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Written by Dani Toth | 03 March 2010

The Caps were one of the most active teams at the trade deadline yesterday. They added Scott Walker, Joe Corvo and Eric Belanger to their roster, and took back Milan Jurcina from CBJ. They rid themselves of Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala and a bunch of picks during the exchanges. Jurcina, who this year alone I have watched live 5 times in Vancouver (1 Caps game, 1 CBJ game, 3 Slovak games) has a really weird skating stride, like his top half of his gangly body can't seem to figure out how to balance on his legs, anyways he's injured for the next 4-6 weeks with a sports hernia, so his acquisition is more for the playoffs.

Enemy Blog: Check out Rock the Red for your Washington perspective

After Tuesday night's abysmal loss to the Flyers, I can only hope that the Lightning have brought at least some game to tonight's meeting. In a 7-2 loss, they let in 5 goals in the third period with three of them being powerplay goals. This is our fourth game against the Caps (42-13-8), and after tonight we'll play them again in 8 days and then again another 8 days after that game. The Lightning have lost 4 games in a row and really need to start getting some wins, especially against SE Division opponents. The Caps won their last game against Buffalo 3-1.

Last game the boys took an assortment of hooking, slashing and fighting penalties. Tonight the Lightning really need to focus on not taking dumb penalties. Stamkos kept his point streak alive with 2 goals against the Flyers, he now has 12 goals and 13 assists in his last 14 games.

New acquisition Teddy Purcell will play tonight wearing #16. Don't get too excited about him because it sounds like he's terrible, Chris from The Royal Half called him The Royal Half Whipping Boy™

Line-up Notes:

  • Mike Smith is getting the start
  • David Hale is out with a broken leg
Game time: 7:00pm ET on NHLN-US (HD) and SUN (HD)
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Written by Dani Toth | 03 March 2010

Even though the Lightning said they would be buyers at this year's NHL trade deadline, not much really happened

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Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Image

The Lightning traded 33 year old center, Jeff Halpern to the Los Angeles Kings for RW Teddy Purcell and a 2010 3rd round draft pick. Teddy Purcell is younger at 24, but has severly underachieved in LA this year having scored only 3 goals and has been a healthy scratch 18 of the last 22 games this season. It will be interesting to see if he can find his game with the Lightning or like many Lightning players, get lost in the AHL. In the 2007-08 season he was the AHL's rookie of the year, scoring 25 goals and getting 83 points in 67 games. He also seems to make a lot of stupid looking faces when pictures are taken of him, and not stupid in a good way.

Purcell makes significantly less money than Halpern did at $600,000 and is an RFA after this season.

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Written by Dani Toth | 03 March 2010

As the title says, even bigger news than Halpern getting traded (which I will get to in the next post), is that the NHL's Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Lightning to Jeffrey Vinik.

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His welcome letter to the fans:

Dear Lightning Fans,

As the new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, I would like to express my appreciation to the entire community for welcoming me as caretaker of your hockey team and the St. Pete Times Forum. I pledge to you that every one of us at the Lightning will work our hardest to create a world-class organization, both on and off the ice. My goal is to return to the days when the entire Tampa Bay area proudly cheered together for its hockey team.

I know that the Lightning, under our ownership, will be judged on its actions, not just on its words. Accordingly, our organization will do its utmost to build a winning team on the ice, make your fan experience even more exciting at the St. Pete Times Forum and increase the presence of the Lightning and The Lightning Foundation across the Tampa Bay community.

I look forward to meeting and personally thanking each of you for your continued support. I know that together we can bring back the winning spirit to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thank f-cking god. Now as I've said previously when we were just waiting on the BOG's approval, this is a step in the right direction for the Lightning. He won't be able to fix all the problems (and there is many) with the team right away, but if he is able to hire the right people to run the team, our team should be in good hands. Time will tell if this happens, but today I have more confidence in the longevity of the team in Tampa than I had yesterday.

(h/t to James O'Brien at ProHockeyTalk)

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Written by Dani Toth | 01 March 2010

Heyyyyyy I'm back! After 2 weeks of no NHL hockey, we getting back to the playoff push in March. We'll try to pick up where we left off, oh wait we lost 3 in a row didn't we? Well maybe we won't pick up where we left off, and intead just try to improve going into the home stretch.

Enemy Blog: Check out Flyers Goal Scored By

We are currently sitting 1 point out of a playoff spot with 64 points. Ryan Malone returns from Team USA to face the Philadelphia Flyers in the last game in the season against them. I may have begun a hockey crush on Mike Richards while he played for Team Canada, though I couldn't suspend my hate for Chris Pronger. In the past few weeks, the Lightning have gone through ownership changes and coaching switches (easy there, just assistant Wes Walz) as we head into the last few hours before the trade deadline.

