Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: mike smith
Among TSN's Scott Cullen's "Top 10 Storylines of the Week":
HOT START IN THE DESERT
A team that was expected to finish at the bottom of the standings coming into the year, the Arizona Coyotes have opened the season by winning three of four games.
The biggest excitement comes from rookie wingers Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, who have combined to score seven of the team’s 13 goals.
Other difference-makers include veteran centre Martin Hanzal, who has seven assists, and goaltender Mike Smith, who has a .953 save percentage.
While none of this early production appears to be remotely sustainable, a hot Mike Smith could make a major difference. For example, the difference between Smith’s 2011-2012 season, when he had a career-high .930 save percentage, and last season, when he had a .904 save percentage, was approximately a 55-goal difference according to Hockey Reference.
Of note from ESPN's morning "3 on 3":
AROUND THE LEAGUE
• How about Michal Neuvirth? The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender made 30 saves en route to a 3-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. It was Neuvirth's second consecutive shutout. He made 31 saves in a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday. His biggest save Wednesday came when he stoned the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa on a breakaway to secure Philadelphia's 1-0 lead. For all the years the Flyers struggled with their goaltending, Neuvirth seems like he could be the answer.
• The Ottawa Senators trounced the Blue Jackets on Wednesday, and Columbus should be a lot better than 0-4. They proved it last season with a strong finish, but the 2015-2016 season has begun with a major skid that is cause for concern.
• It was an interesting night all around the NHL on Wednesday, including a shocking development in the West with that stunning Coyotes shutout of the Ducks. Arizona rookie Anthony Duclair recorded his first career hat trick, while goaltender Mike Smith has returned to form and made 37 saves en route to the shutout win.
First, Mike Smith of the Arizona Coyotes may want to take this one back...
Below, the saves of the night.
Amongst the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's trade-and-rumor talk for this Sunday, from a column which begins by discussing the Connor McDavid sweepstakes:
Rangers winger Martin St. Louis may be a UFA on July 1 and doesn't have a contract but don't be surprised if at some point he re-signs with the club. The Rangers have cap so you'd think if they do sign St. Louis the deal will be structured with attainable goals for games-played. When he left the Tampa Bay Lightning last year at the trade deadline, St. Louis only only wanted to go to the Rangers. It would be hard to believe he'd want to move on this juncture.
Florida GM Dale Tallon took a gamble at the deadline acquiring winger Jaromir Jagr from the Devils in exchange for two draft picks. The Panthers remain on the outside looking in for the final wild-card spot and need a strong push down the stretch plus some help to make it to the post-season. Jagr went into Saturday's game vs. the Bruins with a 2-5-7 points in nine games with Florida ... According to a league executive, here are some deadline acquisitions that have worked out well: Winger Drew Stafford and defenceman Tyler Myers (Buffalo) have both played well in Winnipeg; Forward Curtis Glencross (Calgary) has made an impact for the Capitals and Chris Stewart (Buffalo) has picked up some points for the Wild ... Keep an eye on Colgate forward Tyler Baun. He's getting plenty of attention from NHL scouts. Chicago GM Stan Bowman along with representatives from Colorado, Toronto, Philly and the Rangers were in Lake Placid Friday at the ECAC championships to watch Baun play ... Lots of people wonder if Arizona (don't call me Phoenix) Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will be back behind the bench next season? He's a lot better coach when goalie Mike Smith stops the puck.
Garrioch continues, discussing the All-Star Game format, the Sharks' issues and unrestricted free agent-to-be goalies...
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: chris+stewart, curtis+glencross, dave+tippett, drew+stafford, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, tyler+myers
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
For three games over a 10-day span, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith sat at the end of the bench as a spectator to the action.
And in his first start since Dec. 11, it didn't take long before Smith was back in what's becoming his regular perch.
Smith's return Monday barely lasted a period as he was beaten for four goals on 11 shots by the Canucks and chased after 21:41 en route to a 7-1 loss in front of 18,794 at Rogers Arena....
