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Pounded in Pittsburgh, Bolts Will “Bypass” This One

Following Dwayne Roloson’s stellar 34-save shutout debut in Tuesday night’s win in Washington, yours truly joined a host of other media types in pondering aloud just how far stable goaltending might propel the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After all, you can’t ask for a much better start with a new team than the one Roloson enjoyed against the Capitals.

That win elevated the Lightning into sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division and into a tie for the top point total in the Eastern Conference with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Enter the Penguins…

Fresh off of a disappointing on-ice result after all the pageantry leading up to the Winter Classic, Pittsburgh handed the Bolts a hefty slice of humble pie last night, chasing Roloson after three goals in a shade over seven minutes in the first period.

Roloson and backup Dan Ellis split time the rest of the way, with Ellis finishing the first, Roloson returning for the second period and Ellis coming back to close things out in the third. That, Lightning head coach Guy Boucher told the St. Pete Times, was out of kindness.

“I didn’t want one guy to suffer that all by himself.”

The trouncing in Pittsburgh brings the Bolts back to Earth a bit after the emotional high of Tuesday night’s victory and, frankly, serves as a reality check for those of us, myself included, who were quick to elevate Tampa Bay at least into the ballpark of the league’s elite. Statistically, they’re in the conversation. With a share of the conference’s second-highest point total and just three teams, league wide, having more success, they’ve earned that.

But 41 games makes up just half a season and there’s a long way to go before anything that truly matters is earned.

Boucher says the team will “bypass” this game and move forward, with the focus shifting to Saturday’s opponent, the Ottawa Senators.

They can’t get it out of their heads quickly enough.

—-

In fairness, you know, yesterday’s headline – and the gist of the primary part of the piece – suggested the addition of Roloson could lift the Lightning from being a good team to a great one. Could. But you’ll point fingers anyway after the drubbing they took in Pittsburgh and that’s fine.

While we’re being fair, allow me to point out that I never made any direct reference to this team immediately being a Stanley Cup contender, however. Others did, for the record.

So seek them out and heckle them (too).

You know, to be fair.

—-

Continuing with the spirit of evenhandedness, since I was all over the Stamkos spin-o-rama criticism and the silly comparisons to what Linus Omark did in early December, it’s only right that I share what some of you will undoubtedly call Stamkos’ just punishment from the so-called hockey gods on this penalty shot attempt from last night:

The spin-o-rama debate has been laid to rest so let’s not start that again.

But, there, we’re even.

Do with this what you will…

JJ
jj@kuklaskorner.com
JJ on Twitter
The Bolts Beat podcast archive

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, steven+stamkos

Comments

Lindas1st's avatar

The spin-o-rama debate has been laid to rest so let’s not start that again.

Come on. jk wink

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 01/06/11 at 01:18 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

JJ I think TB just had 1 of THOSE games last night

Posted by Evilpens on 01/06/11 at 01:54 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Meh… They were gassed Jon, it’s was pretty clear….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/06/11 at 01:56 PM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

Oh yeah, Tony… Ridin’ high after the Washington win and totally deflated after that one!

They’ll bounce back, but it does serve as a reminder for sure!

JJ

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 01/06/11 at 02:10 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

I was hoping for a competitive game but by the time I got home (time zone difference) it was already 5-0 Pens.  Ouch.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 01/06/11 at 02:23 PM ET

Jennemy of the Skate's avatar

Yeah, it was pretty hard to watch… and then the Stamkos penalty shot fail… sheesh. I couldn’t stand to watch the rest.

Posted by Jennemy of the Skate from the bar car on the stress train on 01/06/11 at 03:18 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

For the Bolts, that was the 2nd of a B2B, against a team that had been resting for 3 days.
Now Tampa is looking forward to three more B2B series in the next 2 weeks.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 01/06/11 at 04:36 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

HTT, the Pens have played plenty of b2b games and have never stunk up the place like TB did last night.

Posted by pensfan29 on 01/06/11 at 04:42 PM ET

DigitalGypsy66's avatar

HTT, the Pens have played plenty of b2b games and have never stunk up the place like TB did last night.

We’ll see tonight, in fact.  wink

Posted by DigitalGypsy66 on 01/06/11 at 05:34 PM ET

awould's avatar

Anyone see that “boarding” call on the TB player for a check on Crosby? That is now Exhibit One of how Crosby gets calls nobody else ever would. It was Kobe-esque.

Boarding for bumping a guy who was already on the boards against them a bit harder just after the puck left his stick? Ridiculous, and a total dive.

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 07:10 PM ET

Tony's avatar

That wasn’t Crosby, it was Goligoski….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/06/11 at 07:13 PM ET

Tony's avatar

My bust, I thought you were talking about the Bergenheim boarding call…. I didn’t see Hedman’s….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/06/11 at 07:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Unless Goligoski wears #87, my eyes lie and ESPN and the Pitt news were wrong, it was Crosby.

