The Tampa Bay Lightning is 26-26-6 with 58 points through 58 games. After 58 games last season, the Bolts were 34-18-6 with 74 points.
The Bolts are in fourth place in the Southeast Division and trail the division leading Florida Panthers by seven points. Tampa Bay is in 11th place in the 15 team Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot.
After 58 games, forward Steven Stamkos leads the team and the NHL in goals with 40. He leads the Bolts and is third in the NHL in points with 67. Martin St. Louis is tops in assists with 34. Forward Teddy Purcell leads the team in rating with a +8.
Defenseman Brett Clark is last in rating with a -20. Steve Downie has accumulated 121 penalty minutes (5th in the NHL). Goalie Mathieu Garon has 18 wins, a 2.84 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
Defenseman Eric Brewer leads Tampa Bay in ice time, averaging 23:19 per game. Steven Stamkos leads in shots on goal with 205.
The Lightning have scored 161 goals (10th in the NHL) and allowed 192 goals (30th (last) in the 30 team NHL). The Bolts special teams remain bad. The power play success rate is 13.4% (29th in the 30 team NHL) and the penalty kill is at 80.3% (25th in the NHL). The league average power play percentage is 17.36% and the average NHL team kills off 82.04% of their penalties successfully.
Tampa Bay is 23rd in the league in faceoff percentage, winning just 49.2% of their draws.
Game 56 – Tampa Bay Lightning 0 – Ottawa Senators 4
Game 57 – Tampa Bay Lightning 6 – San Jose Sharks 5 OT
Game 58 – Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Washington Capitals 1
Three Stars of the Week
Steven Stamkos - Three goals and two assists.
Teddy Purcell – One goal and two assists.
Victor Hedman - Three assists.
The Lightning traded center Dominic Moore and a seventh round pick in 2012 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a second round pick in 2012 (acquired by the Sharks from the Minnesota Wild).
The Lightning traded defenseman Pavel Kubina to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a second round pick in 2012 or 2013 (The Panthers hold the option on whether the second round pick can be used this year or in 2013), a fourth round pick in 2012 and minor league winger Jon Kalinski.
Defenseman Mattias Ohlund remains on IR and will have major knee surgery on Thursday. The complicated surgery is a last gasp effort to save Ohlund’s career.
Forward Dana Tyrell is out for the year after having successful knee surgery.
Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Steven Stamkos is on a tear. Over the last 29 games, he has 24 goals, 13 assists, 37 points and seven game winning goals. The 22-year old center became the first Tampa Bay player to have three consecutive seasons of at least 40 goals. Stamkos had a career-high 51 goals in the 2009-10 season and scored 45 times last season. He has three goals and two assists in his last two games.
The Lightning are looking to their future by selling off Dominic Moore and Pavel Kubina for draft picks. According to ESPN.com’s Pierre Lebrun, “Moore’s agent, Larry Kelly, did have some talks about an extension with Yzerman over the past few weeks, but they never were able to bridge the gap. So Moore was dealt yet again — joining his ninth team since the lockout.”
A quick note on the Kubina trade: The Bolts had asked the veteran defenseman to submit a list of teams that he would agree to be traded to. That list was never submitted as Yzerman approached Kubina about the Philadelphia offer and he accepted it.
GM Steve Yzerman and the Lightning may not be a seller yet. The Bolts next few games will determine that. Moore and Kubina were players that the Lightning were not going to sign for next year and were attractive to other teams. Trading them away in exchange for draft picks and potential assets was an intelligent move. The Bolts now have seven, first and second round draft picks over the next two years.
There are 24 games remaining to be played and the Bolts are six points out of the playoffs with three teams to jump over (Jets, Capitals and Maple Leafs). Two other teams (Islanders and Canadiens) are tied with them. Thirteen of those games are at home and ten are against teams the Bolts are tied with or need to jump in the standings, including the final five games.
According to Sports Club Stats, Tampa Bay has a 5.2% chance of making the playoffs.
