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Written by Dani Toth | 25 October 2011

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It was going to be Brett Connolly watch, but the news just broke via @AlBristowe that he's staying up with the big club.

Really thrilled to hear that he'll be staying with the Lightning. But this is just the first hurdle for him, as now he faces 73 more games of this night in an night out. Still, this is huge for Connolly. It shows how his hard work and determination to remain with the club is paying off.

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As for tonight
  • Mathieu Garon is on a 3 game win streak, tonight making his third consecutive start with 36 saves
  • Ryan Miller let in 4 goals on 23 shots
  • The Lightning battled back from being down 2-0 in the 1st period
  • It was a bit of a messy game, lots of breakaways given up
  • Lecavalier got his 800th point of his NHL career
  • Lecavalier was nailed by Regehr
  • Stick taps to Malone for standing up for Cappy
  • Matt Gilroy is gaining minutes playing 15:22 tonight
  • Huge goal by Malone in the 3rd
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Written by Dani Toth | 25 October 2011



I love it. I really, really do. Especially all the awkward takes from certain players. Though, how many takes do you think Boucher took to shoot his part? I imagine him laughing and re-starting multiple times. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 23 October 2011

During the Lightning/Buffalo game on Saturday that I wasn't able to catch because of GameCenter being down, I ended up watching HNIC while cursing GCL. In the hotstove segment, Oren Koules' name came up. Relax, it has nothing to do with the Lightning but rather with the St. Louis Blues. I can't embed the video so go here to view it on the CBC website (start at the 4 minute mark).

Basically Elliote Friedman said that Oren Koules is part of the management group that is led by Matthew Hulsizer who is looking to buy the St. Louis Blues, so we might see a return of Koules to the NHL earlier than you would have expected. You might remember Hulsizer from when his was looking in to buying the Coyotes, but now his sights are on the Blues. On October 5 2011, TSN reported that a non-binding term sheet was drafted though no date has been set on when an actual sale will take place.

It seems Oren Koules wasn't burned by the mess that happened with the Lightning, that he still wants to be back in as an owner. For the good of the NHL and for St. Louis, I hope he has learned from his previous mistake.
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Written by Dani Toth | 22 October 2011

Some days GameCenter just doesn't want to make things easy. So today's recap is brought to you by the complete fail of NHL GameCenter today. Didn't watch any of the game in real time, and since I had twitter on, the score was ruined for me by the time I got around to watching it.

To start off the night the Lightning showed off their now toy during the pre-game:

Tampa Bay Lightning's photo #TBLightning Photo: Tesla coil in action...
Tampa Bay Lightning on WhoSay

I think it works.

This is what it looks like in action:



Quick game thoughts:
  • Garon got his first shutout of the season and with the team
  • Stamkos played really well defensively
  • As expected the game was a tight defensive game, the Lightning still got 3 goals but shots were only 26 (Lighting) to 20 (Sabres)
  • In addition to being defensive, the Lightning didn't take a plethora of dumb penalties
  • The game was a sell out at 19,204

Here is a ridiculous goal by St. Louis




Beautiful.

Next game is in Buffalo for the 2nd half of the home and home on Tuesday no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 22 October 2011

Enemy Blog: Head over to Top Shelf for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (2-3-2) Sabres (5-1-0)

Previous games: None yet

Game time: 7:00pm EST on SUN (HD)

THERE WILL BE TESLA COILS!

That should be enough for the preview for tonight's game, no? So there will be Tesla coils for at least the pre-game tonight.

So as the stats show, the Sabres have been good so far. They beat up Pacific division teams in Europe and have been trucking along with Miller standing on top of his head the other night. Tonight is the first in a home and home that we'll play against Buffalo. The Lightning had a good game the other night against the Islanders and need to bring that focus tonight. They've only won one game in a string of really crappy play.

Look out for Connolly tonight as it is game #8 for him, the clock is ticking on whether he stays for the season.

@TBLightning tweeted out a photo of Roloson's new 3rd jersey mask. Strange that they would do it before a game that Garon is starting, but my initial though on it was that it is simple. The bolt on the top looks huge and a bit weird, but maybe I need to see this during an actual game to decide. Thoughts on it?

Tampa Bay Lightning's photo Dwayne Roloson's new Bolts mask he will wear on Saturdays with the third jerseys.
Tampa Bay Lightning on WhoSay

Line-up Notes:

  • Garon will get the start in goal
  • Pyatt and Jones in
  • Shannon, Gervais and Ritola are scratched
Links:
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Written by Dani Toth | 20 October 2011

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Lecavalier for Luongo?

Excuse me for 5 minutes while I have a good belly laugh about this. AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA....Oh Province, you are so silly.