It was the second time in his last three starts Smith's been unable to finish the game. After being on the hook for five against the Predators in his previous appearance, Smith has now given up 17 goals in his past five games. Since back-to-back wins in early November, Smith has gone 1-9-2.
both via Hometown Hockey,
After a Hall of Fame career, Doug Gilmour returns to his hometown to coach the cities beloved Kingston Frontenacs and somehow proves the adage that you can take the boy out of Kingston, but you can’t take Kingston out of the boy.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
As reporters crowded around Coyotes goalie Mike Smith following Monday's practice to gauge his psyche after yet another six goals-against Saturday, backup Devan Dubnyk quipped that Smith isn't the only one who's experienced a slide like this and he, too, could offer up some insight.
But Smith isn't looking to deflect any of the attention he's receiving right now for a goals-against average (5.33) that might be more reflective of a struggling Major League Baseball reliever than an NHL starting goaltender.
"I don't need to bring anyone else into this," Smith said. "It's me and only me, and I've been through it tons of times in my career. You shrug it off your shoulder, and it's obviously not even close to what I'm capable of, and I know that, and I understand that, and the team needs more from me.
"But I can't dwell on it. It's three games I've played. We're 2-2. I know there's a panic around here to flip a switch and turn it around, but it's a process, and we're all going to be better because of this adversity."
Max Pacioretty received two for tripping. I would have liked to see Smith get two for embellishing.
Mike Smith stickhandled into the no touch zone and paid the price as Jason Spezza scores one of his natural hat trick goals. The Sens won 4-3 in OT.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Negotiations with goalie Mike Smith were sluggish once the season ended because management couldn’t offer reassurances on where the team would play next season or who would be in charge.
It wasn’t until Seattle was positioned as the alternative home for the franchise that Smith had enough clarity to recommit by signing a six-year extension worth approximately $34 million.
“A month ago, we didn’t know where the team was going to be and I think it’s known now it’s going to be in Phoenix or Seattle,” Smith said. “Both me and my wife, my family, feel very comfortable with either of those situations.”
Smith had been keeping tabs on Renaissance Sports & Entertainment’s bid from Vancouver, where he’s spent most of his off-season, but regardless of that outcome, the 31-year-old is comfortable with his support system – from management to teammates.
“I really believe in where this franchise is going and hopefully it’s in Phoenix but if it’s not, I believe in the group and the core we have and I think that was the main selling point,” Smith said. “I think it’s a fair deal for both sides, and I believe we can build a winning team down the road here. Hopefully we have a core group of guys that we can build a winning team on an every-season basis, and hopefully we can start that next year.”
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have re-signed goaltender Mike Smith to a six-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to sign Mike to a multi-year contract," said Maloney. "Mike has emerged as a top NHL goaltender with his size, athletic ability and strong work ethic. He is capable of leading us to a Stanley Cup championship, the goal of our franchise. This is an important signing for our Club."
"I'm thrilled to re-sign with the Coyotes," said Smith. "We have a great young team and an excellent coaching staff and management team. I've really enjoyed playing in the Valley the past two seasons and this is where I wanted to stay."
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Smith is the team’s top unrestricted free agent, and he’ll be the most coveted goalie July 5 when the free-agent market opens for business. After only two seasons as a No. 1, Smith has made it clear he considers himself among the elite of the position and expects a salary to match.
And if the Coyotes let him reach free agency, it’s very likely another team will meet Smith’s monetary expectations. He’s enjoyed recent playoff success, has a likeable personality and is the star attraction in a shallow goalie market....
“I’m not gonna be selfish with this whole situation and demand this stupid contract that we’re not going to be able to build a team around,” Smith said. “I believe you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s good players that make a lot of money, and I think I deserve a fair contract. By any means I’m not expecting to hit a home run.”
A hometown discount, it seems, is a possibility, but Smith needs other assurances before agreeing to stick with the Coyotes.
“The biggest part about me signing back here will be: Is the ownership group coming in, is this going to be a place that free agents are going to want to come and play and are they going to spend the money to make this a better team on an every-year basis?” Smith said. “I think that’s the most intriguing piece of the puzzle.”
