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Written by Dani Toth | 16 February 2011

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Enemy Blog: Head over to Nightmare on Helm Street for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (34-17-6) Red Wings (34-16-6)

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

Free Stuff: First 15,000 fans in Lightning gear get a Rally Drum. Think about that for a second: THEY ARE GIVING AWAY DRUMS!!!

Tonight's game will be no easier than Tuesday's game was. The former team of Steve Yzerman (obligatory reference) have a similar record to us (we have one more loss), have the same amount as points as us, and are in the same position in their conference. So it's going to be another tough game tonight.

After fleeing the home nest in Detroit, Yzerman, who modeled his own team after the Wings is looking to put get a win over his old team. Yzerman will no doubt try to down play this game as just 'another game' (oh wait he already did here) but you can bet that he wants to win this one. It's like the student going up against the Jedi master.

The only key to the game tonight is: don't make mistakes. Because the Red Wings capitalize on those mistakes so well, and even when half of their team is out with injury, they still will beat you with their game. F-ck I hate Detroit so much.

Quote going into the game:
"I don't think we should make any bigger deal than necessary about the game.  I'm not the coach and obviously I'm not a player playing the game. First of all we're trying to win every game, and two, we're playing against one of the best teams in the league and it's a good test to see how we can hold up against (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg and see if we can penetrate, when healthy, the best defense in the league in my opinion.  I'm looking forward to it from that perspective -- how do we match up against one of the best teams in the league." --Steve Yzerman to the Detroit Free Press

Beat those drums and Go Bolts!

Line-up Notes:

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 16 February 2011

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No it's not because the playoffs don't have shootouts.

In a game that was between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, tonight was set up for a good showdown. Tampa Bay came in looking to sweep the season series and Philadelphia was looking to get just one win over a possible Eastern Conference final matchup. This was like playoff hockey in February.

Except for the shootout.

So both teams played well. The Flyers learned how to score, and the Lightning rallied back from a two goal deficit to push the game to overtime. It was interesting to see the tactics that the Flyers came up with to get by the Lightning system although it took a lot of patience on their part and good foresight on where they wanted their passes to go. The Lightning relaxed their system a bit more in the third period, opening up the ice a bit more in the neutral zone.

Bullet points from the game:
  • Lecavalier scored his 13th goal of the game, he has five goals in his last four games
  • The Lightning played well against the best team in the East
  • Mike Vernace got his first assist on a pass to Kubina who fed it to Purcell for the Lightning's 3rd goal tonight
  • The Lightning gave up another shorthanded goal to Darroll Powe. Great shot by Powe though
  • Steve Downie drew a few penalties and was able to resist taking a fight with Coburn
  • James van Riemsdyk had a great game with a Gordie Howe hat trick
  • So Mike Richards did elbow Stamkos in the head. He's a bit of a douche
  • We suck at shootouts
Even though we lost tonight, it was in a shootout and there are no shootouts in the playoffs. The team played hard against the team to beat, and walks away with more confidence even with the loss.

Next game: Yzerman's old team, the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 14 February 2011

Things I don't know if I should be embarrassed about or love it because it seems so cheesy? Is it full of frontrum?



And since when did people in Florida love country music?

Or play ball hockey outside? no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 14 February 2011

Enemy Blog: Head over to Flyers Goal Scored By... or Broad Street Hockey for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (34-17-5) Flyers (36-14-5)

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

Free Stuff: First 2,500 fans in Lightning gear get Dominic Moore cards. They call this giveaway 'Lightning love Admirals', though what Dominic Moore has to do with the Admirals, I do not know

The Flyers lead the Lightning by just 4 points in the Eastern Conference. A win tonight could narrow that gap to just two points, so it's a big game tonight. In the past three games against the Flyers, the Lightning have won all three games, so a win tonight will also be a season sweep. Of course, the Flyers who may consider the Lightning as one of their possible playoff threats, will want to finish off the season series with at least one win of the Bolts.

