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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Stamkos Maturing Right Before Our Eyes

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

So it was interesting indeed this week to see how Stamkos would react when coach Rick Tocchet decided to break up the pair, moving the cure-all St. Louis to the struggling top line with Vincent Lecavalier and putting gritty Steve Downie with Stamkos and Ryan Malone on the second unit. The result? The new second line produced three goals while Stamkos put up a pair, including an empty-netter, in a 5-2 win over the Sharks on Thursday night.

“Obviously playing with Marty has been great, we’ve had a lot of success together,” said Stamkos. “But the coaching staff decided we needed to change things up to get the team going. I actually played with Downie last year and we had some success.

“You know, as much as it’s nice to play with Marty, you do have to show you can play without a guy of his talent and still create chances. It was nice to play well last night, win the game, and prove as a team that we can play with two solid offensive lines.”

He’s only 19, folks, but Stamkos has maturity beyond his years. Again, St.. Louis has had something to do with that, as does a solid upbringing, thanks to his parents; so does going through his first rough patch of his hockey career last season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Boyle Still Has Memories Of Tampa

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Kind of a fun day at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon with the Tampa Bay Lightning skating on one ice sheet and the San Jose Sharks, who play Tampa Bay on Thursday, skating on the other.

Sharks defenseman, and former Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle took a few minutes to chat after practice and said how much he is enjoying San Jose and how good an organization it is. But Boyle said he never will overlook the years he spent with the Lightning, with which he won the 2004 Stanley Cup came into his own as a blue-liner under then-coach John Tortorella.

“There always will be a place in my heart for Tampa,” Boyle said pounding his chest.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+boyle

Tortorella Helped Erin Andrews With Her Career

from Tom Jones of the St. Peterburg Times via Scripps News,

Q: Let’s talk about your career. How much did former Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella (the coach when Andrews started with the NHL team) influence your career?

(Erin Andrews)  A: “Torts’ has meant so much to me in my life and in my career. It was clearly a situation where he didn’t want a 22-year-old around that team, nor should he have. He was trying to turn around the worst team in the league. And here’s this 22-year-old kid right out of school traveling on the bus, at the hotel, at all the practices.

But he taught me so much about how to prepare, how you should act as a professional, how to ask questions. I mean, if you weren’t prepared, a guy like that could be tough to deal with. (Laughs) And he taught me to have no fear. He taught me how to prepare and jump right in. He was so good and respectful to me, and he didn’t have to be. Everybody with the Lightning was like that.

more but not much more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erin+andrews, john+tortorella

Lightning Need More From Lecavalier & Tanguay

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The scoring slumps of Vinny Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay are growing to concerning proportions.

Lecavalier has zero goals in six games this season and none in 13 straight games going back to last season. Tanguay has zero goals this season as well and none in nine games going back to last season. At least Lecavalier has five assists and 24 shots on goal. Tanguay has just one assist and six shots.

After Tampa Bay’s 7-1 loss to the Senators, Tanguay said, “I (stink) right now.”...

“I thought Vinny and Tangs were getting chances , but in the last couple of games not as many,” Tocchet said. “I think that has more to do not with personnel but more their style. We have to get them playing more north-south. They’ve been a little too much east-west, and a little too much perimeter, and they know it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Martin St. Louis Still Productive

from John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times,

His story will always be told the same way. It has to be. You just don’t rise up from out of nowhere to become a Hart Trophy winner on a Stanley Cup champion team. And so, yes, the legend of Marty St. Louis was settled long ago.

But do you know what’s crazy? In some ways, the later years are just as remarkable as the early days. All this time later, St. Louis is back to defying the odds just as he did as an undrafted free agent more than a decade ago.

Look at the NHL’s top 20 or so scoring leaders this morning. You will see Alex Ovechkin, aged 24. And Dany Heatley, aged 28. You will see 23-year-old Evgeni Malkin and 21-year-old Nicklas Backstrom. And in the middle of the bunch is St. Louis, in all of his 34-year-old glory.