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Ownership uncertainty has kept Doan in free agency, but his status will be settled soon. He has decided to sign before a possible lockout, which would start next Saturday when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
"If he leaves, it'll be a big blow to this franchise and this organization," goalie Mike Smith said. "I think it'll determine whether or not people sign back here or how we lure in free agents in the future. It'll definitely be interesting to figure all that out."
The lack of an owner has also affected Smith. The Coyotes planned to negotiate a contract extension for him this off-season, but talks were put on hold until ownership was resolved. That leaves Smith in the final year of a two-year deal worth $4 million.
Ownership, however, might not have been the only factor to halt negotiations as Smith is interested in Doan's future with the team.
"We were gonna kind of wait to see what Shane did, too," Smith said. "Obviously he's a huge piece of the puzzle in Phoenix."
“If [Coyotes forward] Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play then this guy [Brown] ought to be done forever.”
-Mike Smith, goaltender for the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I bit my tongue the whole playoffs. I bit my tongue the whole time this series. I look back in the last two games and I still haven’t found where I got my three penalties. I have absolutely no idea where they came from or what they were calling.
“It’s hard because you don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelievable and give them all the credit. Uncle. Are you freaking kidding me? Uncle. I can’t understand how you miss that. You saw the game. It’s 5-on-3 and they give a penalty to even it up.
“The guy crosschecks Marty [Hanzal] twice in the back. He chips it over the boards, it goes over the boards and there’s no call? Marty gets a stick in the face and then the knee? I mean, come on. Like, come on.
“You don’t want to do it because I don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelievable and they beat us. Thank goodness their power play didn’t score on all those power plays they were handed. It could have been really ugly. They beat us. There’s nothing else to say about it.”
Shane Doan, captain of the Phoenix Coyotes. More from Tim Wharnsby of CBC.
Smith received 2 for slashing, Brown 2 for diving.
Also, this guy, Fred Murtz, gets many of these YouTube vids up very quickly. The guy continues to kick-out videos at a record pace.
Smith stops Brendan Morrison with the left leg.
Early in the 3rd period, Yotes are up 2-0 thanks to Smith, the shots are in the area of 10 for Phoenix, 30 for Chicago early in the 3rd.
The web is alive with this Mike Smith save last night.
You tell me, one of the better saves of the year?
I was more impressed with the other 53 saves last night his shutout record now standing at 220 minutes -1 second.
Mike Smith with the glove save on Loui Eriksson, although Dallas would go on to victory with a shootout win.
added 12:46am, 3/21/12, We have a late submission, Kari Lehtonen with the swinging leg save in OT against Phoenix. Watch it below…
General Manager Don Maloney made the steal of the off-season when he acquired a backup goaltender named Mike Smith. Seems all “Smitty” needed was the chance to prove he could be a starting goaltender. He took it and ran with it, and he’s the key reason the Coyotes are leading their division and making a strong bid for a third consecutive playoff spot.
-Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
Mike Smith did an enjoyable interview with the folks from Hockey Central on Sportsnet 590 today.
You can watch it below…
I will admit, I said goal and looked again and realized Smith caught the puck with his glove hand.
... but Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith stops him on a penalty shot. A great save no doubt but the Rangers did win in the shootout.
From Emily Kaplan at NHL.com:
“Bryz is not exactly replaceable. We know that,” [Sean] Burke, Phoenix’s goaltending coach, told NHL.com. “So for us, this offseason was about trying to search for the type of goaltending that gives the opportunity to win every night.”
In Burke’s eyes, the Coyotes found that.
On July 1, Phoenix signed former Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith to a two-year, $4 million contract. Burke describes Smith as “very big and very athletic”—and exactly what the Coyotes were looking for.
“I think we get a guy that has a lot of upside, but he also has a fair amount of experience and a lot of confidence,” Burke said. “Basically, I think we’re getting the perfect guy at the perfect time.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And while it would be out of character for Boucher to publicly acknowledge any lack of confidence in any of his players, it was puzzling to hear him explain that Smith got the start in part because he likes to give everyone a chance.
“When people deserve things, whether they’re a fourth-line or a third-line or seventh or eighth D, when they deserve [it]—I’m one of those guys that I’ll give people a chance,” the coach said. “And I felt that Smitty had been terrific for us for a long, long time and he deserved to get a game.”