Now let's back up for a minute, since I do live in the city and know what led up to The Province publishing an article like this. So the Canucks have been 1-2-1 going into tonight's game against the Preds. Luongo has not looked great in the games so far, actually his goals against has been terrible, but he rarely does well in the month of October. So with Lundqvist posting a shut-out at one end of the rink on Tuesday and Luongo letting in four goals at the other, fans were a little frustrated. To be honest though, not all of those goals from the Rangers which were his fault  and since his team wasn't able to score any goals so maybe Luongo wasn't the real problem in the particular game. But the frustration from watching him meltdown in the SCF, a poor start to start the season and an more than capable goaltender sitting on the bench (Cory Schneider), well the frustrations came out during the game. Luongo got a Bronx cheer when he handled the puck in the third period and instead of Luuu's, he had boo's rained down on him.

Because hockey >>> any other sport in Vancouver, the phoneboards on the TEAM 1040 were lightning up with callers saying to trade Luongo.

So what did The Province do?

They decided to think like those callers, and suggest since Luongo and Lecavalier have similar contracts, let's just trade them.

Many people say the Canucks made a huge mistake in signing Lou to a 12-year, $64-million no-trade contract in 2009 because it makes parting with him impossible. So here’s our solution.

Trade Luongo straight up for Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who has a similar, $85-million, 11-year no-trade deal. With Steve Stamkos in Tampa, Lecavalier is no longer top dog and could use a fresh start as much as Lou.

Tampa needs better goaltending; we need a power forward. Lou’s wife could finally be closer to her family, and Lecavalier could play hockey again in a city that actually cares about his sport.

It’s a win-win-win-win (Lou, Vince, Cory, fans) solution.

HOLD UP.

Lecavalier could use a fresh start? Have any of you in my city seen Lecavalier last season? Last season, especially in the playoffs, Lecavalier has been the closest to his old form than he has been in years.

And most importatly, Lecavalier could play hockey in a city that actually cares?

Last I checked, the Lightning had an attendance record of 19,204 on Monday against the Panthers and 18,181 tonight against the Islanders.

EAT IT PROVINCE

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Written by Dani Toth | 19 October 2011

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When Brett Connolly skates his 7th game tomorrow, the Lightning will only have two games left to decide if they want to keep him up for the year or send him back to the WHL. It's a tough decision for the team because he's looked good in the six games he's played even if the team as a whole has not.

Connolly came into camp looking to make the team. He was confident and when speaking to the press said just that. He came in after having spent a summer in Toronto putting on 10lbs in weight and coming in with a determined attitude. He has not just looked good playing with the Lightning so far, it's how he doesn't look out of place. Sure there are moments where he makes a mistake or his timing with Stamkos and St. Louis is a little off, but that just takes time to adapt to the faster pace and to develop the chemistry with his linemates.

He started on the 3rd line in the first few games of the season with an occasional shift up on the top line, but lately Boucher has been testing his skills with having him skate with St. Louis and Stamkos. He still has only 1 assist but I think it is just be a matter for time for the points to come when you are skating with those two.

If we look at the benefits of him being up with the club, it's obvious that his skill set will improve being up with the Lightning instead of being back in the WHL with the Cougars. No matter which line he'll play on, he's going to learn more than he can down in the WHL.

The question the coaching staff will address will be if he'll be able to take the 82 game grind of the regular season grind. The NHL has a long season and for a player that didn't play much in the 2009-2010 season due to injury, this will be a tough year physically for him. Add on the pressure of having to score consistently when you are playing on a top line with Stamkos and St. Louis, now you have a mental pressure added to the rookie's first year. Then add in the fact that if he skates on the top line, he'll be facing the top defencemen of the league night after night. And let's be truthful, having Chara try to shut you down, that's scary. That's assuming he'll skate on the top line of course, though, again, he didn't look out of place doing it so far doing it.

From a team standpoint, the Lightning can also use a player like Connolly to round out the top line instead of a player like Downie. Although I have to admit that Downie has far surpassed my expectations playing on a top line, Connolly could be a better fit than Downie right? He sees the play better and is quicker than Downie, allowing for the top line to be more fluid. But again, I'm not here to trash Downie as I'm sure he'll be back on the top line if Connolly doesn't stick with the team. It's just that I've liked the look of the line with Connolly on it.

The decision on keeping him won't be if the Lightning want to burn through Connolly's first year of his three-year $2.7 million contract, it will come down to if they think he can take all the pressures of playing at such a high level each night with the team. He's going to be an impact player eventually, and his skillset is something the team can use this year, but the question we'll see answered by post-game next Tuesday is whether the management has the confidence in him being able to survive a full season.

Oh, and scoring a goal or two in the next few games will help that decision too.
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