Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm hoping to avoid security.

I would like to take this moment to say that Rick Tocchet is a little firecracker and I love it. Who knows if he'll take the team and transform them into a team that starts winning...but he's sure fun to watch. I wasn't shocked last Friday when I read that Melrose got cut. The only thing I'm surprised about is that it took as long as it did. Good effort, Melrose but it just wasn't going to happen for you here.

The team is dangerously close to last place in the Eastern Conference. A spot the team is all too familiar if considering last season. I can't help but wonder what it is going to take for the team to just wake up and function.

I'll be asking this tonight at Hockey and Heels. I will also be throwing myself at Bobby Taylor so he'll remember me when I try to intern with the Lightning during my last semester of Journalism. Hopefully my plan will work. More so, let's hope I don't get kicked out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Worst blogger ever award goes to...

I must say that I've been awful at updating. But seeing as how I've either been sick, piled under homework, on vacation, covering other people's shifts at work, driving my mom to the hospital for having a stroke, or sleeping. Whew. I really need to get better at this whole balancing my time better.
But can I say that I'm really proud of the Lightning for past three games? Three game winning streak is definitely something to breathe a sigh of relief for. Thank god. It seems as though they are finally meshing together now. It only took 10 games, but at least they got it together. More on this later, of course.
Now, go vote!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank god!

All I can say is thank god. We desperately needed a win. Especially since I was at the game! But I can't help but say "Huh?" when it comes to the MVP line.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To Whom it May Concern:

Dear Tampa Bay Lightning,
Please stop getting your butt handed to you. Kthx. 0-3 is not the way to start off the season.
Sincerely,
Dissapointed fan.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Seriously. What happened?

Well...that was unexpected. Two major loses in Prague against the New York Rangers was most certainly not the ideal way to start off the season. It was almost like the Lightning had never played a game together which is a bit of a head-scratcher since they came off a good pre-season. So, I have to ask - what the heck happened? Defense isn't defending and our shooters aren't shooting. It's almost embarrassing to look how much the Rangers out shot the Lightning this weekend. On top of that, there were too many penalties against the Lightning and a special team that isn't consistent with penalty kills. This weekend basically consisted of missed opportunities by a team that looked like they hadn't played together in weeks. Also, as much as I love Malone - he needs to chill out. He just started to brawl for no reason it seems like. At least with Roy, he always had a reason. Marty St. Louis and Adam Hall were the two with goals under their belt after the two games. I'm glad Marty was the one to score the first Lightning goal of the regular season, because I needed some type of familiarity! Mostly because I'm going to have a seizure trying to get used to this new line up. I miss familiar faces.

I will admit that the defensive line needed a change but I don't think it needed to happen overnight. The Lightning club definitely hit the panic button after Prague and I believe they made a knee jerk reaction in trading both O'Brien and Ouelette. Allbeit, Ouelette has been on the chopping block for some time due to his 1.2 million dollar contract, and the salary cap. But O'Brien? He didn't even make a million dollars! I won't lie, I really liked O'Brien. He played 77 games with the Lightning last season and recorded four goals, and 21 points. Over the span of 158 NHL games, he's accrued 330 penalty minutes. O'Brien was a player we needed. Ouelette never really got to show the Lightning what he was capable of after being taken from the Penguins and thrown onto a team that was playing pitifully last season. But between the Lightning and the Penguins he's got 52 goals and 116 points in 187 games. Honestly, not too shabby at all and that's a lot more than most of the players on the roster right now. In the deal that sent O'Brien and Ouelette on their merry way to Vancouver, the Lightning acquired defense man Lukas Krajicek and minor league winger Juraj Simek, who is being sent to minors automatically. Brian Lawton felt Krajicek is a valuable acquisition due to his ability to take turnovers into scoring opportunities.
"Really, we're just looking to upgrade or quicken the speed of our transition game," Lawton said. "We think that's what Lukas brings to us more than anything. We like the way he moves the puck. We like the way he moves around the ice. We certainly wish Shane well. It's tough when you trade a guy that's as well liked as he was." - St. Pete Times.
Grrr. Then maybe you shouldn't have traded him! Anyway, we'll find on Saturday whether or not the praise of Lukas is true as the Lightning play against yet another Staalh and the Hurricanes. Other changes to the roster consist of Karri Ramo and Vladimir Mihalik being sent to Norfolk with Simek in tow.

In closing, I will say that Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig really held their own over the weekend, especially with our defensive lines scratching their heads most of the time. Letting only two shots in each wouldn't have been half bad if our team was shooting and scoring goals to offset it. I understand that Lundqvist is the human rock, but the Lightning barely tried to get a goal against him! Either way, I was impressed by how our goaltenders played and I think that they could help the team a lot during this season but only if the rest of the team starts doing their part.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do you have to pay tax on people?

Just out of curiosity, aren’t we supposed to be getting rid of players and not acquiring new ones? Granted, it’s another "once was" Penguin and there is nothing I love more than acquiring that whole team, past and present, just because I think it’s funny. But this acquisition is even more funny especially since we picked up from Slovakia. Hmm, I wonder how much you have to pay in tax for basically buying a person from another country. But in all seriousness – lesson your load! Anyway, what’s up Michel Sersen? Although, I do not think you are the cure for the common defensemen, I have high hopes for your ability to take our defensemen line from mediocre to not so mediocre.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Scratches and Slovakia

Is it wrong that I get a sick enjoyment from knowing that Nick Tarnasky will no longer be wearing a Lightning sweater? I get even more enjoyment knowing that he got sent to the Predators with a bum thumb, and we received a conditional draft pick in 2009. Farewell Tarnasky. You can go instill your lack of personality to Nashville now.

