Written by Dani Toth | 16 March 2010

In a bit of a late appearance during the stretch drive, we host the Phoenix Coyotes in Tampa tonight. Before you try to remember what the Coyotes looks like, don't bother, with a new coach they've improved their game and now win games. They currently sit in 4th place in the West, tied with points with the Canucks who sit in third because they are top of the NW Division.

Enemy Blog: Check out Hipchecks or The Good, The Bad, The Coyotes

Under Coach Dave Tippett, and having an excellent goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov, the Coyotes have become a tight checking team that is giving Tippett a good chance at winning the Jack Adams award. The Coyotes are currently on a five game win streak and look to add to that tonight. We have played the Coyotes earlier this season back on November 16th where we Lecavalier scored two goals in a 4-1 win with Smith in net.

Like last game against the Penguins, tonight is now a bigger must win game if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. According to the Mirtle over at the Globe and Mail's playoff push the East needs 88 points to make it into the playoffs, meaning the Lightning need to go 10-4-0 for the rest of the season. So is this a must win tonight? Yeah definitely.

Don't know if Malone will play tonight as he is day-to-day, will update if he does.

  • There is a tail-gate before the game starting at 5:00pm. It's all you can eat/drink St. Patrick's day themed tail-gate for $25 bucks, info can be found here

Line-up Notes:

  • Ryan Malone is out with an upper body injury, day-to-day
  • Mattias Ohlund is out with a lower body injury
  • David Hale is out with a lower body injury on injured reserve
  • Zenon Konopka is out with back spasms
Game time: 7:30pm ET on SUN (HD)
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Written by Dani Toth | 15 March 2010

Apologies on the lack of recaps this weekend, it was a mix of being busy, and literally getting last minute tickets to a hockey game (the game had already finished the 1st period). No games today, so recap of this weekend and some links to stuff I've been reading

Lightning vs. Caps


Where does a Lightning fan even begin? The Lightning won a game! Against a good team! Yes really, we won a game, was this feeling of joy that I felt what other teams feel on a regular basis? Anyways, the Lightning did win 3-2, in Washington no less. Stamkos extended his 18 game point streak but was not able to score, snapping his goal scoring streak. Niittymaki was solid in goal, and goals from Lecavalier, Foster and male model Brandon Bochenski.

Lightning vs. Penguins

I've already said something about Steve Downie and his attempt to injure Crosby yesterday after the game. Regardless of who Steve Downie did this to, I don't feel that such an attempt at injuring a player should be allowed in the game. Injuries to the knees kill careers and regardless if this was Crosby or another player, I don't think it has a place in hockey. If Crosby had been and older player, perhaps he would not have been able to shake it off and return to the ice like Crosby did.

The NHL did not suspend Downie today for the incident. I expected as much from the NHL, and felt that Downie would only get a suspension if Crosby had been injured. Moving on, we still have games to look forward to, and hate to say it, the Lightning need Downie to play since we are already dealing with injuries.

The Lightning scored midway through the 2nd period from a wrist shot from Lecavalier and attempted to ride out a 1 goal game. They removed their foot from the gas and stopped applying any offensive pressure on the Pens.

The Pens outshot the Lightning 39 to 22, but that sounds even better from what I saw in the game after Lecavalier scored since they only had 1 shot after the goal in like 17 minutes of play
-The Penguins had two goals in the third period, one from Dupuis and another on the powerplay from Gonchar
-The Lightning took penalties at inopportune times during this game, and it became frustrating to watch them defending constantly in their zone
-Stamkos disappeared from the game, but perhaps that was due to the hit from Orpik on him from earlier in the game
-Lecavalier reached 20 goals for the 10th straight season

The hockey game was, *gasp* sold out with an attendance of 20,230

News and Links

Tomorrow game against the Coyotes starts at 7:30pm. For your Coyotes pre-game reading check out Hipchecks or The Good, The Bad, The Coyotes
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Written by Dani Toth | 14 March 2010

Steve Downie, who hasn't made had a questionable incident in...oh a week....after playing well in Friday night's game against the Caps, decided tonight after Orpik's hit on Stamkos, to get some retribution for Orpik's hit by making some attempt at a slewfoot on Crosby.

Here is the video in case you missed it:


When you have critics writing good things about you, adding another notch to your history of douchebaggery is not the right move to make. I know that I am a Lightning fan, and should defend my own player, but it incenses me that Downie did this. If he was upset about the hit on Stamkos he could have picked a fight, but to be this classless crap disgusts me.