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 Admirals faced the division leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their barn this past Wednesday night. The Penguins have always been a tough foe for the Admirals. Fortunately, this season the Admirals have won every road games versus the Penguins. The game went scoreless for the first period, but a couple of early fights set the tone for the rest of the game. Radko Gudas got the ball rolling, scoring shorthanded just 59 seconds into the second period. Ondrej Palat added another goal at 17:51. Both teams fought a back and forth battle in the third period, but Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored at the thirteen minute mark to put the Admirals up 3-0. Tyler Johnson hammered the nail in the coffin a minute and a half later to seal the 4-0 win. Dustin Tokarski went home with another shutout.
The Admirals were at home on Friday and Saturday night, facing former head coach Trent Yawney and the Syracuse Crunch. It was a special night for Admiral’s fans as Stanley Cup winner Aaron Downey (Detroit Red Wings) and Chris Phelps were inducted into the Admirals Hall of Fame. The game was a memorable team effort. Mike Kostka scored shorthanded at 2:43 of the first period. Syracuse would even things up at 5:07 of the second. The Crunch moved ahead at the 9:37 mark. Trevor Smith and Alex Picard each netted power play goals to give the Admirals a 3-2 lead. Cory Conacher scored early in the third period, but the two goal buffer was erased on a Crunch goal just thirteen seconds later. Trevor Smith scored another Admiral power play goal at the twelve minute mark. Pierre-Cedric Labrie added the seventh and final Admiral goal a minute later. Syracuse managed to score one more goal on Tokarski, but Norfolk took the first game of the series, 7-4 over the Crunch.
Both teams were back in action Saturday Night. The Admiral Fans packed the house for Norfolk’s second sellout of the season. Syracuse provided the only scoring for the first two periods. This was definitely not the high scoring match that was expected. Syracuse added another goal halfway through the third. Mark Barberio scored a goal at 7:16 to cut the Admiral’s deficit to one. Ondrej Palat knocked in a power play goal to even things up at two each at 9:02. Both teams could not find the back of the net for the remainder of the period and the game went to overtime. After five minutes of scoreless overtime hockey, the game went to a shootout. After eight rounds of the shootout Jaroslav Janus made the save on Syracuse’s ninth round shooter. Michel Ouelette, who was recovering from an injury, put the puck into the back of the Syracuse net giving the Admirals a 3-2 win and sole possession of first place in the East Division.
Cory Conacher (29G 31A 60Pts +5), Trevor Smith (21G 36A 57Pts +26), and Mark Barberio (7G 38A 45Pts +19) find themselves at the top in scoring. Conacher now leads the AHL with 29 goals. Dustin Tokarski (23-11-0 2.41 GAA) went 2-0 this week. Jaroslav Janus (10-8-2 2.98 GAA) went 1-1.
For the season the Admirals are 33-18-1-2 with 69 points. They are currently holding the top position in the East Division. Norfolk is on a 6-0-0-0 streak and are 7-3-0-0 in their last ten games.
Three Stars of the Week
Mike Kostka – One goal and three assists.
Tyler Johnson – Two goals and three assists.
Mark Barberio – One goal and three assists.
Jon Kalinski – Assigned byTampaBayLightning (NHL).
Richard Petiot – Undisclosed – Day-to-day
An Observation from the Stands
The Admirals had another great week that resulted in them claiming sole possession of first place in the division. Wednesday saw a match up of Norfolk’s Alex Picard versus the Penguins’ Alex Picard and a shutout victory for goalie Dustin Tokarski. Friday night’s matchup saw the special teams clicking and a great offensive performance. Saturday night Norfolk had the house rocking. Syracuse wanted payback for the beating they took the night before, but the Admirals were not going to give them that satisfaction. Dustin Tokarski is on a roll and looking better every day. Janus stood tall and took home the victory in the shootout. Mike Kostka had his best performance since arriving from San Antonio. Kostka definitely deserves this week’s number one star. The Admirals are looking better every day.
The Week Ahead
The Admirals find themselves on the road with three games in three nights this week. They will be in Binghamton on Friday night, followed by Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday and Sunday.*Steven Stamkos photograph courtesy of Linda Hamilton. *Mike Kostka photograph courtesy of Ken Peacock.
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?