Written by Dani Toth | 07 December 2009


After almost a full year hanging out at blogger, The Hockey Bay has joined the Bloguin family! I am thrilled to be the resident Tampa Bay Lightning blogger on this network of great blogs that are written by bloggers I read and respect.

Update your rss feeds or bookmarks to my new url (pay attention it's a little different from my old one): thehockeybayblog.com

The Hockey Bay will remain the same with game day previews, recaps (sometimes) and the usual sarcasm that you've come to love from me. Up to the minute news? I try. Stats analysis? Hell no. But I promise to try to bring the funny as much as I can.

I am still stunned that the bosses at bloguin said they liked my work, and not just one blog but both of them (the other is a Vancouver Canucks blog now named Benched Whale). So when they asked if I wanted to move both of them over to the bloguin network, clearly the answer was yes. I get a site re-design, spiffy new banner but still get the creative control over what I feel like I want to write about.

In addition, one of the things that really swayed me to join was the community of hockey blogs that have joined bloguin. The puck blogs are growing fast here, so it's very exciting to be part of something that feels big. One of the great things about being a blogger is getting the chance to work with other bloggers on collaborative features as well as just having an enemy blog to hate on when writing a game preview.

So enjoy the new site, I know I do.

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Written by Dani Toth | 07 December 2009

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.

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Written by Dani Toth | 06 December 2009


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.

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Written by Dani Toth | 05 December 2009

Draft pick #1 comes to draft pick #2's kitchen tonight.

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.

Line-up Notes:
  • Mike Smith in goal
Game time: 7:30pm ET on SUN. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 04 December 2009

I never keep up with how the Devils are doing. I know that Brodeur will likely be the starting goalie for Team Canada...but I'll be the first to admit that I don't exactly keep up with the Devils.

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.

Line-up Notes:
  • To be updated
Game time: 7:00pm ET on SUN. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 02 December 2009


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.

Line-up Notes:
Game time: 7:00pm ET on SUN.
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Written by Dani Toth | 02 December 2009

I don't usually get to catch the first period because I live on the Westcoast and by the time I have most likely missed the 1st and sometime a bit of the second period. So when I get home and see that the Lightning are losing 4-0, I'm not even going to bother watching the game. Losing 4-0 shows a lack of effort. That just adds to the 4 out of the last 5 games that we've lost.

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