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Written by Dani Toth | 01 March 2011

Enemy Blog: Head over to Running with the Devils for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (37-18-7) Devils (27-31-4)

Game time: 7:00pm EST on SUN (HD) and on the radio at 620 WDAE

We just played the Devils last week on Friday where we won 2-1 on our last home game of the 12 game homestand ending their 8 game winning streak. After not making any moves at trade deadline day, the Lightning roll in to Newark today a game tonight before taking off to Boston for a game tomorrow. The Lightning now have 20 games left before the end of the regular season.

The Devils are sitting in 13th spot right now in the Eastern Conference, but are 11 points back from eight place Hurricanes. Martin Brodeur returned to the lineup on Sunday since being kept out since February with a knee injury. They look a little different from when we last saw them since they shipped off Jason Arnott to the Washington Capitals for David Steckel and a 2nd round pick in 2012.

With back to back games you have to wonder if Mike Smith will get a start, and if so, against the Devils or the Bruins? Erlendsson's game preview says that Roloson is supposed to start tonight, so I guess that sets up Smith against Boston. Unless, it's back to back for Roloson? We'll have to see how this plays out in the next two days.

Update:
Roloson is to start tonight with Smith getting the start tomorrow night in Boston according to the Lightning Insider

Quote of the day:
Stamkos on why Martin St. Louis has been able to block 54 shots this season (from Lightning Strikes)
"He's just getting older," Stamkos said. "He can't get out of the way as quick."

Line-up Notes:

  • Lightning injuries: Ryan Malone, Mike Lundin and Mattias Ohlund
  • Devils' injuries: Zach Parise, Bryce Salvador, Matt Taormina and Matthew Corrente (as I wrote this I wondered who are those last two guys?)

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 28 February 2011

Nothing happened today.

Other than the Sens picking up Curtis McElhinney off of waivers, it's business as usual for the Lightning. Stevie Y believes in his team and stayed quiet at the trade deadline. Next game is Wednesday against New Jersey. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 27 February 2011

In today's matinee game of my day, the Lightning won at MSG 2-1.

lightning_feb27_rangers.jpg

I love this photo so much.

So todays game was both great and pointed out some serious flaws with the Lightning.

Let start with the good:
-sweeping the season the series over the Rangers was awesome
-winning the first game of the roadtrip after the long homestand we've had was a great way to head into the final stretch of games
-Lecavalier continued to put up points with a PPG

And now the flaws:
-letting in ANOTHER shorthanded goal
-our powerplay looks like sh-t
-Dubinsky was able to outwork whoever the Lightning put against him in the faceoff circle
-let me reiterate, our special teams sucks so hard

But we're moving on to the next game which is on Wednesday in New Jersey.

But obviously, tomorrow is trade deadline day. The official deadline for trades is at 3pm ET. You can catch me on twitter tomorrow (I'll be tweeting under my Benched Whale account), and I'll have some thoughts up on the blog tomorrow midway through the day, and again at the end of the day when the day is over.

It will be interesting to see what Yzerman does with his first trade deadline day. Will he want to add in another defenceman (because we always need one) or another forward (he did just send down Harju, no? But then again Malone will be back in a few weeks....) or does he stand pat and try not to ruin team chemistry? I personally think he needs to make a move, for a defenceman in particular, because I believe that a team need to carry 8 defencemen into the playoffs in case of injury. Obviously doing well this year is a bit of a surprise being that this is Yzerman's first year as a GM, but you never know if you are going to get as good as a chance ever again.

So defenceman? Go get me a defenceman Yzerman. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 26 February 2011

After last night's 2-1 win over the Devils, the Lightning have done some minor shuffling of their roster this morning:

Here is what has happened so far according to
What does this mean?

With Smith clearing waivers yesterday, it was useless to keep McElhinney as well. He'll be sent to the minors until he becomes a UFA this summer. As I said before, his acquisition was more of a salary dump of Ellis since he still had another year on his contract rather than for McElhinney's services. As for sending Harju down to Norfolk, well it gives Yzerman some room if he were to acquire a forward through a trade or a pickup from the waiver wire no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 24 February 2011

Enemy Blog: Head over to Running with the Devils for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (35-18-7) Devils (26-30-4)

Game time: 7:30pm EST on SUN (HD) and on the radio at 620 WDAE

Free Stuff: First 2,500 fans in Lightning gear get.....A THUNDERBUG SOAP DISPENSER!!!!

Tonight's game is the last game in our 12 game homestand. It's our third of the four game's we'll play against the Devils who have pretty much had the Lightnings' number all season. But the Lightning have a tough game tonight as the Devils have been 16-1-2 since January 9th when they beat the Lightning. Their goaltender Johan Hedberg has had seven straight wins, and two shutouts in his last 3 starts. This has the making for a terrible game to watch.

The Lightning are still riding their high of winning over the Coyotes 8-3. Purcell got his first NHL hat trick, and our captain had a huge 5 point night. The bench looks a little different, as Dan Ellis has now been traded to Anaheim, so we'll have Curtis McElhinney or Mike Smith (if he clears waivers) as back-up on the bench.

Line-up Notes:

  • Lightning injuries: Ryan Malone, Mike Lundin and Matt Smaby (day-to-day with flu-like symptoms)
  • Devils' injuries: Zach Parise, Bryce Salvador, Matt Taormina and Matthew Corrente (as I wrote this I wondered who are those last two guys?)

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 24 February 2011

Bruce Arthur, who I enjoy to read immensely, writes for the National Post. He's one of the better sports writers our there when it comes to actual writing style in sports. Last night he posted an article on how the NHL should be terrified of the concussion that Sidney Crosby is suffering right now.

While not everyone likes Crosby, in fact many of you love to hate him, he is one of two of the most recognizable faces in hockey right now (not that I have to remind of you of that). And since January the 5th, when the Lightning played against the Pens in Pittsburgh, his face has been missing from hockey. Outside of that Tim Horton's commercial which I have seen a ridiculous amount due to the Heritage Classic, we have not seen highlights or interviews from Sidney Crosby. Some of you might be happy with that, but if we think of the sport as larger than our individual likes/dislikes of different players, we can see the NHL has lost of their most important marketing tools to grow the sport.

Who knows if it was the hit from David Steckel or the hit from Victor Hedman that caused the concussion, in the end, we are still left with Crosby suffering through an injury to his brain. That's a big deal that I don't think many people grasp. We just use say 'oh this player is out with a concussion...' but do we really know what that means? Do we grasp how serious a brain injury is? If you've had one, maybe you do, but I find that the seriousness of the injury seems to have lost its impact with the word being used so casually.

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Written by Dani Toth | 24 February 2011

As per TSN, the Lightning have traded Dan Ellis to the Anaheim Ducks for goalie Curtis McElhinney.

The key to this deal for the Lightning is that it frees up cap space for next year as Ellis still has 1 more year on his contract while McElhinney is a UFA.

***

Aaaannn Mike Smith has been called up through waivers according to Cristodero. We'll know by noon tomorrow (Friday) if he clears at half price
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