Downie did get a 2 minute penalty and Crosby did return to the ice. The Lightning face the Penguins again on March 31st in Pittsburgh

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Written by Dani Toth | 14 March 2010


The Lightning are back in Tampa to begin a week long home stand which looks to be ugly. The Pens, Coyotes, Sabres and the Caps all come to visit this week. The Lightning currently have 68 points, 4 points back from 8th spot which Boston is currently sitting in.

Enemy Blog: Check out The Pensblog and here is their game day preview

Coming off of a loss the the Devils and the Hurricanes, the Penguins are looking to bounce back. This is the third time we've played the Penguins this season, with teams splitting the two games played. The next time we play them will be at the end of the month on March 31st in Pittsburgh.

Although Stamkos wasn't able to extend his 18 game point streak, the Lightning received a much needed two points from the Caps. We f-cking won a game. How does a Lightning fan know how to react to that? Winning. And mind you, winning against a team that isn't named the Atlanta Thrashers. Could we do it again tonight?

This week will not get any easier after facing the Pens, with two teams with excellent goaltending and a rematch against the Caps to end off the week. To keep the dream of the playoffs alive the Lightning need to pick up a few points out of the next few games, as hard as that may be and tonight may be one of their best opportunities but they'll have to do it without Ryan Malone and Mattias Ohlund tonight

  • There is a tail-gate before the game starting at 2:30pm. It's all you can eat/drink, yes all you can drink beer, for $25 bucks
  • The first 5000 fans get a Together We Will t-shirt
  • The Lightning are having an game used equipment sale from 2-5pm
All info for the events can be found here.

Line-up Notes:

  • Niitymaki to start
  • Ryan Malone is out with an upper body injury
  • Mattias Ohlund is out with a lower body injury
  • David Hale is out with a lower body injury on injured reserve
  • Zenon Konopka is out with back spasms
Game time: 5:00pm ET on RIS, SUN (HD)
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Written by Dani Toth | 12 March 2010

Two quick things I came across in my reading today:

1. In the Globe and Mail article by David Shoalts today about Ice Edge and the Phoenix Coyotes, the numbers of how much Jeffrey Vinik came out. I knew it was significantly lower than what OK Hockey had paid, but this was the first that I've seen of the actual amount: $100 million

And the Phoenix Coyotes are being sold off at $160 million

2. H/t to John at Raw Charge on finding this, on facebook the Lightning are having a limerick contest for St. Patricks Day. In case you forgot what a limerick is, it's a 5 line poem with an aabba rhyme scheme. I'm not sure if the Lightning will allow me to put my submission which I'm sure will be filled with sarcasm up on their facebook page....but I figure this is how mine will start off:

There once was a coach named Rick Tocchet...

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 March 2010


So with the Lightning losing tonight to the Leafs (the LEAFS!), our playoff hopes are slowly slipping away one point at a time, I thought to myself, "What are the positives?

Well the positive with the Lightning this season has got to be Stamkos' stellar season. Even in the loss tonight, Stamkos continued his point streak with a goal and an assist extending the league's longest active point streak to 18 games. He also notched his 42 goal of the season in the losing effort to bring him within two goals of the league leaders Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

So with 16 games left in the season, how many goals do you think Stamkos will end the season with?

If he can score 50 goals in the next 16 games, he will become the third youngest player to score 50 goals in an NHL season. Can he do it? Clearly he can, and I don't think he'll stop at 50 goals either. Of course I'd rather the Lightning getting points in their fight for the playoffs instead of Stamkos getting goals to break the 50 goal mark, but since the Lightning's playoff hopes don't look great, might as well celebrate Stamkos' success. I say 51 goals.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 March 2010


Losing to the Leafs sucks, especially when it's because of mistakes your own team makes. The Lightning yet again aren't able to get two crucial points in last push for the playoffs. The dream of the playoffs haven't ended, no, but when you watch a game like tonight where mistakes some of the Lightning players make become the reason why they lose the game, it's frustrating.

It is frustrating to have a goalie like Mike Smith who lets in ugly goals, and what's worse, in the last 10 games Niitymaki hasn't been much better. Steven Stamkos get's his 42nd goal of the night, but with weak goaltending the idea of playoffs are like a joke to me.

Tonight was the night of the young guns with Stamkos, Viktor Stalberg and Tyler Bozak getting 4 of the goals scored tonight. In overtime, Tocchet decides to play 3 forwards and only Kurtis Foster as the lone defenceman, which looked silly in the end with Lecavalier racing back, clearly gassed trying to defend a 2 on 1 and Phil Kessel putting it past Smith.

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