Today's game against Slovakia should be an interesting one, considering the scratch list for it. Ryan Malone, Paul Ranger, Olaf Kolzig, David Koci, Janne Niskala, Michel Ouellet and Gary Roberts. Ouellet is apparently on waivers and isn't even practicing with the team. Scandal? More to come on this game later when it's actually over and done with.

In other sports news, the Chicago Blackhawks placed Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers! As of right now, the other NHL clubs have 24 hours to claim him off waivers before his rights revert back to the Blackhawks. I think any team would be stupid not to jump on getting the Bulin Wall as their goaltender. Injuries or no injuries, he's still a Stanley Cup winner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's the final countdown.

For anyone who thought that Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year, you were clearly mistaken. The most wonderful time of the year is the beginning of hockey season. Between the team changes in line up, and the anticipation of the first game - I can barely contain myself! More so, I can barely keep up with all of the things that are happening as of late. With Vinny being named captain and two wins this pre-season, things are looking up for the Lightning who had the sword of Damocles hanging over them for a while.

Let's start off with last night's game. Somehow I was lucky enough to sit 8 rows from the glass and now my life will never be the same. Actually, now I've just been spoiled and can't imagine sitting any further back. The sound the boards make when Arty slams up against them is pretty freaking amazing. Enough about my seats though, let's discuss Steve Stamkos. High five to him for scoring his first goal wearing the Tampa Bay Lightning sweater, which came to him in a power play during the second period. The other goals came from Marty (yay!) and Ryan Craig (double yay!). Have I conveyed how happy I am that Ryan Craig is back from being injured, signed with a nice contract, and playing again? So happy that I took about 40 pictures of him while at Icefest, because I'm clearly creepy. Don't worry, I'll be posting the good ones later! I hate to admit it, but Smith was on his game last night. Truthfully, I felt the Ranger's outplayed the Lightning but Smith really stuck with the net and totalled 38 saves. A win is a win though, and it felt good. Especailly since I really hate the Rangers. I shouldn't since I'm from New York, but I just can't help it.

Now with three games done, the Lightning camp roster has been reduced by six. Peace out to Ty Wishart, Paul Szczechura, Riku Helenius and Radek Smolenak who were assigned to training camp with Norfolk and Dana Tyrell was assigned to Prince George of the WHL. I'll miss Smolenak the most because he had a really good face. I know this from having my face to the glass on Sunday watching them practice. Remember earlier how I said I'm creepy? Yeah, that still stands.

I have about 37 other things I desperately want to blog about, but unfortunately - it's that time of the morning where I need to actually get ready for work. Don't worry kiddies, I'll be back with more!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Coming to a blog near you...

Within the next few days, you'll be seeing a re-vamped Femmes & Fisticuffs with a lot of juicy information in preperation for the regular season! Keep checking back!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Barry chews ice.

Last night it was brought to my attention over Purple Haze beer, and pizza at Old Chicago that Barry Melrose chews ice. I'm trying to figure out why this is pertinent information, or why my fella even made this observation. Right now, I'm going to put this out in Lightning blog land and maybe you can come up with reasons as to why Melrose is an ice chewer. My best friend said he was sexually frustrated. Her theory could be right. I can't imagine that mullet is a big draw in for the ladies. All I really know is that Barry chews his ice during games.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Roster tweaking.

Is it just me or does it seem like Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard got punked this off season? Granted, their heads were on the chopping block earlier during the draft, but I'm sure they thought they were in the clear since nothing actually was official. Don't get too comfy boys, you're getting shipped to Ottawa! In comes defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who I really do hope will fill the lack of defense we have on the team since the Boyle/Lukowich trade. At least the Lightning are working their way down in age with this player rather than working their way up. CoughcoughRobertscoughcough. I'll tell you what though, the 22 year old does have great credentials. He's played 246 consecutive games and logs an average of 21 minutes on the ice. He ended the season with Ottawa having 36 points under his belt, nine of which were from goals. With pre-season games starting in just a few weeks (yay!), I wonder if it's safe to say that the Lightning are finally finished tweaking the roster.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anticipation

After sitting in front of my computer for about an hour this morning, I've decided that it's going to take me a very long time to memorize the numbers of the new players. Also, it's going to take quite some time to learn the pronunciation of their names. Try and say Konopka three times fast. See? You can't say it without feeling like a total fool. In a month and two days, it'll be the start of the pre-season games. My skin is humming at the thought. We've now entered my favorite time of the off season. There is nothing better than the anticipation at this point in time. Now is when everything gets a lot more exciting. In May, it feels like October is so far away. But now, in August...it doesn't seem so far. It almost seems bearable. Now is the time when I get ridiculously excited over pre-season games, regular season games, what they could possibly use as an intro to each game, Icefest, Hockey N' Heels, and even buying new merchandise. I cannot wait to buy new shirts! Because you know, four shirts, a jersey, a hoodie and a jacket just isn't enough! I'm honestly starting to make a mental list of things I want to buy to fit into my collection. Speaking of merchandise, Fat Head is finally coming out with a jumbo Lightning logo for your wall. I have every intention of buying it as soon as it's released to put in my Lightning room. Yes, this is when hockey excitement really starts to brew for me.

