Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: steven stamkos
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Is Lightning star Steven Stamkos targeting a Feb. 6 return from the broken right tibia he sustained Nov. 11 at Boston? That was the report this week from Darren Dreger of Canada's TSN.
Asked if he is targeting a specific date for a return, Stamkos on Wednesday would not say but offered this: "It’s impossible to tell, really. I mentioned in my press conference I’d love to come back and play a couple games and be able to play in the Olympics. That’s my goal. You have to have a goal and you work towards your goal."
If Stamkos does return by Feb. 6, he could play two games for the Lightning before the Olympic break. On playing for Canada at the Sochi Olympics, he said it won't happen "unless I am 100 percent."
"To be able to do what I'm doing now and almost comeback to a normal life, being able to just move around on your own, I'm definitely happy with that. I'd say I've overcome the initial shock and frustration and disappointment, and now it's what do I have to do to get back as quick as possible. But obviously as smart as possible."
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning at a press conference today. A bit more on Stamkos (who is not using crutches) from the CP at TSN..
updated at 1:32 pm: Here's Stamkos' presser:
TSN's Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun offered a slate of scoops on the latest episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's GM's meetings blog entry (it's a blog entry, not a blog, Mr. LeBrun), and the gents covered oodles of issues, starting with Nail Yakupov...
Is there any chance Nail Yakupov ends up being traded out of Edmonton?
Dreger: Not this year. The Oilers have no intentions of trading him. What they need from him, given the fact that he's played 65 NHL games, is to figure it out. He needs to start being a better defensive player, he needs to mature a little bit, work on the issues in his game and be ready for the time when Ales Hemsky is traded by the Oilers so he can take a more predominant role. As for the Igor Larionov story, Craig MacTavish spoke to him and there are no issues there.
And they continue, discussing Vernon Fiddler's future in Dallas, a possible Hiller-to-Nashville scenario, the Florida Panthers,' "Almost Everyone Must Go" sale, P.K. Subban's contract status, and, as you might expect, Steven Stamkos' situation:
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
... Now, he’s gone, with 14 goals (riding a six-game scoring streak), with 23 points–a guy who figured in44 percent of his team’s goals. Tampa talked a good game about other guys stepping up, but Marty St. Louis, bless his soul, is 38. He is more of a passer than a shooter. Val Filppula, who played in Pavel Datsyuk’s shadow in Detroit, is now the default No. 1 centre there. Little Ryan Johnson moves up to No. 2. Good players but Stamkos is a great player, a great player who was hurt on a back-checking mission against Boston defenceman Dougie Hamilton–an awful visual on YouTube.
Stamkos’s injury likely opens the doors wide-open for Olympic team berths. Canada has a couple of natural RWs in St. Louis and Corey Perry who will probably be in Sochi but that’s it. Centres were moving over. Maybe centre/winger Claude Giroux in Philly pops back into the Olympic picture now, same with the versatile Patrick Sharp, who’s always under the radar. Some guys who didn’t get summer orientation invites like Patty Marleau and Jamie Benn and Joffrey Lupul might now get a longer look.
There’s only one Stamkos though and today he’s sitting in a hospital bed with a plate or a rod and screws in his broken leg. It’s a crying shame, for him, and all hockey fans.
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos underwent successful surgery this afternoon in Boston to stabilize a fracture in his right tibia. He is expected to return to Tampa on Thursday to begin rehabilitation immediately, the team announced. A prospective timetable has not yet been set for his return to the ice.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
What a brutal day for GM Steve Yzerman, impacted on two fronts: most importantly on his NHL team but also on the Canadian Olympic team he is assembling. In fact, Yzerman was slated to assemble the Team Canada management staff Tuesday night in Toronto to update their player list for the Olympic team.
You don’t replace Stamkos, not on the Lightning (where Stamkos participated in 44 percent of his team’s goals scored this season), but not even on Team Canada.
Short of losing Sidney Crosby, not sure there’s a more damaging piece of news for Team Canada.
It is compounded by the fact Rick Nash -- another preseason lock to make the Olympic team -- has not returned to play since his early season concussion, although he’s skated of late so perhaps there will be good news soon.
