The Tampa Bay Lightning are 12-15-2 with 26 points through 29 games. After 29 games last season, the Bolts were 15-10-4 with 34 points.
The Lightning are in fourth place in the Southeast Division and trail the division leading Florida Panthers by eleven points. Tampa Bay has fallen to 13th place in the 15 team Eastern Conference.
Forward Steve Downie has accumulated 67 penalty minutes and goalie Mathieu Garon has six wins, a 2.70 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. Dwayne Roloson has six wins, a 3.55 goals against average and an .886 save percentage.
Defenseman Victor Hedman leads Tampa Bay in ice time, averaging 23:04 per game. Steven Stamkos leads in shots on goal with 102.
The Lightning have scored 73 goals (20th in the NHL) and allowed 94 goals (27th in the NHL). The Bolts special teams numbers took a dive again this week. The power play is clicking just 14.7% (24th in the NHL) of the time. The penalty kill is successful 82.0% (18th in the NHL) of the time.
Game 26 – Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Ottawa Senators 4
Game 27 – Tampa Bay Lightning 1 – New York Islanders 5
Game 28 – Tampa Bay Lightning 3 – New York Rangers 2 SO
Game 29 – Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Philadelphia Flyers 5
Three Stars of the Week
Martin St. Louis – Two goals.
Dominic Moore – One goal, a shootout goal and an assist.
Steven Stamkos – Three assists.
The Lightning loaned forward Brett Connolly to Canada’s World Junior Team.
The Lightning called up newly acquired defenseman Evan Oberg and then returned him to Norfolk.
The Lightning called up forward Blair Jones.
Defenseman Mattias Ohlund remains on IR after undergoing surgery on both knees. Ohlund has had a major setback and his return this year may be questionable.
Defenseman Pavel Kubina is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Forward Martin St. Louis has facial and nasal fractures from getting hit with an errant shot in warm ups. He is out indefinitely.
Following a brutal, three loss week, the slumping Lightning went on a four-game road trip through Ottawa, Long Island, New York and Philadelphia. The Bolts garnered just two of a possible eight points during that trek.
Tampa Bay has now lost ten of their last 14 games, including six of their last seven.
The goaltending duo of Roloson and Garon had a terrible week, with a 4.00 goals against average and an .881 save percentage.
The offense remained anemic as the Bolts could only muster seven goals in four games.
Despite the awful numbers, the Bolts are just five points out of a playoff spot with 53 games to play. It may not be time to panic, but this team needs help, especially on the blue line. Without any real help in Norfolk and Mattias Ohlund suffering a setback in his rehab, look for GM Steve Yzerman to make a move to bolster the blue line.
The Week Ahead
The Quarterdeck Log – Norfolk Admirals Week In Review
By Ken Peacock
About The Author
A man with an identity crisis. A full time fan of all things hockey and supporter of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals. A fan of two NHL teams in the same division? Really? Yes, it can be done. It’s tough, but it can be done. I am also a full time husband, IT Professional, and a Norfolk Admirals Hockey Blogger at Vultures Row.
The Norfolk Admirals wrapped up a three game road trip against division rivals Binghamton and Hershey. First up on Friday were the Senators.Norfolk struck first on Michel Ouelette first goal in his first game after a lengthy injury. The Senators would follow up with their only goal of the night to make it 1-1. The second period was all Admirals. Matt Fornataro, Mike Kostka, and Cory Conacher scored to make it 4-1. Trevor Smith sealed the victory with his goal in the third.
Saturday’s match had Trevor Smith lighting the lamp to get the scoring started. Former Admiral, Rob Klinkhammer, responded for the Senators. Cory Conacher and Trevor Johnson put the Admirals up 3-1 in the second. The Senators opened up the third, but Conacher and JT Wyman sealed the 5-2 victory forNorfolk.
Norfolk found itself inChocolate Town, Hershey,PA on Sunday. They quickly got themselves in trouble as Hershey capitalized on two Norfolk penalties. Cory Conacher would cut that lead in half, but Hershey found them on the power-play once more and scored the third power-play goal of the period. The Bears added one more goal for good measure to make it a 4-1 first period lead for the Bears. The Admirals bounced back in the second with goals from Trevor Smith and Tyler Johnson. Hershey put the clamps down in the third, stopped the Admiral offense and added two more goals to take a 6-3 victory.
Trevor Smith (13G 20A 33Pts +17) and Cory Conacher (16G 16A 32Pts +41) find themselves at the top for scoring. Carter Ashton (13G 9A 22Pts +6) follows closely behind. Cory Conacher maintains his hold as the scoring leader for all AHL rookies. Mark Barberio (3G 18A 21Pts +13) leads all Norfolk defensemen in scoring. Dustin Tokarski (10-6-0 2.43GAA) found his 5 game winning streak snapped Sunday Night against the Bears. Jaroslav Janus (6-4-1 3.16GAA) had a victory against Binghamton this week.
For the Season the Admirals are 14-7-3-2 with 33 points. They are currently in a three way tie for first in the East Division with the Hershey Bears and the WB/S Penguins. Evan Oberg was returned from Tampa Bay, while Blair Jones found himself recalled to the big club. Norfolk is currently on a 0-1-0-0 streak and is 6-4-0-0 in their last ten games.
Three Stars of the Week
Cory Conacher – Four goals and three assists
Tyler Johnson – Three goals and four assists.
Michel Ouelette – One goal in his return from a lengthy injury.
Evan Oberg – Returned from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Blair Jones – Recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Richard Petiot – Undisclosed – Day–to-day
Kevin Quick – Lower body injury – Day-to-day
An Observation from the Stands
Playing against the division cellar dwellers is not a guaranteed win. The Admirals usually seem to have difficulty with teams that are struggling. They proved me wrong Friday and Saturday with 5-1 and 5-2 wins respectively. Granted, the Senators were not up to full strength, but a win against someone in your division is a big win. A bit of trivia … former Admirals and current Senator, Mike McKenna, has never won a game in goal against the Admirals.
Sunday had the Admirals playing the Bears. The Bears have the top power play unit in the AHL. Norfolk must have missed out on the briefing and promptly gave up three power play goals to the Bears. While they did fight back to within a goal, they caved in the third period and lost 6-2. Norfolk cannot afford to lose to Hershey. They have to solve the puzzle or they are going to find themselves out of the playoffs early. They will see Hershey two more times this upcoming week.
The Week Ahead
Norfolk returns home for a Friday night game against the Hershey Bears. Saturday and Sunday find Norfolk traveling to WB/S Penguins and the Hershey Bears.
Follow Ken Peacock on Twitter @VBKen.
About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?