But I'm really going to miss the intro from last year.



Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh Thunderbug!

This should never be considered funny. But yet, I find it hysterical. Maybe it's because it's 8 in the morning and I didn't sleep very well last night. Maybe I'm dying for some good Lightning news. It's exactly two months today until the first game of the season. Please let them fly by! I'm desperate!



I would just like to thank youtube, beer (I'm sure beer was involved in filming this), spring breakers, and hockey fans for this one minute and nineteen seconds worth of joy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No news is boring.

You know the expression "No news is good news"? Well, I'm here to tell you that no news isn't good news. It's actually boring news. I'm in desperate need for some kind of dirt. The only Lightning related information that is floating around is Torts being interviewed to coach for the Islanders, and that Darche got signed to the Sabres. If any of you actually watched the town meeting that the Lightning did a few weeks ago, I can think of at least two people who are chomping at the bit in regards to not re-signing Darche. It just wasn't in the cards for a lot of last season's players. At least Darche went out on a high note with a career high of a 22 point season. But alas, the franchise is going for higher impact players which inevitably needs to be done. So, we say Farewell to Mathieu. It was fun while it lasted and best of luck playing with their AHL affiliate. Darche can take comfort in the fact that he's on the "peace out" list with other really great players who were also exiled from the team.

Even though I've done a lot of kicking and screaming this off season, I do understand the fact that the owners had to come in and completely revamp a team that was ranked 30th. I have this tendency to get lost in the Stanley Cup winning season, and to me they will always be number one. The NHL stat log begs to differ. With that being said, and minus my knee jerk reaction - I understand the need for change and we got a group of really good players during the trade. But, I hate that we had to give up really good players in order to get these trades. Like every other Lightning fan, I'm hoping for the best next season and can't wait to see this completely revamped team play together. Mostly, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to death that the players actually have some level of chemistry with each other. All of this fodder would be useless if the team can't mesh together. Pre-season games just aren't coming around quick enough!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

R.I.P Rappin' with Roy.

I would like to take this time to thank the Calgary Flames for signing Andre Roy to a one year contract. If the Lightning weren't going to sign him up, which they should have, I'm happy to know he's at a team with another Bolt cast away. Cory Sarich and Andre Roy are going to melt the ice with their hotness. That was ridiculously cheesy, but so very true. And you know what? Jarome Iginla is oddly attractive too. It's a good blend those Flames have. I'm happy that Roy got signed because I think he's too good of a player to not be on a team. His contract is crap though, only getting $550,000 for the year. But I suppose beggars can't be choosers considering the season he had. After reading some interviews with Andre, it seems as though he didn't feel all too secure about getting another contract with a team due to the fact that he had been scratched for 15 games and the whole Kote incident. Please refer to "Andre Roy is a Badass" for any further questions. I'm glad he's going to continue playing. And hey, maybe the Lightning will pick him back up after his year is over with the Flames. How's that for being optimistic? I definitely will be paying more attention to the Flames this season, that's for sure.

You know who I do feel really bad for? The girl that goes to practically all of the Lightning games with her Andre Roy face paint. She's a Roy super fan, and will apparently have to move to Calgary now. Bring a jacket. That's all I have to say.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is it October yet?

It's pretty bad when the only news on the Lightning website consists of the try outs to be a Lightning girl. Here is my chance to dance off rhythm! I never thought this day would come. I do believe I have found my calling in life. Wait, no... I haven't had a lobotomy yet. Maybe after I get one then it'll be my time to shine with pom poms. I firmly believe the Lightning girls serve no purpose.

At least the schedule for next season has been posted. I was definitely waiting for that. Big shout out to the administrative staff for compiling this information and releasing it prior to me signing up for classes next semester. Yes, I do plan on scheduling my classes around home games to guarantee I can go to as many as possible. I really like hockey.

Andre Roy could possibly be going to Dallas. If that were the case, I'm officially a Stars fan.

In other important Lightning news, they have added popcorn bowls to their line of merchandise. Can't you tell the off season has really slowed down, and now it's slim pickings for all bloggers? I won't lie though, I really contemplated buying myself these popcorn bowls. They would look adorable in my Tampa Bay Lightning room, next to my Lightning coasters. Maybe next paycheck!

Okay, OK and LB need to say something really stupid and have it posted all over the internet. That's how bored I am. I need them to create a little drama that I can laugh about.

Is it October yet?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Andre Roy has a posse.



I don't know why this image exists on the internet. This is what actually comes up when I Google Andre Roy under Google images. Apparently he has a posse. I wonder if I can join his posse. Maybe I'll contact whoever made this image, assuming I ever find them in order to join. Part of me hopes I don't find them, because it's more funny to me this way. This image was also followed up by a comment stating that he is the brute squad. I don't even know what that means! Other photos that come up when I Google Andre consist of fans meeting him, a Canadian musician, a can of mini mulch, and this guy...