Still, a sobering day on so many fronts, but most of all it’s the fans around the league who lose out the most, deprived of the game’s top goal scorer.
a bit more
added 5:20pm, from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Stamkos will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital overnight, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said.
“It’s a big loss, but you know, we’ve been winning as a team and we’re going to have to find a way to continue doing that,’’ Lightning captain Marty St. Louis said. “We’re going to have to raise our game collectively. You don’t replace Stammer, but the guys are going to have to step up.’’
Added 7:16 p.m.
Team Canada said they'll still name #Lightning Stamkos to 25 man list. Don't think they would if they thought he had zero chance of playing— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) November 12, 2013
If you missed the incident, you can watch it here.
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos was diagnosed with a broken tibia in his right leg today in Boston, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
“At this point Steven will be out indefinitely,” Yzerman said. “The medical staff in Boston, in consultation with our team physicians, has made the decision to surgically repair the injury. The procedure is expected to take place tomorrow morning. The biggest concern for me, and the rest of the Lightning, is that decisions are made in Steven’s best long-term interest, and we feel this is the appropriate course of action.”
As I just tweeted, Stamkos slid into the post, was in some severe pain when taken off the ice.
added 2:48pm Video of the injury below... (5:00 minute video)
from Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times,
He could always score and, for a long time, that was all the world saw in him. From the time Barry Melrose was as wrong about Stamkos as any coach has ever been about a player, he has been an offensive force. He was a better skater than most realized, and he had great hands, and he had terrific vision. It was as if the puck turned into a grenade whenever it touched Stamkos' stick, and the explosion always happened in the back of the net.
The newest version of Stamkos has been improved, however. These days, he is a more complete player. He can still score (13 goals in 15 games), but at the ripe old age of 23, Stamkos has become a wiser player, more mature....
Wouldn't you expect this? Great players in their early 20s tend to get better. They figure things out as they go, and the parts of hockey that didn't seem as important suddenly matter a great deal. They grow into their bodies, and they grow into their sport. They get it.
And so it is that Stamkos has spent this year challenging his own reputation. Yes, he is still the scorer from the highlights. These days, however, he is more. Honestly.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
In the short film, which lasts around two minutes, Stamkos portrays fictional hockey player Shawn Warford, who gets traded by his father/coach and goes on to score five goals with his dad on the opposing bench. The film also features Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle — who did his own Moment Zero ad portraying Kevin Walker — and TSN television personality Bob McKenzie.
Being in that situation gave Stamkos a new appreciation for actors and those involved with filming movies and television.
“It’s amazing that it’s that long of a process,’’ he said of the 8½-hour day to shoot two commercials. “There’s a lot of sitting around, a lot of waiting, moving of camera angles and stuff like that and for (90 seconds) of actual video. So I have a lot of respect for actors and what they have to go through to make a movie and that’s a two-hour movie.
“It’s an unbelievably long and sometimes painful process, but in the end the professionals that edit it, they make it look good.’’
You can watch the video below...
“On the bench after that goal, we were kind a looking at each other just thinking, ‘Did he really do that?’ It’s a shame when he was in Detroit with Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom for all those years, because not a lot of people talked about him. But he is getting a chance to show what you can do and it’s impressive.’’
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Valtteri Filppula. More on "Flip" from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
Below, watch the goal Stamkos is talking about...
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
One of the league's scoring leaders, Tampa Bay Lighting center Steven Stamkos has evolved since breaking into the league as a first-overall draft pick in 2008. Stamkos tells ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang about his maturation as a player, the advice he's received from teammate Martin St. Louis and which baseball team has his heart (sort of) in this week's installment of the New York Minute.
STRANG: What's your take on this team as we near the midpoint of the season?
STAMKOS: I think we got off to a great start. Obviously, we took advantage of the good schedule in our favor, a lot of home games, catching teams back-to-back, [we] got off to a 6-1 start. Since then, it's been a little bit of a different story. Went through some tough times there -- I think we lost five, six in a row. But I think we're really starting to find the identity of our team. I think we've been playing a lot better. [We're] not necessarily getting the results we want in terms of points, but the process is ongoing and at least we're seeing some signs of life and seeing signs of guys picking up on things we're going over as a team, whether it's on practice or video. We're getting there. We've played some pretty good teams lately. When we're in the game, we've got to find ways to beat them if we want to be a good team, but the process has started to take its course, I think.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
It's not easy to put Gary Roberts out of commission. Steven Stamkos almost did it in with one powerful squeeze this summer.
Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning center, was playfully roughhousing with Roberts, a man 24 years his elder but one many consider to be among the toughest to ever play in the NHL. Stamkos put a vicelike grip on Roberts' bicep, and Roberts' arm started to throb, threatening to at least temporarily ruin his plans for golf that day.
Instead of anger, all Roberts felt was pride. After all, Roberts and his training methods are ultimately responsible for Stamkos' surge in strength during the past four years.
Well, you can take 15 minutes of your night and watch all 60 scored by Steven Stamkos this season.
Sportsnet had this video earlier, but it is only available to Canadian IPs, so thanks to ktornado for the upload.
Nice gesture by the Winnipeg fans too.
added 9:28pm, The HNIC call of the goal is below…
In case you want to compare the video to the real thing, watch the goal below…
A typical Stamkos goal nets him 50 for the season.
Stamkos notched goal 49 earlier in the night, which you can watch below…
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
He didn’t do it on Thursday. But sometime soon—perhaps as soon as Saturday night against Carolina—Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos is poised to join an exclusive club.
Stamkos is two goals away from becoming the NHL’s first 50-goal scorer this season. When he does, he’ll join an elite group of six players who’ve had multiple 50-goal seasons before their 23rd birthday (he turned 22 on Feb. 7). Wayne Gretzky did it four times; Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin each had two seasons with at least 50 goals before turning 23—though Bossy, Nieuwendyk and Ovechkin had the disadvantage of not playing in the NHL until after their 20th birthdays.
continued and more NHL topics too…
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
What was once familiar is suddenly foreign. This season *Steven) Stamkos has scored precisely once on his vaunted one-timer. And the obvious question is: Why?
“Teams take that away,” Stamkos said Monday. “You have to go to different areas, go to the net. Screens, tips, deflections, rebounds — it’s just about evolving your game.”
It’s not that Stamkos isn’t finding the scoresheet. Coming into Tuesday night’s tilt with the Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning centre has 11 goals and 19 points in 19 games, which put him on pace for a 47-goal campaign and spoke highly of his expanded arsenal.
While Stamkos said he’d welcome more goals from the comfy confines of his beloved left faceoff dot — where he has, in previous seasons, been at his deadliest, especially in 5-on-4 situations — he’s not expecting anything to come easily.
In my last article on left wings, a few of you mentioned the positional dilemmas that we seem to face when drafting forwards. This is a great point, since not only do position eligibilities change from league to league (eg. Yahoo/ESPN/CBS), but also from year to year. As well, we also need to keep our eye on forwards with dual position eligibility.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anze+kopitar, brad+richards, eric+staal, evgeni+malkin, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, jonathan+toews, nicklas+backstrom, ryan+getzlaf, ryan+kesler, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, the+goods
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
The third baseman had been smoking a cigarette, the third base coach sipping a can of Keystone Light, when the crack of a bat sent a ball hurtling somewhere overhead and into the late-night dark.
Out of the left-field shadows popped Steven Stamkos, the NHL all-star, tracking the drive against the inky summer sky.
He broke quickly, sprinted hard, leaped high, and opened his glove to catch the slicing liner.
“He’s pretty good, huh?” said someone in the darkness.
Yes, said a fellow witness, he’s pretty darn good.
This was the scene at Centennial Park in Markham this week, when Stamkos, the video-game cover boy for the Tampa Bay Lightning, made one of his occasional appearances as an outfielder for the Green Beys, a team in the Markham Four-Pitch Hardball League.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Petersburg Times,
On re-igniting his scoring touch: It’s there, but going through that I’ve learned what to do when you’re in those situations, and even in the summer I was watching some of those games when you’re struggling a little bit and you learn from it. That’s all you can do, so now you know how to deal with those things. … It’s a lot about confidence and I feel confident with the work I did over the summer, and skill-set wise we had a great run last year and I just want to build on that and help this team get to a championship.