It is not a fluke, and it is not likely to change anytime soon. A year ago, he was the oldest player among the NHL’s top 20 scorers, and it’s a pretty good bet he will not budge in 2009-10.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+st.+louis

Baby Steps For The Lightning

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

I know, you want to think the team will make the playoffs. Analysts said it was possible, but only if everything broke right. Realistically, if the Lightning finishes this season, say, 18th in the league, that’s a huge step, and after three games, though the team hasn’t won, there is no reason to believe that can’t happen.

So, what needs to get better? Well, for one, can they win a shootout? But after 3-10 last season and two losses this season, that probably has become mental. There also needs to be better exchanges between the defense and the forwards to get the transition going better and quicker.  Passing has to be crisper, no doubt. Goalie Mike Smith needs to make bigger saves, but give the guy credit for shaking off being run over by Jamie Langenbrunner and for making two staggering stops in overtime.

Vinny Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay have to get going. We know there is skill there, it just hasn’t clicked yet, though every now and then you see something that makes you think they can be a dynamic combination.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Victor Hedman Not Your Ordinary Rookie Defenseman

from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,

With the style of game he plays and fluid skating style, Hedman is Nicklas Lidstrom with size. With a big build, long reach and neutralizing ability on the rush, he is Chris Pronger without the mean streak.

“Victor Hedman brings to his game an unsurpassed combinations of size, explosiveness in his skating, quickness and offensive ability,” NHL director of central scouting E.J. Maguire said prior to the draft. “He is indeed the whole package.”

While defensemen often take a few seasons to figure the game out at the NHL level, Hedman has stepped right into a top-two role on the Lightning’s defense in the first two games….

“He just doesn’t look like a rookie, and not just the way he looks because he is big, but the way he skates, the way he thinks, the way he does things out there, he’s more like a 30-year-old than 18,” Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said.

“In my mind, he blew right by (any expectations).”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: victor+hedman

Lightning Have A New Co-Assistant GM

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The Lightning made a notable administrative move Friday, naming Imran Khan as a co-assistant general manager after the contract of Claude Loiselle, in the job since 2005 but hired by then-GM Jay Feaster, was not renewed. His contract actually expired on July 31 but remained with the team through Sept. 30.

GM Brian Lawton said the change was part of a process of getting the organization to “run more efficiently.”

In an interesting twist, Khan is a former intern of Lawton’s at the Octagon sports management agency, where Lawton ran the hockey division; interesting, because Loiselle also is a former Lawton intern. But Khan, a 2005 Yale graduate, is only 26 and never has held such a high-level position on a team. For the last year he was in charge of business development and strategic planning for the Lightning.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: imran+khan

Lecavalier Leading The Way

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said he likes what he sees from captain Vinny Lecavalier. So much so, he said he sees “a different Vinny.”

“It’s his attention to detail, the way he’s running the team, the room,” Tocchet said Wednesday at the St. Pete Times Forum. “When we have off-ice workouts, he makes sure everybody’s in there.”

Lecavalier also has accepted a strategy of coming back into the defensive zone for the puck to ignite breakouts instead of waiting for the puck to come to him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Be Quiet Burke

from Jason Botchford of The White Towel,

In a new special on Leafs TV called Behind the Draft 2009, Burke is essentially caught rumour mongering. In the documentary-styled, multi-chapter feature, which was filmed at June’s NHL Draft, the general manager, who has described members of the media as “maggots” and “scumbags,” makes an unsubstantiated, admittedly speculative claim, alleging the Canucks made a strong push for Victor Hedman. He is the Swedish defenceman who the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted second overall.

Burke is filmed in June at the beginning of the draft in the Leafs war room where he is seen addressing his scouting staff.  “Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” says Burke on Part 1 of the series which can be seen on the Leafs’ web site. “We heard they offered, again this is all second hand so we don’t know if it’s true. We heard they offered (Alex) Burrows, (Kevin) Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”

He’s right. They are two pretty good players whose inclusion in the alleged deal make the rumour sound pretty outlandish.

It’s one thing for Burke to make the comment in his war room. That’s fair game. It’s another entirely to allow it to air.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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