Thank you internet for all you offer me at 11:13 at night, right before I'm going to bed. I needed a good laugh! I swear I'll post something more of substance tomorrow. This was just my random "I just finished my last class for the summer and needed to do something stupid" post.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thou Shall Covet Pittsburgh's Team.

It seems as though the number one commandment of the Tampa Bay Lightning is "Thou Shall Covet Pittsburgh's Team". There most certainly has been a surge of former Penguins being put on the Lightning roster. In this off season alone, we have acquired four members of their team. I would have loved to have heard the thought process behind these drafts. On OK's list of things to do in a day, after putting pomade in that coif hair of his, the followed by "must jack members from a team that almost won the Stanley Cup". You can't really blame him though. It makes sense. In the 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2005-2006 seasons the Penguins didn't even qualify for the post season. Then in 2006-2007, they were second in the Atlantic division and made it all the way to the conference quarter finals. After three seasons of not making it into post season, that is pretty impressive. Is the Lightning only coveting these players simply because they were part of a Stanley Cup final team, or does the franchise actually have legitimate faith in their abilities? Truthfully, I think it might be a combination of both. If OK and LB are going to covet any players from a team, singling out Penguin players seems to be the best choice. These players will know what it takes to start from bottom and work their way up. Plus, I'm sure being that close to hoisting the cup and not being able to has probably lit a fire under their ass. Having a "so close, but yet so far" moment will drive a person.

Mark Recchi, Adam Hall, Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts were all on the Penguin roster last season. The Lightning franchise having a liking toward their team is actually an ongoing trend and not something new. Before skating with the Lightning both Michel Ouelett and Andre Roy were on the Penguins. Apparently the Penguins like our players too, having signed Fedotenko this year and with Daryl Sydor already being on their team. Hmm, I miss Fedotenko.

As of today, we've got 2 months, 2 weeks and 6 days until the season starts. Yes, I have actually been counting down since the last game the Lightning played in May. I'm sick and twisted. I'm really looking forward to seeing if this mash up of players will actually blend together and be able to exist as a team. More importantly, I'm curious to see how the players handle the Melrose coaching style. The Penguin players are going to be very used to Michel Therrien, while the Lightning players who are left standing will be used to Tortorella's hockey philosophy. The players drafted from minor leagues are going to think they have snuck into a frat party, since it seems like half of them aren't old enough to drink yet. I can see the headlines now. "New Lightning pick found passed out on University of Tampa lawn. Player stated he got lost on his way to Forum."

If the off season is this eventful, I can't even imagine what will happen when the season actually starts.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Warm and Fuzzies for Vinny

Maybe it's just me, but I honestly believe signing Vinny Lecavalier to a 11 year extension is bizarre. It's all for show because you know they probably won't keep him the next 11 years. Contracts aren't what they used to be, and apparently are very easily broken as we've seen in the past year with Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. This 85 million dollar deal begins in the 2009-2010 season and salary will be 10 million dollars for the first six seasons. After that, it'll trickle down. In 2016-2017, he'll receive 8.5 million dollars, 4 million dollars the following season, 1.5 million dollars in 2018-2019, and he'll finish off his time with the Lightning with 1 million dollars in 2019-2020. 2020. I can't even think that far ahead. My god, I'll be 34 when the season ends in 2020. Hell, Vinny will be 40! Homeboy better retire after that, or he'll be the next Gary Roberts and skating way after his prime.

Although I can't help but assume the contract won't last the 11 years, it's definitely very nice for Lecavalier to know he was drafted by a team in 1998 that wants him for his whole career. That must give any player the warm and fuzzies. Plus, the paycheck doesn't hurt either. I'm glad Vinny will be on the team for quite some time though. Mostly because I think he dresses nice (or just wears nothing. refer to picture, please.) and he is doing a lot for the local hospitals. Also, I marvel at the fact that his nose is so straight and I'm sure he's gotten clocked in the face often. You see, I don't like Vinny for the fact that he actually does produce, I like him because his nose is straight. I also like him because he's bff with Brad Richards and I think it makes for a nice story. Or maybe it's the fact that he's capable of an 100 point season. You will just never know what reason it really is!

Friday, July 11, 2008

LB is the new LC.

During my routine Lightning article search, I stumbled upon this quote and about died:
On Tuesday July 8th, Len Barrie was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times as saying: "I'll predict right now, Tampa Bay will win the division. That's how much we like our team."

Wednesday, Bruce Boudreau, coach of the Capitals, responded to this slight with a statement which was dripping with sarcasm: "We just hope to be in second place because Tampa says they're going win the division. So if we play good enough to get to second place, we'll be happy."

LB, you are just making friends everywhere you go, aren't you? But hey, maybe if you say this kind of crap early enough, Bruce won't remember that he clearly hates you the next time the Capitals play the Lightning. Idiots. Quit shaking your sticks around. Why do I feel like I suddenly stepped into a new episode of the Hills? LB is turning into the new LC. For those of you who live under a rock, or have a life - I'm referring to Lauren Conrad. The queen of "accidentally" getting herself into a fight with her "very best friends"!