Fair enough. But this is not recess dodgeball where everyone gets a turn because, well, it’s dodgeball. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs with a Stanley Cup finals berth on the line. You start the players you think can get you to the finish line. This isn’t about being fair; it’s about trying to gain a competitive advantage.
Boucher, at least, did acknowledge the rest might be good for the 41-year-old Roloson.
Introducing This & That. a feature set aside for those days when my brain is incapable of any smooth transition from one thought to another. Instead, a random spattering of things I’m thinking, items I meant to include elsewhere but may have forgotten and miscellaneous ramblings that may otherwise have no defined category or forum for inclusion.
(Plus, this way, I never have to use the term “hodgepodge” again.)
Off we go:
—-“If Smitty gets claimed, it’s good for him. If he doesn’t, he goes down and plays for us down there. We want to get him playing.” – Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, on recently waived netminder Mike Smith.
To the first point, absolutely. As far back as late last season, I was wondering whether or not Smith might be better off with a fresh start. Amid flashes of brilliance, Smith has struggled consistently throughout his tenure in Tampa and had all kinds of promise stifled by injuries. This year, despite unsightly statistics, some in scouting circles have seen reason for optimism in his game, giving new life to the idea that he might somehow flourish in a new situation.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brent+johnson, cedrick+desjardins, dwayne+roloson, jeff+skinner, mike+smith, nhl+guardians, rick+dipietro, steve+yzerman
The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment today, as announced by the team.
Smith has been recovering from a knee injury and has missed the last fifteen games.
With Dwayne Roloson and Dan Ellis already on Tampa Bay’s active roster, Smith has been assumed by many to be the odd-man out eventually, though nothing has been made certain to this point.
Today’s move, at the very least, buys general manager Steve Yzerman some time to continue to consider all options.
Smith, acquired by Tampa Bay in February of 2008 in the deal that saw forward Brad Richards head to Dallas, is in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million.
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…
Let’s not make too much of Dwayne Roloson’s 34-save, shutout debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Or, maybe, come to think of it, let’s…
It was but one game but what a big game it was.
To best the division rival Washington Capitals like that, with first place at stake in a 1-0 overtime finish, with both teams playing at a feverish pace all the while and the opposing goaltender standing on his head as well… Well, that’s one hell of a debut.
But, really, what you saw on Tuesday night is what Roloson brings to the table consistently. No, not a spectacular shutout performance each night (wouldn’t that be nice?) but a workman-like approach, a battle mentality and a proven track record of giving the team in front of him a chance to win on a nightly basis. Last night, Semyon Varlamov keeping the Bolts off the scoreboard for almost 63 minutes meant Roloson had to completely shut down the formidable Capitals attack and he was up to the task. On some nights, it will mean keeping the opponent from scoring a third or fourth goal.
Whatever the situation, with Roloson, you know what you’re getting.
And this could very well turn out to be the perfect fit with limitless potential.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, marc-andre+bergeron, mike+smith, steve+yzerman
For now, the Tampa Bay Lightning will roll on with three goaltenders.
But with Dwayne Roloson now in the fold, joining Dan Ellis and a still mending Mike Smith after Saturday’s trade with the New York Islanders, eventually, something will have to give.
Early indications seem to suggest Smith, who is close to returning from a recent knee injury, is the most logical odd man out for a variety of reasons, despite significant improvement in his play prior to getting hurt.
In the final year of a contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million dollars, it would make sense for the Lightning to try and deal Smith for whatever value the team could find before he hits unrestricted free agency at season’s end. That won’t exactly come easy, however, with the bottom line remaining some very unattractive numbers this year and overall statistics that have actually worsened consistently as the team in front of him has improved over the last three seasons. Add to that a history of injuries (Smith has appeared in less than half of Tampa’s games since the start of the 2008-09) and an unsavory dollar number for the kind of inconsistency he’s shown and it becomes awfully difficult to imagine logical trade scenarios involving the former Dallas Star.