Over the last couple of games, the Flyers have had some some trouble scoring goals. They have been shut out twice and have only scored eight goals over the last five games. It's so bad that coach Laviolette put together an all center line with Claude Giroux centering Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Buuuttt....it didn't work and they ended up losing to the Kings 1-0.

The Flyers acquired Kris Versteeg yesterday from the Leafs for draft picks which says a lot about their commitment to winning this season. Good take on it from Ryan over at Flyers Goal Scored By... Stating the obvious here, but I imagine Versteeg is pretty excited to leave one of the worst teams of the league for the best team in the Eastern Conference. He is expected to play tonight.

Quote going into the game:
“[Tuesday’s game] is probably as close as you’re going to get to a playoff game,” Danny Briere said. “We’re in the position we’re at, we have to find challenges. And tomorrow is certainly one of the biggest we’ve had to face this year.” -CSN Philly

Go Bolts!

Update:

-According to the Lightning Insider, Matt Smaby is out with flu-like symptoms
-Mike Vernace has been called up from Norfolk
-Dwayne Roloson is starting in net

Line-up Notes:

  • Lightning injuries: Ryan Malone, Nate Thompson and Mike Lundin
  • Flyers injuries: Ian Laperriere

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 February 2011

Enemy Blog: Head over to Canes Country for your opposition blog coverage

Record: Lightning (33-17-5) Hurricanes (26-22-7)

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

Free Stuff: First 2,500 women receive a pink Steven Stamkos t-shirt and 5000 thundersticks will be given out to people in Lightning stuff.

There is also a post-game concert on the West Plaza stage featuring Edwin McCain (he sang that song 'I'll Be"....oh wait I found a video of it on youtube with Hilary Duff). The concert is free with a hockey ticket. For more info on game day stuff click here.

After a complete meltdown in the third period against the Sabres on Tuesday, the Lightning have had more than a few days to reflect on the 7-4 loss. With only one game this weekend against Carolina, the Lightning look to bounce back after that night of embarassment. The key to tonight is to stay focused and work hard for all 60 minutes of the game.

It will be tough for the forwards as they are without Ryan Malone for the forseeable future, but like I said yesterday, at least it happened now and not sometime in March. According to the Lightning insider, he is not expected to have surgery. Nate Thompson is also out for Saturday night's game as he has a mild concussion
  • The Lightning have played against Carolina twice this season, winning 5-1 on December 20th and losing 6-4 on January 15th.
  • Johan Harju was called up to the Lightning from Norfolk because Malone and Thompson are both out for the game

Go Bolts!

Line-up Notes:

  • Lightning injuries: Ryan Malone, Nate Thompson and Mike Lundin are out
  • No word yet if Matt Smaby will play yet since he took a knee to the balls during Tuesday's game
  • The Lightning will dress seven defenemen tonight
  • Hurricane injuries: Jussi Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 10 February 2011

With today's news of Ryan Malone's possible torn abdominal muscle coming out of Tampa today, the first question you ask is "how long will he be out?".

According to Erlendsson's article, the extent of his injury is not known yet, and so surgery may or may not be needed. Some people are estimating him to being out of the lineup for about 8 weeks. That's almost the rest of the regular season.

But relax, because instead of freaking out over this, we should all see the positive in this happening now and not in like April. Even if Malone goes through a surgery and is our for 8 weeks, he could still be back in time for the playoffs. In addition, at least this happened before trade deadline day, as opposed to on, say March 1st. See? Things could have been worse.

Now of course, this does make this upcoming trade deadline a little bit more interesting, no?

Does Yzerman try to acquire another top six forward to replace Malone? Or does he work on getting another top 4 defenceman to our very weak defence core?

In the short term, the Lightning have called up Johan Harju from Norfolk to fill in while Malone is out. Yes, this is the same Harju who in an article translated by Bolt Prospects two weeks ago said that he was thinking of going back to Sweden after the season because he was unhappy since he wasn't getting a chance in the NL.

As he told the Swedish media, the Lightning will not change a winner, so unless there's an injury, Harju likely won't be on a Lightning scoring line anytime soon.

So there's an injury, and now he's called up. He better make the most of it.
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Written by Dani Toth | 10 February 2011

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