Also in my morning research, I've noticed that Andre still hasn't been signed anywhere. Hopefully this will change because I will obviously follow the rest of his career since he is a bad ass. After reading the Q&A with Ryan Malone, I got even more sad about Andre. TBL.com asked Malone who would do the best impression of him, and he answered it with Andre. Maybe, just maybe...if no one picks up Roy, the Lightning will resign him anyway. Maybe they are making him sweat it out of punishment. I can only hope. But more than likely I'm too optimistic for my own good when it comes to him.
No one can know exactly how mad I am that they re-signed Chris Gratton today. Finding this out is equal to getting high sticked in the face. So mad. Him not being on the team was my bright light at the end of the Boyle-less tunnel. All I have to say is that they better re-sign Roy if I have to watch Gratton skate around for another year on Lightning ice.

I'm definitely more shocked about Gratton being re-signed than I am that Jay Feaster resigned. It was pretty obvious that was going to happen considering OK and LB basically made his position obsolete. They were running the show and Feaster was just sitting on the sidelines eating a pretzel.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes

Oh wow, the Lightning actually signed a defensemen. What a completely crazy idea! Yesterday Andrew Hutchinson was signed to a two year contract. Hutchinson just finished up the 2007-2008 season playing in the AHL with the Hardford Wolf Pack. Out of 67 games, he had 18 goals and 46 assists. The year before that he was playing with the Carolina Hurricanes for two seasons, including their Stanley Cup winning season. During his season with the Wolf Pack, he was awarded the Eddie Shore Award for most outstanding defensemen. That's great to be the best in the AHL but how is that going to play into the NHL? When playing the Hurricanes, he only logged an 11 point season in 2006, and a 14 point season during 2007. Hmm... he went from 11 to 14 and then jumped to 64? I'm very interested in seeing how he plays again in the NHL after having the successful season that he did in the AHL.

Another interesting piece of information that was made official yesterday was the fact that Greg Malone was announced as head professional scout. He spent the last two seasons working for the Phoenix Coyotes and prior to that he spent 16 years with the Penguins. During his time with the Penguins he was in charge of drafting players such as Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and Ryan Malone. Ryan Malone? Gee! That name sounds familiar. Now, the fact that Greg was taking over this position leaked right around the time that his son, Ryan Malone, was signed to the Lightning is very suspicious. Why they decided to wait til now to actually announce it officially is beyond me. Greg should feel right at home considering half of the "new" Lightning are players traded from the Penguins. Same people, different climate. But at least we do actually have Penguins here. Thank you Lowry Park Zoo, and the Florida Aquarium.

Welcome new assistant coaches Rick Tocchet, Wes Walz and Cap Raeder. Hope you don't suck. Peace out Sully. I would absolutely love to have an interview with Tortorella sometime in my life, and find out what his opinion of the new Lightning is. I'm sure what he has to say about all of the trades, and drafts would be very entertaining especially in regards to Dan Boyle. Maybe I'll write him an e-mail. But probably not.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I miss Andre already.

The Lightning do not plan to resign Andre Roy. This is probably the most absurd thing I've read in the past 24 hours. Honestly. In a week's time, they've cut out three players I really liked. Don't they understand that he is a bad ass? So what if he lost his temper, threatened the lives of various hockey players, and got scratched for who knows how many games? Don't the new owners understand they need that kind of player on their team? If it's his temper, then put him through some anger management classes, but just not so many that he turns soft. As I'm writing this entry, I just got really nervous and decided my time would be better spent googling voraciously Andre Roy merchandise. Of course, they never bothered to make Andre Roy shirts because they didn't think to market him. I would be buying them all up right now. A light bulb definitely just went off in my head. Anyway, if the Lightning plan on having Roberts be their new enforcer, they are going to have to make sure he has a good life insurance policy seeing as how he's so old. He'll more than likely have a heart attack in mid swing.

Another player not being resigned? Chris Gratton. Ha. For anyone who has the Tampa Bay Lightning calendar, you know it's his picture featured for the month of July. For the rest of the month, I can look at it and laugh. Stupid Gratton.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I just write about hockey.

Has anyone checked out the new intro to the Lightning page? It's really quite comical. "Owners to unite us. A coach to ignite us. Players to excite us." They use three different pictures of Barry Melrose but yet they all look EXACTLY the same. Those owners that are supposedly uniting us are currently shopping two solid forwards in order to snag one more defensemen. It seems like they aren't uniting the team, they are simply just building a new one from scratch. The only thing that coach of ours should be igniting is his mullet. And how can the players excite us if they keep getting rid of the ones the fans like and have grown accustomed too? In essence, the new intro is a bunch of bull and I don't care for it one bit. Speaking of the Lightning website, did anyone else catch how quickly Dan was taken off the main banner and replaced by Prospal? I like how Prospal now gets top billing after being traded and then brought back.

Here is something I do care for though. It seems as though the paperwork that the NHL was requiring of Artyukhin has been delivered. They now have proof of his Russian contract expiring. Arty has already signed a contract for the Lightning confirming a two year, 1.9 million dollar deal. The only thing the Lightning is missing is the deal being approved and registered with the league. It seems as though it's full steam ahead for the Russian Freight Train!

