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Written by Dani Toth | 31 January 2010

There was another game on this afternoon? It wasn't just the Pens v. the Wings on NBC? Because that OT was a helluva 5 minutes of hockey. Why hello there you 3pm start time on a Sunday....

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The Lightning played a game where their worst enemy was not the Caps, but the magnetic ability for the puck to hit the goal posts. The first two periods for the Lightning was a little ho hum and far too much play in their own end. Smith was in net today after missing six games with a neck strain, but looked a little slow in net and perhaps should have waited to start until Tuesday's game against the Thrashers.

Going into the 3rd period, the Caps were already up by two goals. The Lightning scored a pair of goals in the third period, the 1st from St. Louis and the 2nd on the powerplay from Stamkos (his 29th of the season) but never was able to get another for the game winner. Ovechkin ended their rally with a goal wrister at 13:34. Lecavalier got testy in the dying minutes of the third period, which would have been useful if there was more than 12 seconds left in the game. But can you really get a game tying goal with 90 seconds left having your checking line out there? In Tocchet's mind you can, though it doesn't seem to work in reality. In the end Lecavalier got tossed for unsporstmanlike conduct after he had some choice words to the officials after being tossed out of the faceoff circle.

This was the Caps' 10th consecutive victory to tie their franchise record. The Caps played without Mike Green as he was serving the 1st of his 3 game suspension for the elbow on Frolik from Friday night.

In other news, the Lightning have sent down center Paul Szczechura to the Admirals for a conditioning stint today.

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Written by Dani Toth | 31 January 2010

fired_postit

You heard me, the useless Lukas Krajicek is no longer a Bolt. Woooo! We should have a party! The Lightning have found a way, and by found a way, I mean stuck him on unconditional waivers and then terminated his contract (I'm going to overlook the whole issue that we just waived a guy away for nothing by cap relief).

This useless piece of junk that we acquired in a swap with Vancouver (we sent away Shane O'Brien), and then gave a 1 year contract extension worth $1.475 million, continued to be a useless piece of junk in Tampa. In 23 games with the Lightning this season, he had 1 assist. The Lightning had already sent him through waivers down to Norfolk back in December to take his contract off of the cap.

The Flyers have already signed Krajicek. I feel bad for you Flyers, since if you need a player like Krajicek, you must really be in a need of a defenceman, since Krajicek is shit.

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Written by Dani Toth | 29 January 2010

ohlund_mattias

The fourth and last Lightning player, Mattias Ohlund's Olympic player profile is now up on the Olympic Hockey Blog.

As Team Sweden tries to defend their gold medal, Ohlund will don the Tre Kronor for his fourth Olympics.

Previous Olympic Lightning posts:

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Written by Dani Toth | 27 January 2010

Bienvenue! Ce soir, le Canadiens de Montréal sont à Tampa dans le deuxième match de deux en 24 heures face aux équipes de la Floride. Ce sera le troisième affrontement de la saison entre les deux équipes...

Enemy Blog: Check out the Four Habs Fans for your Habs centric perspective

Oh, is French not your thing? Well I shall continue the rest in English for all you Tampa fans.

The Lightning are still searching for their first three game win streak of the season. No really, I'm serious. The Canadiens (25-24-5) are currently sitting in 9th spot in the East at 55 points in a 4 way tie. The Lightning (21-20-10) sit back 3 points back with 52 points, so every point right now is huge. This is the second of Montreal's back to back games having lost to the Panthers last night.

It's an early game start at 7pm as this game is aired on both TSN and RDS, in addition to the local SUN. The first 5000 fans will also get a free Ryan Malone hat tonight

Line-up Notes:

  • Niittymaki to start and Smith to back up
  • David Hale has been sent to Norfolk for conditioning assignment
Game time: 7:00pm ET on RDS (HD), TSN (HD) and SUN (HD)
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Written by Dani Toth | 25 January 2010

malone_teamusa

The third Lightning player, Ryan Malone's Olympic player profile is now up on the Olympic Hockey Blog.

Bugsy brings skill, size and leadership to Team USA. And his tattoos.

Previous Olympic Lightning posts:

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Written by Dani Toth | 24 January 2010

Just two quick goalie things:

The Tampa Bay Lightning has re-assigned Dustin Tokarski back down to Norfolk, which means that Mike Smith will be back ready to play for Wednesday's game.

Riku Helenius has been assigned to Sodertalje of the Swedish Elite League. After this season, Helenius will have one more year left on his contract.

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Written by Dani Toth | 23 January 2010

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After playing 48 regular season games with the Lightning, James Wright has been sent back down to the Vancouver Giants. In the 48 games he played, this 19 year old center recorded 2 goals and 5 points. He was fifth among the Lightning in hits with 51. He was drafted 117th overall, in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He surprised everyone this year when he made the team and got promoted to the top line with Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Wright had a good camp and due to fantastic two way play he was promoted up to the top line, but eventually he caught in the line juggling of head coach Tocchet and never found the solid chemistry with a line. His movement in the lines were due to a lack of production of the Lightning star players, that caused Tocchet to keep mixing up the rest of his roster.

This is the statement released from the Lightning regarding his demotion:

“We are excited for James to get back to junior to continue his development. We feel the 20-plus minutes a night he receives there will be the best for his long-term growth,” Lawton said. “He has made strides far greater than we projected this soon in his career and we look forward to seeing him continue that growth.”

When the Lightning first decided to keep Wrighter with the team instead of sending him back to the WHL to play another year with the Vancouver Giants, I was a little bit surprised. My thoughts on the reason why you would keep a player that is still eligible to play another year in junior is because the player has nothing left to learn in the juniors. This may or may not have been the case with Wright, but I think the proper thought process in the decision about Wright had not been followed with the Lightning management. Anyone who reads my blog is well aware of what I think about the Lightning infrastructure and their tendency to make rash decisions, I believe the decision to keep Wrighter playing up in the NHL was made too quickly.

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