The Bolts Beat, 1/3/11: Roloson in the Mix, Odd Goalie Out, the Last Word on Spin-o-Rama Gate & More
In the first installment of The Bolts Beat for 2011, Jon, Mike and Mark give their thoughts on Tampa Bay’s addition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and why the deal was made now. Later, things get a little spicy when the conversation turns to what it likely means for Dan Ellis and/or Mike Smith.
Also, the guys give their thoughts on the stellar NHL debut of yet another goalie, Cedrick Desjardins, and discuss how he might fit into the Lightning’s future plans.
And, finally - no, really, for the last time - the gang reluctantly entertains the controversy that should never have been over Steven Stamkos’ penalty shot goal against Montreal.
All that, plus more (including a special announcement!) after the jump…
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, denis+savard, dwayne+roloson, linus+omark, mike+smith, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
As NYI Point Blank‘s Chris Botta first reported, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Ty Wishart.
The Tampa Tribune‘s Erik Erlendsson and others have since confirmed.
Roloson joins Dan Ellis, the injured Mike Smith and upstart rookie Cedrick Desjardins (1st star in tonight’s win over the Rangers and 2-0-0 with two goals against in two starts) in Tampa’s goaltending ranks.
Four’s a crowd.
[UPDATE: According to ESPN 1040’s Mike Corcoran, Desjardins will be returned to AHL Norfolk.]
On this week’s episode, Jon, Mike and Mark entertain the ongoing discussion about Tampa Bay’s goaltending, including the latest on Mike Smith’s injury, cover the war of words (and knees) between Nate Thompson and Atlanta’s Eric Boulton and wrap the show with a special Christmas gift exchange for one and all..
Listen in after the jump…
Word from Lightning PR just now is that goaltender Mike Smith will miss approximately two weeks with what is being called a “minor knee injury”.
Smith left today’s morning skate after a collision with forward Simon Gagne.
Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, whose recall this morning sparked the return of some speculation regarding the team’s situation in goal that had been effectively stifled by solid play from Smith of late, is dressed as Dan Ellis’ backup tonight and is now far more likely to get his first taste of NHL action with Smith on the shelf.
There has been no shortage of discussion regarding the possibility of free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov landing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in recent days.
I discussed the matter at such length, with co-hosts Mike Corcoran and Mark Pukalo on Monday night/Tuesday morning’s episode of The Bolts Beat, that more than half of the show was devoted to the matter – a first for a single topic in the podcast’s history.
And the potential marriage has also been covered at a national level, with The Sporting News’ Craig Custance throwing in his two cents.
On this week’s episode, Jon, Mike and Mark discuss the “controversial” shootout move by Edmonton’s Linus Omark that beat the Lightning on Friday, address the ongoing goaltending concerns and ponder what, if anything, GM Steve Yzerman might do to fortify the team’s netminding, including the hot topic from yesterday - the idea of signing free agent goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Plus, the word “foof” is used, which has to be considered a milestone of some sort.
Listen in after the jump…
Tonight in Edmonton, the Tampa Bay Lightning will face an old friend, as goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will man the Oiler nets.
Sadly, the 37-year-old Khabibulin still has to be looked at as Tampa Bay’s last consistent, go-to netminder. “The ‘Bulin Wall” was a force for the Lightning during his time in Tampa, with a sturdy 2.39 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 192 games from 2000-2004. These are pre-lockout numbers, yes, but his performance in the current, more inflated era – 2.87/.903 – would still best just about every other Bolts goaltender since his departure after the Stanley Cup season of 2003-04. Tampa Bay has tried 14 different goalies between the pipes in that time, with largely underwhelming results.
I’ve made a slight change to my slowly-evolving routine here lately, scrapping JJ’s Three Cheers as a regular feature and committing to keeping a heavy emphasis on the local club, the Tampa Bay Lightning. We’ll still be keeping close tabs on the Southeast Division as a whole but, in keeping with dance-with-the-girl-that-brung-ya tradition, won’t be straying from the day-to-day happenings with the Bolts in favor of opining elsewhere. If it’s timely and relevant, and I actually have an opinion on some other Southeast matter, I’ll touch on it, as expected. But I won’t even attempt to do so if that means sacrificing Lightning material.
I just think that makes sense.