We can now add Mark Recchi to the roster as of yesterday. Recchi, a forward, was signed to a one year 1.25 million dollar contract. He played last season on both the Penguins and the Thrashers. Atlanta acquired him off waivers from the Penguins, where he only played 19 games. For Atlanta, he played 53 games and had a 40 point season with them. Stat wise, he seems solid. But don't we have enough forwards at this point in time? Shouldn't we be doing something about defense? But hey, what do I know? I just write about hockey.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Andre Roy is a Badass


Enforcer:
Also called the policeman; is usually the most penalized player on a team; he has the job of protecting his teammates from harm; generally a larger player who is not afraid of any fight.
- Definition taken from: Ice Hockey Glossary.

Andre Roy is the epitome of the enforcer and this is why he is a badass.

I've been lucky enough to watch a few games in person where Andre has gotten into some incredible fights, or more so some incredible moments after the fights are over. My favorite has to be the fight against Branislav Mezei of the Florida Panthers back in February of 08. Although the fight wasn't the best you'll ever see, it was the after moment that really made all of the different in the world. On the very expensive new jumbo-tron hanging from the St. Pete Times Forum, all who were at the game got to witness Andre mouth the words "fucking pussy" to Mezei. (You know, I really contemplated censoring that - but seeing as how it would lose all meaning if I did...I decided against it. Get over it.) It was after this that Andre got scratched for the first round of games. But it was priceless! Sadly, I can't find any footage of the jumbo-tron fopaux, but I most certainly found the fight which is always worth watching.



Why Riley Cote and Andre Roy shouldn't be allowed on the ice together:


This little fight o' fun was taken from the December 29th, 2007 game against the Flyers at Tampa. I really wonder how many times Bobby "The Chief" Taylor says "emotion and passion" in that clip? At least 7, I'm sure.


Round one is fantastic, round two depresses me. This fight went down on March 6th, 2008 in Philly. Round two was a total knock out and Roy got his ass handed to him, but I'm not going to say that I didn't like the fact that Roy was technically undressing himself.


"ANDRE ROY IS OUT OF HIS MIND." This video straight up says it all. I think it's funny that Torts tried to step in in order to calm him down. Yeah, like that's going to work. Sadly, right after this meltdown - Roy was scratched for the second round of games due to the fact that he needs to get his temper in check. Shock.

But honestly, I think Roy might have some chemical imbalance. I say this because you see footage of him in a fight and he's a total maniac. But then you see a video that's off the ice, and he's a total goon. What's up Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Proof that he's nuts: (Believe me, if I could have found better quality video's, I would have used them.)

Rapping with Roy - Episode #1


Rapping with Roy - Episode 2


Rapping with Roy - Episode 3


There used to be this video floating around of Paul Ranger and Andre Roy running amuck at the NHL store in New York. It was pretty priceless and of course I can't find it anymore. The day I do though, I'll post it for all to see. The best part is when they are playing a various NHL video game and Andre talks about playing as Vinny or Marty. If that whole hockey thing didn't end up working out for him, he should of become a comedian because homeboy really is a spaz. But the kind of spaz that would probably pin a girl up against and wall and you know...Ha. His wife is a very lucky lady.

To end this ode to Andre YouTube style, I'm going to leave you with a final video of him rambling on in french. Ladies, it's the hottest thing you'll ever see and hear. If the Lightning don't resign him for the following season, I will be devastated. Hop to it, OK and LB!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Where Are They Now?

During my years of being a Lightning fan, I've seen some great players come and go. But where are they now? Here is an entry in dedication to all of the players that I've loved and lost. I'm not going to include Boyle, Lukowich, and Richards because I'm still mad about it and I'm not one for pouring salt in wounds! But I will say this - I drove past the Forum yesterday and on the building is a HUGE poster that says "See Vinny, Marty, Dan and Stamkos." It's a little hard to see Dan when he's in California. Also, the picture of Stamkos is him shooting left when he actually shoots right. Way to go, Lightning. You know they must have recently put up the poster if they have Stamkos in his Lightning sweater. How about you not waste money on advertisement that you're going to have to take down seeing as how it's outdated now? It's really stupid how the organization pisses money away on advertisement and publicity that will inevitably become outdated in two weeks. First the Fantastick Four posters with Richards, and now this new one with Dan. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I'm done ranting. Now we begin Lightning's version of "Where Are They Now?"

Ruslan Fedotenko was awesome Left Wing, plus adorable too! Playing for the Lightning for four seasons, he scored 74 goals out of 313 games. He also had quite a few assists and penalty minutes under his belt. Let us not forget that he also scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in 2004. So, what happened to him? In 2006, the Lightning signed a 1.65 million dollar one year contract with him. Once that contract ran out, he signed a 2.9 million dollar contract with the Islanders and had a 33 point season with the team. Just recently he signed a one year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. (They keep giving me reasons to be a fan. Fleury, Crosby and NOW Fedotenko?) Oh, how I miss the announcer saying that wonderful Ukrainians name.

Evgeny Artyukhin is on my list of players I miss as well. In 2006-2007, the Lightning didn't offer him the million dollar contract he was seeking. He even lowered the price he wanted to $750,000. So, instead of playing for the Lightning who still had the rights to him, he went back to Russia. Prior to the 2007-2008 season, they offered him a $475,000 contract. Artyukhin rejected this contract, stating that the Lightning were punishing him for not resigning one year ago. But now, he is expected to sign a two year 1.9 million dollar contract with the Lightning for the 2008-2009 season. I'm definitely looking forward to this going down. The contract cannot being signed until the NHL receives a letter stating that his contract in Russia has officially expired. Arty could be back, and this is going to get VERY interesting especially because of how much of a schmuck he turned into when it came to money.

