Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning's top scoring threat was held without a goal for the eighth consecutive playoff game, dating to last season's first-round defeat against Montreal. Including the regular season, Stamkos is on a six-game drought without a goal and has only three in his past 14 games.
"It's tough," said Stamkos, who was second in the league with 43 goals during the regular season. "Obviously I want to produce. It's not for lack of effort. … It's just not going the way I want it to right now."
Detroit's defensemen have been a big reason for that, limiting him to two assists in Game 2 and nothing since.
The Red Wings have made it a focus to limit Stamkos' opportunities by keeping the puck away from him. He had only two shots Saturday in 19 minutes on the ice, including 2:43 on the power play.
"Obviously when you look at their team, the guys who are going to get the most attention are (Tyler) Johnson and Stamkos," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "You do everything you can to make sure those guys have the fewest touches possible."
No, I don't agree.
Watching the game last night, Stamkos just didn't appear to be on his 'A' game.
Not sure what it is but the Lightning need him to be better than he was last night.
via Scott Cullen of TSN,
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay’s marquee player had team-worst possession stats (3 shot attempts for, 10 against, 23.1%) and his line, with wingers Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn, was controlled by the Red Wings’ line of Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar.
via Gary Shelton of SaintPetersBlog,
“They fed off the building, the intensity,” said Lightning center Steven Stamkos. “We didn’t play well. Just looking at our effort in games one and game two compared to tonight, we were missing something.”
Stamkos played 16:47 last night during 19 shifts, was -1 and had two shots.
For the series his TOI is 17:09, is even in +/- and has two assists.
from Martin Fennelly of The Tampa Tribune,
The first shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, nine minutes into the game, got past him. Not really his fault. The fourth shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, eight seconds into the second period, that beat him, too. Not really his fault. The third one, on the 12th shot, the game-winner, he has to stop. Bad goal.
I’m not saying Ben Bishop lost Game 1 for the Lightning.
But he didn’t win it, either.
He had a lot of company in that regard as his team dropped Game 1 to the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2 at Amalie Arena.
Where was That Line, Johnson, Kucherov and Palat? Where was Steve Stamkos? Where was the power play? Where were the Lightning with all those chances?
But you can’t get around the fact that at one point in the third period, the Red Wings had taken 12 shots on Bishop, and three of them had gone in. That’s one out of four.
Reminds us of when John Tortorella lambasted keeper John Grahame after Grahame allowed four goals on 17 shots against Ottawa in an ’06 playoff game, saying he was tired of “the 25 percent rule.”
The bottom line is that the Red Wings gave up 46 shots, more than they did in any game this season, and took only 14, the fewest they’d taken all season — and they won.
added 8:28am, from Tom Jones of The Tampa Bay Times,
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
MCDONALD: What do you say to those critics who think the Lightning don't have enough players with postseason experience to make a deep run?
STAMKOS: Well, anything can happen when you get into the playoffs. That's the beauty of the sport and we've seen that over the years. Every team's goal is to get into the playoffs because they know you get a hot goaltender, you get a couple of bounces your way, your special teams get hot and anything can happen. I think, for a lot of us and the young nucleus that we have, a lot of these guys came up and played with each other in the American Hockey League, won a championship down there, so it's not like it's foreign territory for them. We have a great mix of youth and veteran guys, so this is probably the best team that I've played on in my career with regards to the depth we have, the skill set and speed. We saw it a couple of years ago when no one was thinking we would make it to the conference finals, one game from beating the Stanley Cup champions that year, so we kind of have that mentality heading in. We embrace flying under the radar a little bit.
via the NHL YouTube channel,
NHL Network Analyst Kevin Weekes learns the fascinating story behind Head Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- If Tampa Bay follows Chicago’s lead, Steven Stamkos will sign an eight-year extension in less than three months. On July 9, 2014, the summer before the final seasons of their deals, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed identical eight-year, $84 million extensions. Stamkos, who has one year remaining on his current deal, will use both contracts as benchmarks. It’s arguable that the center is even more valuable to his team than Toews and Kane are to the Blackhawks. From that perspective, Stamkos should earn at least $11 million per season, even with the cap correction because of the Canadian exchange rate.
- Ottawa will have some serious work to do this summer. Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Alex Chiasson will be restricted free agents. Of the group, Zibanejad, Stone, and Hoffman project to be top-six fixtures. All will require raises. The Senators have decent cap space, partly because of the smart money they invested in Kyle Turris. On Aug. 29, 2012, Ottawa re-upped Turris to a five-year, $17.5 million extension. It was an excellent move. Ottawa’s No. 1 center is playing like he’s worth double his $3.5 million average annual value. Even smarter than the extension: the price the Senators paid to acquire Turris from the Coyotes. On Dec. 17, 2011, Ottawa landed Turris for David Rundblad and a 2012 second-round pick.
many more hockey topics...
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
What to give the man who has everything? How about a VIP pass to the 2015 Masters golf tournament. That’s what former Senators head coach Rick Bowness, associate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was presented by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman. This, on the occasion of Bowness’s 2,000th game behind an NHL bench, on Feb. 7.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Bowness said Thursday. “This is a life-long dream. I’ve always wanted to take my boys to Augusta, St. Andrew’s and Pebble Beach. The other two are public. This was going to be the challenge.”
Yzerman got the tip on what Bowness might wish for, from Bowness’ wife, Judy. Bowness isn’t just going to championship Sunday at the Masters – he and his sons, Ryan and Rick Jr., will be taken to Augusta, Georgia in the private jet of Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and returned by jet to Tampa afterward.
Bowness said Yzerman acquired the VIP passes by making “a couple of calls.”
Not your usual coach-talk...
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is on set with Hockey Central at Noon to talk about the battle for the lead in the Eastern Conference.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning blueline was delivered another big blow Monday as veteran defenseman Jason Garrison will be out 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury, coach Jon Cooper said this morning.
Garrison, who suffered the injury early in Saturday's game, had gone back to Tampa to get re-evaluated Sunday. That means Garrison could miss the first round of the playoffs.
But that's not all.
Cooper said All-Star center Tyler Johnson is out tonight - and is day-to-day - with an upper body injury, defenseman Andrej Sustr is out 1-2 weeks with an upper body injury. The most amazing thing is that center Cedric Paquette, who looked to suffer a serious left leg injury Saturday, skated in today's practice and is a game-time decision.
Every team deals with injuries, but this is just awful timing for Tampa Bay, which enters tonight's showdown in Montreal just three points behind the Canadiens for the Atlantic Division lead.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org