I’ll have thoughts on leaguewide matters, as usual, and I do later today, in fact but, regarding Three Cheers, I’m getting away from that – despite the ease with which it was thrown together each day – mostly because juuuuuuust about everyone else out there does something very similar on a regular basis. And, hell, I’m an original – or at least that’s my claim.
So that’s that. Moving on…
Easy to pick on a goalie for making this kind of Tommy Salo-esque mistake but I’m not trying to kick Mike Smith when he’s down at all.
Obviously, there was more than this one play to fault for an 8-1 Lightning loss in Boston but the bottom line, as GM Steve Yzerman has now publicly acknowledged, is that the Bolts imply need more from their goaltenders.
Past the so-called “quarter pole”, 23 games into the 2010-11 season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are undoubtedly in pretty good shape. At 13-8-2 for 28 points, they rank second in the Southeast Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference and appear, at this early stage of the season, to have the makings of a team that can qualify for postseason play and, potentially, make some waves.
But, after last night’s 6-0 pasting at the hands of the division stalwart Washington Capitals, they also, undoubtedly, still have a long way to go before they can stake a legitimate claim to being an upper echelon team like their foes of a night ago.
Really, the Bolts are right where we’d thought they’d be from the start – second in the division and good enough, as they were in their first meeting with the Caps two weeks ago (a 6-3 loss), to hang with the class of the division for a time and give them somewhat of a push. But, last night, they weren’t even close, proving that, though they do have a formidable 1-2 punch in Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis to rival Alexes Ovechkin and Semin for the offensive Washington dynamo, they don’t have the firepower through and through – from up front and on the back end – to keep up with the Joneses (or the Backstroms, the Greens and so on and so forth).
I only have a few minutes this morning, with a houseful already in town for Thanksgiving and the pressing need of locating some genie-style parachute pants in time for tonight’s game, what with M.C. Hammer in town for a postgame concert and all. (Rumor has it, if things go well for the Lightning, their very own “Hammer”, one Steven Stamkos, could join the genius behind “U Can’t Touch This”, “2 Legit 2 Quit” and “Here Comes the Hammer” on stage. Hope he’s been practicing that trademark Hammer shuffle…)
Anyway, I simply wanted to point out that, prior to their recent three-game road sweep of the Islanders, Philadelphia and Buffalo, I had noted that the Lightning were actually two points behind their record through 17 games last season and that they’d need to win two of three just to match that club’s pace at the indicative “quarter pole” of the twenty-game mark. Of course, they managed a perfect road trip and added a win over Boston on Monday night to run their win streak to four and to pull them within four points of division-leading Washington.
So forget that last year stuff, as all seems well, presently, in Lightningland…
From a Tampa Bay Lightning perspective, all was quite good at the St. Pete Times Forum last night and, while a 4-0 shutout for the home squad makes the latter parts of Good/Bad/Ugly slightly more difficult for yours truly, we’ll take it. (And it sure beats most of the G, B & Us put together in years past where the Good was often a stretch and the Bad and Ugly could have gone on for days.)
What started as an outright joke, as in, “Steven Stamkos is currently on pace for 98 goals this season,” is becoming less funny and more scary good serious with every tally for the 20-year-old Lightning superstar. With two more last night, Stamkos’ early season line of 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points is better than Crosby, better than Ovechkin, better than the entire league and setting a breakneck pace that, as everyone’s new favorite hashtag, #stamkosmath, is documenting by-the-second (well, sort of) on Twitter, projects roughly to a 76-goal, 141-point total over 82 games. (In the interest of showing marksman-like precision, #stamkosmath actually dictates that 91’s projected numbers are 76.142857 goals and 140.57143 points.)
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, derek+boogaard, dominic+moore, eric+staal, mike+smith, nate+thompson, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos
It’s been said, time and again, that the truly great teams can beat their opponent on any given night with any particular style of play. While this year’s Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn’t be too quick to anoint themselves the NHL’s next great club - after nine games, that would just be silly - the results have been impressive to this point and wins are coming in a variety of ways.
