's difficult to envision them finding pieces such as a goaltender or some more Mikkelson-esque defensemen to receive in return to help rebuild the roster.

I will be interested to see how the post-deadline roster looks, and whether the Lightning will give some prospects in Norfolk an extended look before the end of the year. Particularly, I'd like to see Mark Barberio get a chance against NHL speed to see where he's at, particularly in his own third. The Lightning need d-men almost as much as they need a goaltender, and it seems foolish not to use this time to diagnose a guy who is currently the AHL's leading scorer amongst d-men.

The other thing is that Guy Boucher might just need to throw caution to the wind at some point, accept the mistakes young #14 is going to make, and start feeding Brett Connolly some scoring line ice time. If the Lightning can get a guy like Connolly or one of their other forward prospects to a point they feel more comfortable about them next season, it'll make it more comfortable for them to deal a veteran forward like Ryan Malone, assuming he'd allow it, to get some defense or goaltending help.

The good news is that I'm optimistic this season is a pot hole and not a ditch. There's a lot of good talent in the system, and the Lightning really are just 2-3 players away from being right back to elite status. And, no, those players aren't Scott Stevens and Patrick Roy. But, they do need to be guys who are a better fit for the current system and are a lot more clutch than what the current group has shown this year.

J.T. Wyman was -1 in 5:26.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Bolt Prospects 2011-2012 Midterm Rankings

With the graduation of Brett Connolly from prospect status, it's finally time to release Bolt Prospects' 2011-2012 Midterm Rankings. While difficult for the Lightning at the NHL level, this season has proven to be incredibly exciting for the development of the team's prospects. The Lightning have never boasted such incredible depth in the system, and that depth extends to overage prospects like Trevor Smith, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, and J.T. Wyman, who have made positive contributions to the big club during injury recalls. The team should also be excited about the performance of AHL signees like Philip-Michael Devos and Cory Conacher, the latter of whom is a lock to earn an NHL entry-level contract from the Lightning very soon.

NHL Game Night: 2-12-12 Lightning at Penguins

Squandering their last chances.

TB-2
PIT-4

Mathieu Garon allowed 4 goals on 41 shots for the loss.

First Period
TB Downie (10), (Purcell, Hedman), 9:58
TB Downie (11), (Purcell, Clark), 10:09
PIT Malkin (31), (Letang, Neal)(PP), 16:15

Second Period
PIT Kunitz (16), (Letang, Johnson), 0:56
PIT Letang (8), (Kunitz, Neal), 4:28
PIT Malkin (32), (Kunitz, Neal), 10:54

Third Period
NO SCORING

I don't know what else you could ask for. The Lightning were spotted a 2 goal lead and let it slip away in in less than 11 minutes en route to getting doubled up. It's sad.

J.T. Wyman was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 6:17.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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