Dmitry Afanasenkov can now be found playing for Dynamo Moskva in the Russian Hockey League. Dmitry played for the Lightning on and off from 2000 to 2006. Right after the lockout, he had a hard time producing as well as he did prior to the lockout, and the Lightning put him on waivers after 33 games. After that he was traded to the Flyers and finished off the 2006-2007 season with them. While on the Philadelphia Flyers, he was given the nickname "The Shark". Although mildly scary looking, there is nothing cooler than his last name. Just keep repeating it out loud, it'll change your life.

When Cory Sarich started on the Lightning in 1999, he was very awkward, unsure of himself and played only 17 games. But then as the seasons progressed, he started to get more ice time which definitely led to more penalty minutes. Also, as the years went by Cory got hotter. Now, I know that your level of attractiveness does not go hand in hand with how you play but its fun to see. In the 2006-2007 season, Sarich had definitely reached his maximum hotness when he let his hair grow out and either dyed it brown, or stopped making it blond. Either way, it was definitely working for him. And this of course is when he gets traded to the Flames. While playing for the Flames he had a 7 point season, but also racked up 135 penalty minutes. December 12, 2007 Sarich became the NHL's new iron man when he played 419 consecutive games. This streak ended though on March 1st, 2008.

Next on my list of who to miss is Pavel Kubina. Kubina was on the Lighting from 1997 to 2007. Going by the nickname of Kubby (how cute!), he had a 38 point season which was a high for him, during his last season with the Lightning. Pavel was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 2006-2007 season, and signed a 20 million dollar contract for four years. With the Leafs, he just finished off a career high season of 40 points. Kubina was a great defenseman to watch and you can't hate him when you hear KUUUBINNNAAAA over the speakers of the St. Pete Times Forum.

Freddie Modin was a button of a Left Winger scoring 31 goals and 20 assists during his last season with the Lightning in the 2005-2006 season. Originally traded to the Blue Jackets in order to acquire Marc Denis (another swell decision by the Lightning), he has seen some setbacks. In the 2007-2008 season, he only played 23 games due to back spasms that were caused by two fractures. Modin believes the injury happened during a November 1st game in Anaheim when he was hit from behind along the boards of the defensive zone. This injury comes only a few months after the Blue Jackets signed Modin to a three year extension that pays him 3.25 million a year.

Walking down memory lane has officially come to an end. Although, there are more players that I still hold a place for in my heart, those are my top six. At least there is a possibility that Arty could be playing in the Lightning sweater again. That almost lessens the blow of losing both Boyle and Lukowich. Almost.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hockey Bay just shed a tear.

I'm writing this post with a very heavy heart. Dan Boyle agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to San Jose Sharks. Although not 100% finalized, it's pretty much a done deal. His deal also includes another Lightning player (possibly Brad Lukowich) in exchange for Matt Carle along with first and fourth round draft picks. This is a very sad day for any Lightning fan. It's OK Hockey's world and we're just living in it, apparently. I firmly believe that Kuba should have been the one to be let go if they really needed money. If you keep getting rid of the players who are the heart of the team, you are going to be left with a team that isn't actually a team. The Lightning are bound to just be a group of guys that skate around.


Fantastick Four - Brad Richards = Thrilling Three - Dan Boyle = Dynamic Duo. Who's next to go, aye?

Let's talk Matt Carle for a moment. A young defenseman at the tender age of 23 didn't have that great of a season with the Sharks last year. In 62 games, he only scored two goals, and had 13 assists. In his first full season with the Sharks during the 2006-2007 season, he scored 11 goals and had 31 assists out of 77 games. It seems as though he started out strong, but then clearly fell apart last season. After reading these stats, I am not convinced he is going to be a good fill in for the loss of Boyle. Actually, I'm about 98% sure this trade isn't going to help the team. Maybe I'm just saying this because I held a spot in my heart for Boyle. Not only did I feel he was a great player and an asset to the team, but he was also an asset to the community. Tampa is going to be very sad to see him go. Also, Carle has a very awkward chin.

"Cousins! Identical cousins!"

Clearly I am bitter if I'm making fun of his chin. He could be the greatest guy in the world, but he's never going to replace the void that I now have without Boyle. I'm such a chick. Here is a video for your enjoyment. Listen to the comment Dan says about originally being traded to the Lightning in exchange for a sack of pucks. This is basically how he's being treated, yet again. Also, props to him for having Blindside on his list of songs to be played. I'll miss you, Dan.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

Are you kidding me? Part Deux.

Oren Koules is giving away money like it's candy and now he's in a pickle. Apparently when he signed up to own the Lightning he failed to remember about the salary cap until the bitter end. In order to remedy this problem, they are trying to push Boyle out of the Forum. According to sources, many deals have been put on the table for Boyle to look over and decide whether or not he would want to waive his no-trade clause. One deal that has gotten shot down already was Dan Boyle and Jussi Jokinen to play for San Jose Sharks for Patrick Marleau. The Senators also made an offer, but the money was nominal. As of now, Boyle has not said yes or no to a deal involving both him and Jeff Halpern being sent to Philadelphia in exchange for Derian Hatcher. Vancouver has also put a deal on the table for Boyle in exchange for Mattias Ohlund and a first round draft pick in 2009.

