Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the tenth edition of the Lightning’s Hockey ‘N Heels. An annual event geared towards the female members of the fan base, it’s a great opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the game we love. This year’s event was a little bit different given the shortened season, but it may have been my favorite of the three I’ve attended. Instead of trekking around the building, the event took place entirely in the locker room with four different stations.
My second topic for this segment is veteran defenseman Eric Brewer. This one is tough because I think the Lightning have the tools to turn things around quickly – and Brewer would be an important piece during the stretch run. That being said, there are some young defensemen like Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas knocking on the door. Keith Aulie is already in the NHL and proving that he belongs. Let’s take a look at both sides: » Continue reading “Trade Deadline Talk: Eric Brewer”
There’s things we could be angry about. Poor goal tending in the first dug a hole too deep for the Lightning to climb out of. Untimely errors. Losing 5-3 in Pittsburgh. Putting in a less than ideal showing in one of their nationally broadcast games. None of those things are all that great, but not the worst part of this evening.
What is the worst you might ask? NBC Sports’ focus being on Sidney Crosby all night long. Yes, he scored two goals. But so did several other members of the Penguins. It’s not the Pittsburgh Crosbys, he isn’t out there alone. Given how this hasn’t changed since he came into the league. Maybe I’m just cranky tonight.
January 27th was the anniversary of an important day in Tampa Bay Lightning history. It might not be a day discussed in depth over the team’s 20th season celebration, but the impact of this moment can’t be understated. What happened? The Lightning acquired veteran defenseman Darryl Sydor from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Former GM Jay Feaster has said that that trade was the key to Tampa’s championship season. Fast forward to 2013 and blueliners are making an impression again. This time it’s Sami Salo and Matt Carle.
Defensive woes are noting new for the Bolts. Heck, the 2008-09 season saw 22 blueliners wear a Lightning sweater. Luckily the signings of Salo and Carle combined with the maturation of young players have added some much needed nuance to the D corps. Next time you’re at a game, watch Salo & Carle. They isn’t flashy but the little details are what is so important. A poke check here, skillfully driving an opponent off the puck. He provides a measured, patient approach to the game.
It’s never boring when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers meet. Whether it’s the 1996 or 2004 playoffs, the holding the puck fiasco of last season, or the 15 goal game of two seasons ago. These teams always find a way to make things interesting. Tonight’s 5-1 Tampa victory was no exception.
Philly took an early lead on Sean Couturier’s goal, the first shot Anders Lindback faced in the game. In a departure from last season, the Bolts were able to keep pressing and rebound. A huge shot of energy game in the form of a fight from captain Vincent Lecavalier. Yes, you read that correctly. Vinny dropped the gloves.Seeing is believing.
The Lightning’s 20th anniversary celebration may have been delayed, but they kicked off the shortened season with style. It took a little while for things to gel, but the team looked extremely solid. Some unexpected sources of offense lead the Bolts to a 6-3 victory over their division rival Washington Capitals.
Eric Brewer opened the scoring for the Lightning in the first period and chipped in another goal on the power play in the third. Marty St. Louis also scored two and it felt so good to hear “Louie Louie” ringing out through the Forum again.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced their opening night roster well ahead of Friday’s deadline. Here’s how the team is going to look:
Forwards: Vinny Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis, Teddy Purcell, Ryan Malone, Benoit Pouliot, Tom Pyatt, Dana Tyrell, Adam Hall, Nate Thompson, B.J. Crombeen, Cory Conacher and Pierre-Cedric Labrie.
Defensemen: Victor Hedman, Sam Salo, Eric Brewer, Matt Carle, Brian Lee, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Keith Aulie and Brendan Mikkelson.
Goaltenders: Anders Lindback & Mathieu Garon.
So there you have it.That’s how the 2013 Bolts ( Not 2012-13. There was no 2012 involved in this season) will get started. The coaches seemed extremely positive about Conacher, so his addition isn’t exactly a surprise. Labrie on the other hand? Wow. For a while it seemed like Tyler Johnson could make the jump to the main club. Both he and Conacher have been insanely prolific when it comes to scoring. Johnson’s time is definitely coming, but not this Saturday.
The addition of Labrie and Crombeen have the potential to change the landscape of the on ice product if you will. With the exception of Steve Downie, the Lightning have been more about skill and finesse since Yzerman & Boucher came to town. The mantra was reacting to the opponent. Labrie and Crombeen play their game with a healthy amount of grit and physicality. They’ll be expected to play with discipline, but it could make other teams think twice before they take physical advantage of the Bolts.
Yup. Officially getting excited.
With the NHL’s impending return, the fans are buzzing with excitement of having actual hockey to talk about again. Our players are returning from near and far. Training camps are right around the corner and many squads have already begun informal skating sessions.
While flipping through photos of the Lightning’s skate the other day, an unsettling moment occurred. There was a player in a Tampa sweater. And I had no idea who the hell he was. Summer signings feel like they were a million years ago, so we can cut ourselves a little slack. We need a refresher course as to who exactly plays for our team now. What better way to do that than with a little game?
Here’s how it works. A series of roster photos will be shown along with multiple choice answers. Pick your answer until you reach the end. The answer key will let you know how you did. Winner gets… the satisfaction of a job well done.
Now it’s time for NAME… THAT… BOLT!
One of the good things about organizational depth is that it protects a team from taking a big hit if a trade doesn’t pan out. » Continue reading “Interesting Times For Keith Aulie”
Let’s keep it light today and not discuss the impending CBA doom. As Alexis and I were waiting in line to meet Eric Brewer after last night’s radio show, we began pondering something. If Thunderbug was captured and unmasked Scooby-Doo villain style, which player do you envision being the culprit inside and why?
My vote is for Marc-Andre Bergeron. He seems shifty enough to pull it off and hearing him curse those meddling kids and their dog in a French Canadian accent would be hilarious.
Alexis’s vote goes to Mike Commodore. The ex-Bolt enjoyed his time in Tampa Bay so much that he just wanted to stick around. Far from an evil mastermind, Commie enjoys the sunshine and is glad to finally have a job where the headgear has enough room for his red afro. He would inevitably stray from the straight and narrow and use his spare time to mess with former teammate Teddy Purcell. After Teddy allowed him to stay at his place this summer, the urge to make spare keys and go joy riding in his Porsche was too much to bear.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Zoinks!