Tampa Bay Lightning
You know its sad when a guy who ran the print magazine version of HockeysFuture into the ground after just 3 issues has more credibility than the current band of hacks that occupy the editorial position at that empty shell of a website. And yet, that's where we are. Shane Malloy has more journalistic credibility than Holly Gunning (HF's online editor) and Ken McKenna (HF's managing editor). How do I know this? Because Shane Malloy actually did a shred of homework before writing an article about the Lightning organization and Gunning and company [url=http://hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=8549\]clearly didn't.[/url]
HockeysFuture released their Spring organizational rankings today, and first let me say it's a really bright thing to release rankings a week and a half into the CHL playoffs. After all, it's not like the postseason is important or anything. Yes Holly, that's sarcasm. In any event, once again the biased HockeysFuture editorial staff and their intrepid band of statistic cut and pasters have pegged the Lightning 30th in the league in terms of prospects. On the eve of the graduation of the third Lightning prospect the club has placed into the NHL this season no less! Gotta give 'em credit for having chutzpah. No clue, but they've definitely got chutzpah.
When Ryan Craig takes the ice tomorrow night at the Forum against the Panthers he will be in his 41st game of the season for the Lightning. By Bolt Prospects criteria, that will graduate him from prospect status making him the third Lightning prospect to become a full fledged NHLer this season. Congratulations to Craig for reaching this milestone.
It almost makes me vomit when we drop a game to these clowns.
You know what the difference is between the inspired effort against the Thrashers and this stinker tonight? Fear. The Lightning are afraid of Ilya Kovalchuk in particular, so they bring their highest intensity level to the rink. Against Florida? These are the patsies that allowed the Lightning to score 4 goals in the third period to tie it last game, so zero intensity. And when you do that, even against patsies, you will lose if the patsies have a goaltender like Roberto Luongo. Lesson learned, I hope. Florida is on the schedule two more times.
John Grahame stopped 22 of 26 before being pulled for Sean Burke who stopped 9 of 9. Paul Ranger was -2 in 25:44 with 4 shots and 1 blocked shot. Get well soon Boyle and Kubina. Ryan Craig was -1 in 15:41 with 2 shots, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot. Timo Helbling was -1 in 11:27 with 1 hit. Evgeny Artyukhin had 3 shots and 1 hit in 5:45. Bringing up the rear, Doug O'Brien played just 4 shifts getting 2:45 of ice time. There's a vote of no confidence right there.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
A huge win, and a first for Paul Ranger.
John Grahame stopped 19 of 22 in the win. Tampa staked itself to a 4-0 lead before allowing Atlanta to get close in garbage time. No harm no foul as the Lightning get away with the 4-3 win. Paul Ranger scored his first NHL goal in the game on a long point shot and because of Atlanta's three goals late it turned out to be the game winning goal. The other rookie blueliners played very very sparingly, and the best compliment I can bay them is that I didn't really notice either O'Brien or Helbling with the exception of a mistake Timo made late in the game.
Ranger led all Lightning rookies with 22:26 of ice time with 1 shot, 1 hit and 2 blocked shots. Ryan Craig was -1 in 16:06 with 1 shot, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot. Timo Helbling played 11:11 and was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot. Evegeny Artyukhin played an effective 4:44 with 2 shots and 1 hit. Doug O'Brien was the low man in ice time with 3:24 of even hockey with 1 blocked shot.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
In the wake of defenseman Pavel Kubina's injury in last night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Lightning have recalled defenseman Timo Helbling. Helbling will join the Lightning in Tampa as they prepare to host the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night.
Helbling has played in 60 games for the Falcons this season collecting seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points and 56 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound native of Basel, Switzerland started the season with the Lightning registering one assist in five games played. Helbling is currently second on the Falcons in scoring among defensemen.