On players being accountable for head shots: At the end of the day I’m not saying every one of those hits that resulted in a concussions was avoidable. It’s going to happen. It’s a contact sport its so fast you’re going to get them. But in order to minimize them I think as a player you have to be aware of the situation on the ice. We’re trying with the head shot rule. I don’t know what other rules you can put in to prevent it. Guys have to be responsible. ... You look at some of the head shots, guys are blatantly putting their elbows up. A guy’s back is turned and you hit him into the boards. That comes down to common sense. We all know how to deliver a clean body check. You have to be accountable for your actions on the ice. With some of the suspensions getting a little steeper, guys are going to realize that if they do that, they’re not going to get away with it.
Just some of a few quick things today, as EA’s newest NHL 12 blog, which was supposed to be released “soon” has yet to surface. So instead I bring you some old news I should have reported a long time ago, and some a recent tidbit of video from yesterday.
Is Sidney Crosby still the number one pick in fantasy leagues?
Mere hours after my posting suggesting that Crosby should be the first overall pick, Josh Rimer’s tweet about Crosby’s unlikeliness to be in the Penguins’ lineup to start the season was making the rounds.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, corey+perry, daniel+sedin, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, josh+rimer, martin+brodeur, ray+shero, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, tim+thomas
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Steve Stamkos believes the money won’t change him.
Stamkos is the newest NHL’s multi-millionaire, having signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and is well aware that sudden wealth can change a person and can change an athlete.
“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by so many great people that won’t let me get that way,” Stamkos said on Thursday. “It’s part of who I am, it’s how I’ve grown up, the morals that I’ve lived by. I think the first person you look at is your parents and how they raised me.”
Then he paused, thinking of one way the money might change him.
“I might have to buy a few more team dinners,” he said.
via Tampa Bay Lightning tweet,
Steven Stamkos has agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the #TBLightning.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Steven Stamkos on a five-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
“Steven is extremely important to this franchise and is part of the foundation of our hockey team,” Yzerman said. “We are very pleased to have him signed and look forward to seeing him in a Lightning uniform for years to come.”
“I am excited we were able to reach an agreement today,” Stamkos said. “This was obviously very important to me and I appreciate Mr. Vinik and Steve Yzerman for all their work in the transformation of the franchise as we move forward. There is no place I’d rather be than as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.”
added 3:36pm, via Craig Custance tweet,
Stamkos deal has cap hit of $7.5 million annually.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Why has nobody even come close to making that bold move for a player who has the potential to be the most dangerous goal-scorer in the NHL for the next decade? Some will have you believe there is a massive conspiracy of collusion at work here, that GMs around the league have a ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ agreement they won’t raid each other’s rosters by poaching their best young players.
That is a very serious charge and I’m certainly not about to make it here, largely because I don’t believe it to be true. These are the same GMs who will take elements of a CBA that is supposed to help small market teams and find loopholes in it to gain a competitive advantage. I believe that if one of those GMs truly thought signing Stamkos to an offer sheet would make his team a Stanley Cup contender in the long run, he would have done it by now.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
“I talk to general managers on a daily basis and get asked a lot, ‘How are you making out?’ But that’s about all,” Yzerman said.
Has anyone come up with a proposal? “Absolutely not. I’m not interested in discussing a possible trade. I’m committed to re-signing Steven.”
Has anyone said they would be interested if negotiations broke down? “They don’t have to say that,” he said, laughing. “Every team is interested in Steven Stamkos.”
Bottom line? “I’m confident,” Yzerman said, “we will reach an agreement.”
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
This is how desperate we are for news concerning contract negotiations between the Tampa Bay Lightning and All-Star center Steven Stamkos that we are down to dissecting every word uttered on the subject.
Such was the case Wednesday night, when Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman went beyond his usual theme that he is “optimistic” a deal will get done. Yzerman did use that word again, but he added some substance that should give Lightning fans a reason to come in off the ledge.
