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Written by Dani Toth | 21 December 2009

Saturday night in Long Island there was a blizzard. Whiteout. Not many fans attended, announced was 7842, but HNIC said it was closer to 5000. But the kicker was that according the HNIC, approx 3000 of them were Habs fans, in fact 22 bus loads of them. The Islanders Hockey Blog declares them the worst fans in hockey....get ready Tampa Bay, the Canadiens are coming to St. Petersburg on December 30th and you know they will are bringing the Ole.

Enemy blog: Check out Islanders Hockey Blog

The Lightning flew out of St. Louis on Saturday was diverted to Newburgh, NY because of the storm on Saturday. They then had to take a 2 1/2 hours bus ride to their hotel in Uniondale, but arrived just as the storm was starting to drop snowflakes.

Hoping the win over St. Louis has the Lightning out of their downward spiral, the Lightning play their last away game of the year against the Islanders tonight. The Lightning will try to win the first back to back win for the first time in 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Before St. Louis, the last win the lightning had was over the Islanders back on Dec 5th, where they took it 4-0.

Stamkos is currently 3 goals away from tying his goal total from his rookie season last year.

The Islander have lost 2 straight games so far and are 13-16-7. They have gone 0 for 17 on the power play  in the last 4 games. Dwayne Roloson (11-6-5) is expected to start for the Islander as Biron (2-10-2) lost another game for the Islanders on Saturday.



Line-up Notes:

  • *updates to follow*
Game time: 7:00pm ET on SUN no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 20 December 2009

konopka

Zenon Konopka leads the league in penalty minutes at 135, Carcillo who is 2nd comes in at 96 PIMs

"There are days, Zenon Konopka admitted — like the one in Detroit when his neck and wrist were packed in ice and he could not speak clearly because of the stitches in his mouth — that he wonders what his body will feel like at age 50."-Cristodero from the St. Petersburg Times

Konopka was born on January 2, 1985 in Niagara-on-the-Lake ON. He played in the juniors for the Ottawa 67's winning a Memorial Cup with the team in 1999 but went undrafted and then spent the next couple of years toiling away in the ECHL and AHL. He made his NHL debut with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2005-2006 but was traded in the off season with Curtis Glencross to CBJ where he spent most of his time with their AHL affiliate.

"The best way to describe it is, seven or eight years ago, I was making 360 bucks a week, and I was doing the same thing in the East Coast Hockey League,"-St. Petersburg Times

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The Lightning signed Konopka to a 2 year contract in 2008. This year after a strong camp and a coach that likes his style of play, Konopka has been a regular on the Lightning starting roster. He's not a huge guy at 6 feet and 211 pounds (as far as enforcers go) but he doesn't shy away from dropping the gloves. Some days I roll my eyes when I see another fight break out in which Konopka is in the middle of it since it happens so often, but he knows his role and he does it well. Having a coach like Tocchet has worked in Konopka's favor, as Tocchet likes the type of gritty player that Konopka is. "The mental toughness of him is something I really respect," coach Rick Tocchet said. "He lives on the edge. He doesn't take anything for granted because he knows it can be taken away from him. He knows his role."

Lecavalier tells Cristodero that "He's like Russell Crowe in the Gladiator,", "I love playing with the guy. He's inspiring. Guys look up to him. He's a great leader, a leader by example."

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In addition to fightning, Konopka is also great at faceoffs and has been able to help bring the energy to Tampa's 4th line.  He also has a hockey camp called Zenon Konopka's Hockey Academy in Ottawa, ON. It's nice to see players, no matter their skill level, give back to young players during their off season.

The Lightning don't win games because of him but he has become a bit of a fan favorite because of the role that he plays so well on the team.

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Written by Dani Toth | 20 December 2009

lightning_blues_dec_19_09_3

My favorite midget gets another goal

Sorry for the late recap, as I said in an earlier post, I was at the Canucks/Capitals game last night thus Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and others took priority over this game. But now that I've had some time to check out the game highlight video, here are some thoughts:

  • Lecavalier had two assists which giving him 700 points for his career total
  • Lecavalier has had 2 goals and 5 assists in the last 6 games
  • The Lightning have snapped the six game losing streak, the last time they won before last night was on December 5th against the Islanders at home
  • The Blues scored first on the PP at 10:04, St. Louis (the player) ties up the score only 33 seconds later at 10:37
  • Stamkos opened up the 2nd period with a quick goal 36 seconds in, he would also get an empty net goal to notch his 20th goal of the season, which puts him at 4th place in all NHL goal scorers. Stamkos is now only 3 goals away from tying his 23 goals he got in the 2008/2009 season
  • Halpern, who had oral surgery only 24 hours before to repair his mouth after getting a puck to the face, had 2 goals in the 3rd period
  • Halpern's 1st goal in the 3rd period happened only 14 seconds after TJ Oshie's goal at 3:58
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  • Lecavalier's game sometimes reminds me of Jarome Iginla or Kevin Bieksa's game, where if the player gets angry, their play get so much better. Lecavalier's elbow to David Backes because of the Backes' hit on Vinny in the neutral zone gave the spark the team needed and him a little feistiness to his game.
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Crombeen: "Just one little push..." no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 19 December 2009

power_rankings_hockey

-Tampa Bay was one of the 3 teams that dropped 10 spots in the last NHL power rankings of 2009
-Even after a 6 game losing streak, there weren't in last place (shocking I know), only 29th...

Click here for the rankings and insight from Bloguin's NHL writers
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Written by Dani Toth | 19 December 2009

It's your 19th birthday! ....
(well it was yesterday, but I was at the Canucks/Caps game watching Ovechkin play, so I'm allowed to be late)

hedman5

and you are now legal in the city I live in. This now makes me feel infinitely less dirty about thinking that you are a swedish stud than when you were 18.

Pic spam of Hedman after the jump...

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Written by Dani Toth | 18 December 2009

Another loss, another game. I feel a flashback to last year.

Enemy blog: Check out Wazzupwitchu or St. Louis Game Time

Both teams can't score.  Both teams lost in a shutout last game, us to the Wings and the Blues to the Hawks. St. Louis (14-13-5) is considered consistantly inconsistant, the Lightning, well they've been consistantly losing.

This is the only time these two teams will meet this year and right now both teams need the win. The Lightning have lost the last 6 in a row and tonight is a game that we could actually stop the slide.

Steve Downie is questionable tonight, but his injury hasn't been ruled a concussion yet. Hedman on the other hand, took part in the optional skate this morning, which means he could fit his foot is a skate, so it is likely that he will play tonight. Krajicek has been assigned to play in Norfolk, which will take his cap hit off of the Lightning salary cap. And Matt Walker returns to face his former team.

Line-up Notes:

  • Krajicek has been assigned to Norfolk
Game time: 8:00pm ET on SUN no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 18 December 2009


"That's a fellow Swede". Oh and we lost the game 3-0.

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