Kukla's Korner

Southeast Tonight: Lightning at Devils

Just one Southeast team scheduled to lace ‘em up this evening as Tampa Bay’s road swing continues tonight in New Jersey.

Lightning at Devils
Tampa Bay hits the ice for the first time since the trade deadline exactly as they were before, with general manager Steve Yzerman opting not to make a move on Monday – a move signaling both supreme confidence in the group he has in place already and an unwillingness to pay what was said to be a lofty price for any addition of considerable impact.

The bottom line being, the Lightning didn’t have to do anything and held firm. Composure and discipline from the top permeates throughout an organization and exactly that has been in place since day one under the new regime.

On the ice, Tampa Bay maintains a lead in the Southeast Division over second place Washington, though the Capitals shrunk the gap to just three points last night with some last-minute heroics (and a classic overtime winner from Alex Ovechkin) against the New York Islanders. Still, the Bolts are firmly planted in the driver’s seat, with two games in hand on their Washington rivals, winners of three straight and having earned at least a point in 13 of their last 16 outings.

Martin St. Louis is riding a nine-game point-scoring streak dating back to February 6th, during which he has four goals and 13 points and has crawled to within four points of NHL scoring leader, Daniel Sedin with 75 to his 79. Steven Stamkos remains in between Sedin and St. Louis with 78 points but has cooled of late in the goal-scoring department with just three tallies in the month of February.

Vincent Lecavalier’s resurgence continues as the Tampa Bay captain has posted seven goals and 12 points in his last nine games.

Dwayne Roloson is in net tonight for the Bolts, who are in Boston tomorrow night where Mike Smith could get his first start since December 18th.

The Lightning halted New Jersey’s eight-game win streak last Friday in Tampa before the Devils rebounded Sunday in Sunrise against the Panthers in goaltender Martin Brodeur’s first start in three weeks. Despite the setback in Tampa, the Devils remarkable run continues, with a 17-2-2 run that began January 9th against, yup… the Tampa Bay Lightning.

***

Deadline stuff killed my flow this week and, thus, for the first time all year, a Southeast AHL Affiliate Update will be skipped. Apologies…

***

Finally…

Quote of the day: “I’m not bipolar, I’m bi-winning.” - Charlie Sheen

Epic.

JJ
jj@kuklaskorner.com
JJ on Twitter

Filed in: New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink
 

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