From ESPN:
Victor Hedman: 2 Minutes for Boarding Sidney Crosby

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog:
1:19: More bad news for the Lightning. Hedman is called for boarding against Crosby. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Goligoski take the ice.

Goligoski scored on the ensuing PP. Maybe that’s what you were thinking of.

I wish I could find video but rare that a single penalty will make the highlight reel. And Bettman probably already had that bit edited out of the final cut for the NHL vaults.

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 07:28 PM ET

awould's avatar

right…. sorry. it was annoying. i reviewed it on my dvr a few times and it was a pretty clean, inconsequential hit, other than crosby slumping to the ice like JFK in a convertible.

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 07:29 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Now that he’s out of tonight’s game in Montreal with an “upper-body injury”, which may very well be a concussion, is it still a dive ??

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/06/11 at 09:36 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Well, you could get a concussion from diving, especially if there is no water in the pool.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/06/11 at 09:38 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 04:29 PM ET

Wait, are you really saying a forearm to the back of the skull, driving the front of the player’s head face-first into the glass is a clean hit? And that a concussion-causing hit was a dive?

Posted by StevieSteve on 01/06/11 at 09:40 PM ET

awould's avatar

I don’t recall seeing a forearm to the back of the head, could be wrong. Now that there’s an injury to Crosby, however, I’m sure the video will surface. Let’s hold the concussion talk though until anything is actually confrmed. Maybe Sidney cut himself shaving.

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 09:43 PM ET

Avatar

Bylsma said he injured his upper-body in Tampa, not at the Winter Classic or between games. Face-into-the-glass from Hedman is the only hit I recall him taking in Tampa. That was at the end of the 2nd.  He didn’t play much in the third. That tells me it’s either a concussion or a neck injury.

Posted by StevieSteve on 01/06/11 at 09:57 PM ET

awould's avatar

Sound reasoning but I still don’t recall seeing an elbow to the head. Not saying it didn’t happen but just because somebody was injured doesn’t mean it was a dirty hit. It wasn’t even that hard of a hit. Could be a fluke injury. And upper body includes all sorts of things below the neck and the head….. shoulder, elbows, arms in general…. ribs…. the one upper body thing we CAN rule out for crosby is a spine injury.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wqR17KrLKw

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 10:06 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Well, you could get a concussion from diving, especially if there is no water in the pool. LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 01/06/11 at 10:07 PM ET

awould's avatar

That’s a good point. Or if instead of a pool with no liquid water it was a flat surface with frozen water.

Posted by awould on 01/06/11 at 10:10 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Just saw the Hedman play on the Pens’ postgame show….

Not a dirty play, but a boarding penalty….  Just a matter of the 6’6” Hedman checking the 5’11” Crosby with his face to the glass…..

Hedman doesn’t go for Crosby’s head, but merely brings his hands to his chest and follows through… The problem is that because of the height difference, his hands and then his helmet crush Crosby’s head pretty well against the glass….

After watching it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sid has a slight concussion….

In fact, in the post-game interview, Bylsma just said he’s got a mild concussion….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 01/07/11 at 01:36 AM ET

Avatar

Sound reasoning but I still don’t recall seeing an elbow to the head. Not saying it didn’t happen but just because somebody was injured doesn’t mean it was a dirty hit. It wasn’t even that hard of a hit. Could be a fluke injury. And upper body includes all sorts of things below the neck and the head….. shoulder, elbows, arms in general…. ribs…. the one upper body thing we CAN rule out for crosby is a spine injury.

I didn’t say anything about an elbow, I said it was a forearm. Nor do I really think it warranted more than a 2 minute penalty. What I do think is that it is bizarre to claim this play involved a) a legal hit (I see one player facing another’s numbers and coming in high), b) a dive (which it clearly wasn’t seeing how Crosby is no longer on the road trip).

Posted by StevieSteve on 01/07/11 at 01:40 AM ET

awould's avatar

Elbow, forearm… my mistake. I still think the hit looked like one of a half-dozen against the boards that happen most every game. Players often brace themselves against the boards to absorb a hit, and the only part of Crosby that wasn’t against the boards was his noggen. Taking into account the size difference makes it easy to see how an elbow, sorry, forearm, might get up high on a smaller player. I don’t think he “came up high” because he started high (see Chris Pronger’s career). I still think it was a fluke injury and maybe a borderline penalty but only because refs have no consistency. I do take back the dive bit though, because if he’s concussed it was certainly not a dive.

Hereby I declare that I profusely apologize for offering an opinion that turned out to be partially wrong and apparently offended others on this board who disagree.

Go hockey!

Posted by awould on 01/07/11 at 01:55 PM ET

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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.

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