Tonight’s triumph over visiting Pittsburgh was of the comeback sort, with the Lightning rebounding from a pair of first period shorthanded tallies by the Penguins, an early goaltending change with Dan Ellis replacing Mike Smith after three goals allowed on seven shots and a 3-1 deficit overall. While no team wants to get in the habit of having to battle back like that and, surely, it can drive a coach crazy, that the Lightning have already proven capable of doing so gives them immeasurable confidence and should pay dividends down the road.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, guy+boucher, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier
Had a nice visit with Mick and Peter on “The War Room” this morning, where we discussed this season’s solid start for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos’ continued success as well as his need for a new contract (like yesterday) and the Bolts’ goaltending to this point.
Have a listen after the jump…
When you get waxed as the Tampa Bay Lightning did Saturday night in Sunrise, 6-0 to the Florida Panthers, all you can ask for is a rebound to the tune of two points in the following game. The Bolts got just that last night against Dallas, so complaints can be held to a minimum. Besides, as head coach Guy Boucher said during the preseason, this team won’t be at their best in the first 5, 10, 15 games of the season. And who would want them to be? Certainly, all would rather a club peak much, much (much, much, much) later, no?
Nevertheless, analyze we must.
Hence, the original: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, alex+ovechkin, brad+richards, brenden+morrow, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, james+neal, jeff+vinik, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, toby+petersen, victor+hedman
The Bolts Beat, 10/19/10: Lightning on the Road and a Look Ahead, Plus NHL Officiating Issues & More
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first road swing of the season and preview the week ahead for the Bolts, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” segment brings up an interesting debate on replay, major penalties and the like, Mike defends referees (a sure sign of the apocalypse) and much more.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, andrei+kostitsyn, blake+comeau, brad+richards, brett+clark, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, headshots, instant+replay, josh+bailey, kris+letang, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ritola, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, t.j.+brodie, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.
Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.
But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.
It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.
It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.
And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.
But there has to be something there still, right?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+bradley, enrico+ciccone, erik+gudbranson, guy+boucher, jacob+markstrom, jay+feaster, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, paul+laus, phil+esposito, quebec+nordiques, randy+moller, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tony+esposito, vincent+lecavalier
Death, taxes and JJ’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly…
The alternative to the standard game recap became a staple of my Tampa Bay Lightning coverage last season and it was only a matter of time before it made its season debut here.
Sure, the title of the regular feature has now been copied by a second-rate Bolts blog as of this morning but the content can’t hold a candle to the original and, hell, you’re here with me and they’re, well… They’re sleeping, I’m sure, on Pacific Time and what not… (Lightning coverage from California? Now that’s insight!)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, andrei+kostitsyn, brett+clark, carey+price, dan+ellis, dustin+boyd, guy+boucher, jaroslav+halak, martin+st.+louis, matt+smaby, maxim+lapierre, michael+vernace, mike+green, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nicklas+backstrom, nino+niederreiter, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, tomas+plekanec, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier
Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.
Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.
But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+tanguay, andrej+meszaros, antero+niittymaki, antti+niemi, blair+jones, brad+richards, brett+clark, brett+connolly, carter+ashton, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, dustin+tokarski, eric+perrin, guy+boucher, james+wright, jaroslav+janus, jeff+vinik, johan+harju, kevin+quick, khl, kurtis+foster, lady+byng+trophy, marc+pouliot, mark+barberio, mark+parrish, martin+st.+louis, matt+lashoff, matt+walker, mattias+ohlund, mike+smith, mitch+fadden, nate+thompson, nhl+awards, nhl+previews, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, radko+gudas, randy+jones, richard+panik, riku+helenius, rocket+richard+trophy, ryan+craig, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephane+veilleux, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, teddy+purcell, training+camp, traverse+city+prospects+tournament, ty+wishart, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+mihalik, zenon+konopka
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran discuss Dan Ellis’ recent Twitter troubles and the many (over?)reactions thereof, look ahead to training camp opening this weekend, Tampabaylightning.com contributor, Mark Pukalo, stops by again to discuss some intriguing position battles ahead for the Lightning and the boys have a little extra time to discuss the NFL’s opening weekend.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, brett+clark, dan+ellis, johan+harju, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ohlund, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nate+thompson, nhl+training+camp, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier