It's December and tonight is the 1st out of 6 games that we will play against the Caps. There will then be two in January and three in March, thank you NHL for the even distribution.
I'm pleased to say that the Lightning are coming off of a shutout victory over the Islanders over the weekend after ending a bit of a slide. With a good performance on Saturday, Mike Smith has earned another start for tonight. The Caps are on a 5 game win streak and Alex Ovechkin is back after serving a 2 game suspension.
Tonight will be a good game for the Lightning to see how they measure up to a good divisional rival. Although Smith did get a shutout on Saturday, I still don't have the confidence in him to say that he will have another good night.
Game time: 7:30 ET on SUN
-Sorry about the less than informative preview, but I was a little pressed for time.no comments
Before we get started, let me just say: Victor Hedman got his first NHL goal!
After all the hype of the first two 2009 draft picks facing each other last night, the Lightning had a perfect game shutting out the Islanders. All this, in front of a half empty arena, on a Saturday night.
Second shift in to the game, Ryan Malone opened up the scoring just 95 seconds into the game. The Islanders disagreed with the goal since they thought that the ref should have call the play dead, but the ref's mistake was our first goal. Nice quote from Roloson: “He whacked at it like five times and there’s no whistle, so yeah, you sort of expect for there to be a stoppage in play. But I guess everybody makes mistakes,".
The Lightning also got a power play goal from Steve Downie (sounds like such a juxtaposition) at the end of the 1st, another powerplay goal at the beginning of the second period from Halpern and of course, the goal from Hedman in the 3rd. Hedman's goal came halfway through the third from a pass through the slot from Lecavalier.
“My first-ever NHL goal feels pretty awesome. Let’s hope it doesn’t take 28 more games to get the next one,” Hedman said. “It was a great goal, and I promised my friends back home we’d have a celebration, so it was definitely awesome. It’s been a couple of games that I had a lot of good opportunities. I’ve fanned on a few shots and the puck has gone over my stick too, but it felt good to finally get one.”
Lecavalier, St. Louis and Meszaros all had two assists on the night and Mike Smith got his first shutout since Dec 23 2008.
Enemy blog: Another team that I don't keep up with much, except with Tavares lands himself in the highlight reel, neverless check out Islanders Hockey Blog
John Tavares and someone named Matt Moulson is the Islanders team these days. Where did this Moulson character come from? The whole team. He breathes hope into Islander fans much like Crosby did for the Penguins. So much hope that a report says that Charles Wang has given GM Garth Snow permission to add payroll for a playoff run. Whoa. I don't know if the playoffs are in the picture just yet, but Tavares certainly is making a case for being a Calder Trophy candidate. He has had 7 goals and 7 assists with a plus 6 rating in the last 17 games.
Not related to this game but still interesting: TSN reports that mythical player Rick DiPietro may be back playing for the team in mid December. Someone already picked him up in my fantasy hockey pool.
- Mike Smith in goal
Enemy blog: Although I don't keep up with them, I know someone who does, check out Running with the Devils
The Devils played against the Canucks at home on Wednesday and lost to Vancouver 5-2. The Lightning have lost their first two games against the Devils already this season back in October and need to beat the Devils to stop this current slide. It's not sure if Brodeur will start in net tonight as the Devils haven't released any official word yet.
- To be updated
The Bruins just signed Savard to a seven year extension...cue the rumors of Kovalchuk to the Leafs now please....
Enemy blog: Check out Something's Bruin where they are currently dissecting the contract extension that has Savard on the team till he's 40 years old (clearly front loaded).
The Bruins have won five of their last six games, and the Lightning have now been losing more than they've won in the past few games. The Lightning need to turn this around. With the new contract announcement, I expect Marc Savard to have a good game tonight, of course with any new contract, he may begin sucking next game for the rest of the year....
The plus for the Lightning is that Ohlund has returned back to the lineup last game which will give the D some leadership direction. It wasn't that the defense played horribly while Ohlund was out, it just looked like they were lost during some games.
- Mike Smith in goal
- Smaby finally gets to play tonight
Marc Savard just signed a extension so it was expected that he would score a goal non? The other goals from the B's came from Bergeron and two from Sturm. Former Bolt Mark Recchi got 3 assists.
Halpern got the only goal for the Lightning and Matt Smaby played for the first time this season. The Lightning as a team is going to need to put together a good performance, especially in the defense on Friday because they'll play the Devils. The play between tonight's game of offense from the B's will be a stark contract to the defensiveness from the Devils. Let's move on and hope that the team can put together some effort to stop the losing. no comments