“Yes,” Yzerman said when asked if he and Stamkos’ agent Don Meehan, to whom he spoke on Wednesday, were actually making progress. “We’re working towards getting a deal done. We’re going to get there. I’ll be patient and, again, optimistic that we’ll reach an agreement. I don’t want to give you a timeframe on anything, but I believe we’ll get there.”
a little more...
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
No #NHL offer sheet for Stamkos. Its believed #Lightning have closed in and formal announcement could be looming. Last offer was @ 37M x 5
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
As it stands now, with negotiations in the works for Ville Leino and restricted free agents Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek, the Flyers have approximately $8.3 million in salary-cap space, with Michael Leighton stashed in the AHL.
That’s enough to do some serious damage on the free-agent market. Or, if you’re reading the tea leaves along with me, maybe even the restricted free-agent market.
Two different team sources reiterated last night that the Flyers would be very interested in Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos if he remains on the market on Friday morning.
Reports indicated that the Lightning and Stamkos’ agents have had ongoing discussions, though that doesn’t say much, knowing that the sides have been talking for more than a month.
When you add to the equation that the Lightning - which was reported to have lost $20 million to $25 million last season - might have financial limitations, and the reports.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Here is why Lightning center Steve Stamkos said he is not worried about his contract situation:
“I think it’s close,” he said of a new deal. “I don’t think it’s far off. As close as we are, it’s not something I’m really worried about.”
They are the most declarative statements yet during a months-long negotiation that has produced angst among Tampa Bay fans worried about losing a franchise player, and a news blackout as both sides have kept negotiations out of the media.
“The less said the better,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “The more you comment, the more likely one of us can say something that can be misconstrued.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Free agency begins July 1, and Tampa Bay superstar Steven Stamkos, a restricted free agent, remains unsigned.
If anyone wants to bid on the 21-year-old high-scoring wunderkind, it’s probably a moot point because the Lightning retain the right to match any offer (similar to the Phil Kessel situation a couple of years ago).
But, boy, could someone drive up the price on owner Jeffrey Vinik if general manager Steve Yzerman doesn’t get a deal done in the next two weeks.
With the salary cap expected to be close to $63 million, a bidder could spike Stamkos’s pay as high as $12 million-plus per year (20 percent of the max is the limit). And for a kid who is only 21, a 10- or 12-year deal would not be out of the question.
read on plus other hockey notes…
And as most of us assumed, he did return.
Q. Guy, I know you like to talk about a team game and that everybody contributes, but in a game where Sean Bergenheim wasn’t there, you got such contributions from Marty, Vinny and Stamkos, I was just curious what kind of responsibility they put on themselves in this game and how they came through it.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I was expecting a big game from those guys, but I disagreed that they didn’t have big games in the last games. Looking at the scoreboard, there’s more to the game than just scoring goals and having points. They had very good games before. It just wasn’t going in for some of them, and for some other guys it was going in.
So for me, they just get the result of their previous games’ hard work. So I don’t think it’s an on and off switch. It’s something that you build every game, and they got what they deserved.
Q. You said after last game, if only you could solve the enigma that is Tim Thomas. After tonight, would you say you’ve solved that or most of it?
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
As teachable moments go, the one Steven Stamkos endured Wednesday was difficult.
He was crushed into the boards early by Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, had one shot on goal and four shots total, and had his streak of futility reach five goals in 29 games.
Then again, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal was Stamkos’ first NHL playoff game, so bumps were expected. The education? That, the Lightning center said, came in a situation you cannot fully appreciate until you’re immersed in it.
“You learn how much different the game is in the playoffs than the regular season,” Stamkos, 21, said Thursday. “You may be competing hard, but it’s not hard enough in playoff hockey. That’s something I learned and will address.”
How strange to be where we are with Stamkos.
We’ve said it several times this season – that the Southleast is no more. With 308 combined points in the standings, Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina, Atlanta and Florida comprise the Eastern Conference’s top division by that standard. Only the Pacific Division (321 points) has had more success as a group this season in the entire league. There’s even a fighting chance that four Southeast Division clubs could make the playoffs.
Suffice it to say, anyone still knocking the hockey played down here in this corner of the continent can be officially discredited. Clearly, anyone in that category hasn’t been paying attention this season.