Going in to the Olympic break Jeff Carter was on a four game goal scoring streak, with 5 in his last four games. He made the trip out to Vancouver, but was told to go back home after Ryan Getzlaf proved he was ok to play (and thank god he was). Stamkos on the other hand has had 10 goals and 13 assists in his last 13 games.

Line-up Notes:

  • Niitymaki to start
  • Walker is out
  • Both Matt Smaby and Mark Parrish are in
  • Zenon Konopka is day-to-day
  • David Hale is out with a lower body injury
Game time: 7:30pm ET on TSN (HD) and Versus (HD)
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Written by Dani Toth | 14 February 2010

Well NHL hockey at least, let me explain.

As it says in my 'About Me', I live in Vancouver. And we're currently having an Olympics here, maybe you have heard about them? So as of the opening ceremonies on Friday night, NHL hockey was dead to me.

But let's do a little recap, what did we miss? On Thursday the Lightning lost to the Bruins 5-4, nice comeback attempt, but no dice. On Saturday, the Lightning lost to the Islanders 5-4. Today, the Lightning lost to the Rangers 2-1. Lots of one goal losses. Yep, that's about it.

So, while there will be no NHL hockey until March 2nd, there is plenty of great hockey that will be played at the Olympics. Women's hockey has started already and the men's hockey tournament gets underway on Tuesday 9am EST with USA v. Switzerland.

For all of your Olympic coverage, check out the Olympic Hockey Blog. I'll be covering some of the games that I'll be attending as well as the Olympic experience of attending the Games. I'll try to post links of things I write throughout the Games, but do check out the site since there are tons of great writers and new posts throughout each day.

I will also be writing about the Olympics for our friends over at Raw Charge along with Ryan from The Classic Blog and Alix from Canucks Hockey Blog. My first post went up the night before the Olympic opening ceremonies and is about the anticipation of the start of the Games.

The hockey tournament will be the marquee sport in Canada, although I hear NBC will air Ice Dancing instead of the Canada vs. USA hockey game on February 21st.

Looking at the tournament of course there are favorites to win, but since it's not based on series' like the Stanley Cup, there could always be surprises. Having one bad game, or one team having a lights out goaltender can change anything when you need to win every single game (you can, at most, lose one in the preliminary round and still take home gold). I am excited to be able to be a part of the tournament as it will be a once in a lifetime experience. I'll be seeing a mix of countries (some game I don't know who is playing because they are based on the standings of the preliminary games) and of course will be rooting for my home team. After all this Olympic stuff is over, when I'll be severly sleep deprived, we'll jump right back into NHL hockey and trade deadline day.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 February 2010

According to Sportsnet, right behind Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos and Martin St.Louis are next on Yzerman's list of forward replacements for Team Canada. TSN said that on February 1st, Team Canada had to submit a list of their 23 man roster as well as a list of reserve players in case of injury. They say that the list includes four forwards, three defencemen and one goalie. Other players that have been told to be on stand by are thought to be Stephane Robidas and Steve Mason. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 11 February 2010

Since Ryan Getzlaf has a day-to-day ankle sprain, Team Canada's Steve Yzerman has told Jeff Carter to be ready and be prepared to travel to Vancouver on Sunday in case Getzlaf isn't ready to play.

Of course this has elicited a reaction from Lightning fans or media as they believe that Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis should have gotten the call instead. Apparently I am in the minority of Lightning fans (maybe the only one) who believes that Carter was the logical choice as it had already been decided by the Team Canada management at the end of December that Carter was considered the 14th forward.

I've already fleshed out whey I think St. Louis wouldn't be called and as far as Stamkos goes, it seems that his age and lack of time in the NHL hasn't allowed him to demonstrate that he's ready to get a spot over Canada's other superstars. If they didn't think he was the 14th foward at the end of December during the roster announcement, it's unlikely 1 month of play has changed their minds. He's like Crosby and the 2006 Olympics, though Crosby played well from the beginning of his season and got passed over as he had not played a full season yet. Too bad Stamkos didn't have a better rookie season (not just a good finish) as that would have factored in how Team Canada evaluated his play. All this Stamkos stuff started heating up after Mike Brophy of Sportsnet wrote on Monday about how Team Canada was making a mistake about not having Stamkos on the team. Some days Lightning fans embrace the Canadian media, and some days they think the opposite.

In the end, the amount of depth that Team Canada has available is the reason that there is even a debate going on about two very good hockey players.

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