Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Ryan Craig's Graduation Day

Bolt Prospects moves a player to graduated status if they play in 41 or more games in one season or if they play 82 or more total combined NHL games. Already this season the Lightning have graduated two players: Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artyukhin. Within the next couple of weeks they should be joined by a third. With 36 NHL games under his belt, Ryan Craig is just 5 appearances away from bidding adieu to prospect status and establishment as a full time NHLer. Presuming he plays in every game until then (knock on wood) Ryan Craig will graduate from prospect status on Monday, April 3rd at home against the Florida Panthers. Craig, like Artyukhin and Ranger before him, will remain on our Midterm Rankings until Bolt Prospects releases our final 2005-2006 rankings at the conclusion of the Memorial Cup tournament once all Lightning prospects' seasons have come to a close.

Game Night 3/20: Lightning at Panthers

I don't know if I should be outraged or jubilant. TB-5 FLA-6 (OT) The Lightning scored 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd period just to get a point in the standings, and every point is precious right now. Gerald Coleman, unfortunately, took his first NHL loss in relief as Olli Jokinen beat him on a breakaway in overtime. In Coleman's two appearances this season he's been beaten by Marian Hossa and now Jokinen on clean breakaways. He stopped 12 of 13 shots faced after entering the game to start the third period after John Grahame was chased for allowing 5 goals on 25 shots. Martin St. Louis keyed the comeback with two goals and Ryan Craig continued to shine with a goal and an assist. Paul Ranger played 20:18 and was -2 including the miscue at the blueline that led to Jokinen's winner. That's about three straight minus games for the usually flawless rookie. Craig played 16:53 and was +2 with 1 shot on goal which he made the most of. Evgeny Artyukhin played 10:14 and was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021013.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Game Day 3/19: Islanders at Lightning

The Lightning are starting to feed off the home cooking and are looking more and more like a team that will get the opportunity to defend their Cup in the postseason. NYI-2 TB-5 John Grahame stopped 30 of 32 shot faced as the Lightning's goaltending situation is beginning to go into a stretch of being settled down. Ryan Craig had a pair of assists on goals by Pavel Kubina and Vincent Lecavalier. I'd have to check the numbers, but it feels like Craig is scoring at a points per game clip that is actually greater than what he was doing in the minors. Paul Ranger was -1 in 17:50 of ice time with two hits and two blocked shots. Ryan Craig was +1 in 14:55 with 0 shots on goal, 3 hits and 1 blocked shot. Big Evgeny Artyukhin was -1 in 8:52 with 1 shot on goal and 3 hits. Tonight was Ryan Craig's 34th NHL game, 7 away from graduation under Bolt Prospects criteria. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021003.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 3/17: Flyers at Lightning

It's official Philadelphia, we own you. PHI-3 TB-6 John Grahame stopped 28 of 31 for the win. Ryan Craig led the way with a pair of power play deflection goals. Paul Ranger played 18:10 and was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit. Craig played 13:40 with 2 shots and 1 hit. Evgeny Artyukhin played 6:18 with 1 hit. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020989.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 3/14: Lightning at Senators

That's a bitter, bitter pill to swallow. TB-3 OTT-4 The Lightning blow a two goal lead allowing a goal late in the second period and then Daniel Alfredsson's game winning goal with 7 seconds left in regulation. A win would've put the Lightning into a tie for 6th in the conference with New Jersey. How quickly fortunes change. John Grahame stopped 27 of 31 shots faced in the loss. Evgeny Artyukhin got his 13th assist of the season on a Dimitry Afanasenkov goal. Ryan Craig played 16:30 of even hockey with 1 shot on goal and 2 hits. Paul Ranger played 14:36 and was +1. Evgeny Artyukhin was +1 in 10:53 of ice time with 1 shot and 2 hits. Nick Tarnasky remained out of the lineup with an injury. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS020970.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
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