Beyond team accolades, when the book is closed on the 2010-11 season, the Southeast Division has a legitimate chance for representation in almost every major year-end individual award. Some have sturdier ground to stand on than others in that respect but several individuals from Southeast clubs look to at least be in the conversation for some hardware in Vegas in late June.
Since premature awards speculation has started to heat up at a few other media outlets – always fun to keep tabs on ESPN’s Trophy Tracker but no Tampa Bay love in the Adams race, really? – here’s a list of potential trophy candidates from the Southeast Division, in no particular order.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: craig+ramsay, daniel+sedin, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, guy+boucher, henrik+sedin, jeff+skinner, john+carlson, logan+couture, martin+st.+louis, nhl+awards, ryan+kesler, steven+stamkos, tobias+enstrom
If new Sabres owner Terry Pegula didn’t have Drew Stafford on his short list of players not to be traded before the sale closing, you have to wonder how quickly he might have gotten on the phone with departing minority owner Larry Quinn last night.
Stafford had his third hat trick of the season, and the Sabres came out of nowhere in the third period to blitz the Tampa Bay Lightning for 5 goals in a 7-4 Buffalo win.
In his past 22 games, Stafford has racked up 17 goals. Wonderkid Steven Stamkos has “only” 14 during that period.
After a down year in 2009-10, frustrated Sabres fans couldn’t have wished the University of North Dakota product out of town fast enough. What ignited the turnaround?
I thought I was totally joking when I asked a couple of All-Star goalies how they would feel about a goaltender’s fastest skater competition. But last night’s first overall pick in the NHL’s inaugural All-Star Fantasy Draft, Carolina’s Cam Ward, let the cat out of the bag that tonight, my little joke would indeed become a reality as part of this year’s SuperSkills.
“Rumor is that I’m going to be doing that tonight,” Ward said. “I hope my legs don’t turn to jelly and I don’t bite it into the corner or anything like that.”
“I think I’m going up against Tim Thomas.”
Boston and Carolina fans have since endured some heart palpitations, I’m sure.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cam+ward, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, keith+yandle, martin+st.+louis, nhl+all-star+game, p.k.+subban, steven+stamkos, superskills, tim+thomas
The intent of altering the format for the NHL All-Star Game was to generate more interest in a mid-season exhibition that most would agree had become a bit blasé. With the rosters of Team Lidstrom and Team Staal now filled via last night’s Fantasy Draft and the SuperSkills competition on tap for tonight, whether or not the game itself will have any added spice remains to be seen but, so far as that added interest goes, the vibe here in Raleigh and the pageantry surrounding the selection process itself both suggest the achievement of just that.
The All-Star Game and its surrounding events should be about fun – for the fans, first and foremost, but also for the players involved and the captains and alternates for both sides as well as the draftees played things up effectively and had a good time throughout the process, which was evident in the broadcast.
“It looked good on TV, right?” Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis asked after the event and his question was met with immediate assent. That was the point, of course, and St. Louis and his All-Star contingents got it, doing the event well by playing things up to the best of their ability.
Funny… In chatting with several casual hockey fan friends and family of mine about being in Raleigh here for ASG weekend, a mention of “The Draft” as part of the festivities has led to a pause in each case and a question along the lines of, “Wait, what? They’re having the draft at the All-Star game now?”
Of course, they don’t know any better - that it’s juuust a “fantasy” draft for an exhibition game.
We do, but if we didn’t, judging from walking around Fan Fest at the Raleigh Convention Center today, where the draft will be held, this silly little pick ‘em event is being taken pretty seriously.
Granted, Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal aren’t exactly holed up in “war rooms” or anything but the league and its broadcast partners are certainly planning on putting on a first-class show. The set for the draft is aces (and enormous!) and the commentators and analysts from TSN and Versus were intently rehearsing each and every “pick”, with Darren Dreger playing Staal and Matthew Barnaby assuming the role of Lidstrom.
With the pre-All-Star break portion of their schedule now officially complete after last night’s 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit comfortably atop the Southeast Division, second overall in the Eastern Conference and can rest, save for All-Stars Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, with five days before a meeting with the East-leading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
51 games in the books, 31 to play – before the second season, that is, which is now nothing short of extremely likely for Tampa Bay. (Playoff hockey, folks! And – gasp – something to get excited about!)
