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Tampa Bay Lightning Early Season Notes And Numbers


After three games the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-1 with four points and are first in the Southeast division. While it is all but impossible to glean much information from such a small sample of games, the Bolts are buying into Coach Guy Boucher’s platform and are showing signs of improvement on defense and in the net. "It’s going to be defense first. That’s our mindset, because we’ve got the offense," said Boucher. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

Tampa Bay opened the season at home on Saturday night with a well earned 6-3 victory over division rival Washington. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goa...

Islanders hold on for 4-3 win despite Lightning rally

The second game of the year started off a little differently than most early starts for the Islanders in recent years. These day games usually saw the Islanders sleep walking and getting outworked by their opponents.

Maybe Matt Martin and Joe Finley both knew that the team needed an alarm clock to get the team and the crowd into it. (Photo Credit: Flickr/capwell)

Whatever the reasoning was for dropping the gloves, it worked. The team was inspired. The crowd was loud.

Lost in the fisticuffs to begin the game, Jack Capuano took his spot behind the bench despite undergoing surgery to remove kidney stones just days prior.

The new slimmed Capuano could have helped inspire an energized Islanders' squad.

The Islanders came out swinging and their energy resulted in a much better effort than Saturday's opener vs. New Jersey.

A couple things on the Caps opener

The Washington Capitals lost their season opener to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-3.

It was just 3-3 at the beginning of the third period but the final third was most certainly lackluster for the Caps.

Let's talk about some things real quick, shall we?


This is the first game of the season under a new coach. After a six-day training camp. On the road.












Now is not the time to panic. Just hang loose. 

There are going to be growing pains.

The sooner those growi...

Capitals-Lightning; Follow Us!

Our (not-so) long (multi-) national (quasi-) nightmare is over.

Hockey is back.

I, for one, welcome back our crooked-sticked overlords.

The Capitals open their season in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. What the team will look like is anyone's guess as the team was only in training camp for about a week under new coach Adam Oates. 

He has said that he will give Alexander Ovechkin more freedom than he was allowed under former coach Dale Hunter. 

This is what Alexander Ovechkin looks like when he's free. 

It is his thing. It is awesome to behold.


We've started up a Twitter...

Tampa Bay Lightning Opening Night Roster Set


NHL rosters aren't due until tomorrow at 5:00 pm, but after stating the team that practices on Friday will be the opening night squad, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher has made up his mind on his 2013 team.

At noon today, Mike Angelidis, JT Wyman, Matt Taorminaand Kyle Wilson were placed on waivers with the intent of being sent to Syracuse. This means that defenseman Keith Aulie and forwards Cory Conacher and Pierre-Cedric Labrie have made the team. (Labrie Photo/Linda Hamilton)

Tyler Johnson, Radko Gudas and Mark Barberio will be returned to the Syracuse Crunch...

Tampa Bay Lightning 2013 Schedule Released

The NHL lockout is officially over as both sides have ratified the new CBA and signed the Memorandum of Understanding. With that, the Bolts announced their 2013 abbreviated schedule.

The Lightning’s 20th season will be a mad dash to the finish line. They will play 48 games in 99 days.

Five of the initial seven games are at home.

After opening the season at home against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, January 19, the Lightning will play back to back road games against the New York Islanders on January 21 and the Carolina Hurricanes on January 22.

Tampa Bay will return to the Times Forum for a five game homestand, January 25 – February 2.

The B...

2013 NHL Eastern Conference Power Rankings

The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.

Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.

Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.

2. New York Rangers – With the ...

A Quick Tampa Bay Lightning Abbreviated Season Preview


NHL hockey is back!

It took a long 16 hour negotiating session in New York yesterday, but the NHL and NHLPA hashed out an agreement in principle around 6 a.m. today.

The NHL did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play, but it is expected to be a 48 or 50 game season starting on either January 15 or January 19 with teams only playing within their respective conferences.  The Bolts had January 15, 17 and 19 as scheduled home games, thus it is a good bet that they will open the season at the Forum.

The new CBA still has to be drafted and ratified by both sides. It is for ten years with an eight year opt-out.


Tampa Bay Lightning Forward BJ Crombeen Joins ECHL's Solar Bears

Another Tampa Bay Lightning player has signed a lockout contract with an ECHL team. Forward BJ Crombeen will play for the Orlando Solar Bears, presumably making his debut on Saturday night at the Amway Center in Orlando. Crombeen has practiced with the Minnesota Wild affiliate.

Crombeen is a member of the NHLPA negotiating committee. (Photograph/Linda Hamilton)

The veteran right wing joins Bolts forward Nate Thompson as the second player to sign with an ECHL team. Thompson is playing with the Alaska Aces.

Follow me on Twitter @LightningShout and make sure to “like” The Checking L...

Tampa Bay Lightning's Brendan Mikkelson Will Play In Sweden


Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson will play lockout hockey in Sweden's Allsvenskan league for Vasteras.

The Saskatchewan native played in 41 games for Tampa Bay in 2011-12 accumulating three points and 13 penalty minutes.

(Photograph/Linda Hamilton)

He is the fourth member of the Lightning to play in Europe, joining forward Adam Hall (Ravensburg/Germany), defenseman Victor Hedman (Astana Barys/KHL) and goaltender Anders Lindback (Ilves/Finland).

Follow me on Twitter @LightningShout and make sure to “like” The Checking Line on Facebook and on Twitter @TheCheckingLine to stay up to the minute w...