Actually, there’s been plenty of excitement surrounding the Lightning all season already.
There are, of course, the 31 wins – second only to Philadelphia (33) and matched only by Pittsburgh in all the National Hockey League.
There’s the 16-4-2 home record and the fact that all but one of the Lightning’s hockey games in February will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum, with ten tilts remaining on the lengthy 12-game homestand.
There are individual performances to consider, namely St. Louis and Stamkos, near the top of the league in goals, assists and points all season long and the latter now in position for “Rocket” Richard and Art Ross honors with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on the shelf.
***Sorry for the delay, folks. A few technical issues in getting the show uploaded this week. Thanks. - JJ***
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, Jon, Mark and Mike compare the current state of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus where we all thought they might be at the 50-game mark, share our thoughts on the upcoming All-Star game and some possible ways to improve the event, weigh in on the drama surrounding Evgeni Nabokov, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders, admit some nerves about the upcoming uniform/logo changes for Tampa Bay and much more…
Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: all-star+game, dwayne+roloson, evgeni+nabokov, guy+boucher, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
“We never said it but he was injured,” Boucher said.
Well, that sparked all kinds of other questions.
What is the injury?
“Some parts of the body injury,” Boucher said. “It’s a lot better but it was really annoying for a while.”
Did the injury coincide with his scoring drought?
Stamkos, second in the league with 31 goals, describe whatever his injury is or was as “nothing major, nothing that’s going to keep me from playing a game. Honestly, it’s the bumps and bruises I go through every year.”
Yesterday, the aim here was to reaffirm the realistic goal of a Southeast Division championship for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Keeping pace with the three-time defending champion Washington Capitals through 43 games was enough, at face value, to establish that. But, in shutting out the Caps for a second consecutive meeting and, really, dominating last night’s game throughout, the Lightning have taken things a step further.
The road to the Southeast Division championship goes through Tampa.
Clearly, nothing’s been settled yet. 38 games remaining games for each club – with two more against each other – dictates as much. But the tides have turned in the Lightning’s favor since the acquisition of Dwayne Roloson, who has now blanked Washington twice in a week for his new club.
The difference between being outscored 12-3 in two losses to the Capitals earlier in the year and not allowing a single goal in two since goes far beyond a goaltending upgrade.
“We were trying to play their game,” Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher said of the first two meetings with Washington this year, “And, to be honest with you, at their game, they’re better than us.”
“We focused a lot less on the other team (in the two wins) and a lot more on ourselves.”
In doing so, the Bolts have flipped the script on their division rivals and sit alone atop the Southeast standings.
And while Washington has struggled to find consistency during a shift in identity from the offensive dynamo they’ve been in recent years, Tampa Bay has continually improved all season long.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, mattias+ohlund, sean+bergenheim, semyon+varlamov, steven+stamkos, victor+hedman
The question was posed recently in the St. Pete Times and Paul recently brought it to the attention of the KK faithful as well, soliciting some interesting responses but, with first place in the Southeast Division on the line again tonight, with the Washington Capitals (and their identical 55-point total) in town for the first time this season, it deserves some revisiting:
Could the Tampa Bay Lightning truly be a contender for the Stanley Cup this season?
Well, yeah… I suppose anything is possible.
But since the original question was actually, “Is it premature to call the Tampa Bay Lightning a Stanley Cup contender?” then, well…
Yeah. It is.
The Bolts Beat, 1/10/11: Tampa’s Up & Down Week, M-A Bergeron, Slightly Whacky All-Star Picks & More
In tonight’s episode of The Bolts Beat, the gang reviews a roller coaster week for the Tampa Bay Lightning and analyzes what the addition of defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron might eventually mean for the club.
And, in a nod to the NHL’s unique way of fielding two all-star teams this year, Jon, Mark and Mike create some rules as well in selecting their very own squads.
All that, plus the usual shenanigans after the jump…
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…
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
At the time of this post, the Lightning trailed the Penguins 7-0.
Steven Stamkos had a chance to put a dent in the lead when the Penguins were up by five, but ...