Rumor has it that Melrose has nothing to do with the want to trade Boyle. But after he went on about him not being tough a while back with the skate/arm/non-blood incident - who can know? He could just be saying that he has nothing to do with the picks as a way to fool the media. Never trust a mullet. Unless we're talking Billy Ray's mullet circa "Achy Breaky Heart". May that mullet rest in peace. All I know is that I'm officially annoyed and frustrated with the trade talk. Leave Boyle alone! It's bad enough the Fantastick Four went down to the Thrilling Three. What's it going to be when Boyle is gone? Dynamic Duo? I'm sorry, but the spot of Dynamic Duo is already filled and that's my best friend and I. Marty Muffin and Vinny can't compete with that. It's late. I'm rambling.

In addition to all of the Boyle fodder, the Lightning also signed three unrestricted free agents for minors today. Scott Jackson and Wyatt Smith both signed three year entry level contracts and David Koci signed one year, two way contract.

I also read a blog about Chris Gratton being nervous to play golf at a Wayne Gretzky tournament.
"It's because I'm hitting a golf ball in front of people," said Gratton, who just wants to be a good teammate for his professional partner.
Freaking genius.

Also, I don't know who this guy is...but I want to be his friend.

Are you kidding me?

It's apparent that the Lightning don't actually want to win, and acquiring 37 new members (total exaggeration, but it seems like 37) was just a rouse. The rumors in regards to trading Dan Boyle are still swirling around, now more than ever. Posted on TSN.com late last night, it was said that the Lightning have contacted Boyle's agents stating that there is a deal in the works and at least three teams are seriously interested in him.

In February of 08, Boyle signed a six-year 40 million dollar extension with has a no-trade clause. But alas, there is a stipulation that any possible trades would have to happen in the 1st year of contract (which started officially on July 1st, very conveniently), and Boyle would have to approve the trade. He would be stupid to approve the trade, regardless of how much money any team offered him. In his personal life, he just married a girl from Tampa and they are expecting in November. Also, he recently bought property to build a new house on. He signed that extension because he wants to stay in Tampa. Why the Lightning want to even take that route is beyond me. There are so many other players on the team that would be better suited for a trade, simply because they didn't produce as well as expected in previous seasons.

Kuba might be the one to get rid of in order to free up funds. He didn't have the season the Lightning would have hoped for, especially while Boyle was out. Here is another novel idea - stop dishing out way too much money to rookies. Cut Tarnasky's pay just based solely on the fact that he has no personality, what so ever. After checking out nhlnumbers.com, it's just so apparent that there are other options that don't include trading the most solid defenseman we have. (Paul Ranger, don't be mad that I said that. It's just that you recently had surgery, so we can't know if you are going to be coming back at 100%. kisskiss.)

Dan Boyle, your wife probably wants you to stay in Tampa so her parents can be a part of your child's life. Keep that in mind! Plus, with you gone - how am I going to get my fix of rock music? It's not Lukowich that has a radio show - it's you!

Shame on you Oren for even putting this thought in anyone's head!

I'm going to make shirts that say "Don't free Dan." This is crap, and I'm mad.

Bright side: I just read the roster and Gratton got taken off of it. Apparently the Lightning read my blog stating that I hated him. And who said we fans can't make a difference?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Oh Ryan Craig, how I've missed you so.

I'm just going to come out and say that I've missed Ryan Craig. Those 72 games where he didn't play last season, I was legitimately bummed about it. I couldn't wait for him to come back, but seeing as how he got put on the injured reserve list...he clearly wasn't going to be playing much last season. Because of that injury, I was worried that he wasn't going to be resigned, and since he was a free agent - it would have been "Bye bye Ryan!". But alas, the Lightning have signed him up for another two years! I' m doing a happy dance right now. I expect really great things from Craig in the upcoming season. Seeing as how he hasn't been in a game in forever, the moment he gets on the ice, I have a feeling he's just going to tear it up. That's the kind of player he strikes me as.

(I couldn't love that picture more if I tried.)

While playing for the Lightning he racked up 30 goals, and 57 points out of 127 games. Not completely impressive, but I really think he can offer a lot given more ice time. Play him, play him hard and I think the end results will be very good. Plus, he's really funny to watch talk because he talks out of the side of his mouth and has no neck.

Now, if only the team would get rid of Gratton because I firmly believe he no longer serves a purpose.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Olaf Kolzig is in the house, or at least will be!

A little birdie just gave me a good piece of information that I couldn't wait to post! Rumor has it that the Lightning signed on Olaf Kolzig from the Washington Capitals today. Apparently the Lightning plan on alternating between Smith and Kolzig. I can't help but wonder where Ramo fits in with this though. Kolzig has 301 wins under his belt since playing for the Capitals. He most certainly has a lot of experience and hopefully Smith can take all of the advice Kolzig can give.

The contract that Olaf signed was for only one year, which I find to be very peculiar. With all of the multi-year contracts that are happening, I am curious as to why Kolzig wasn't given one. Seeing as how he's played on the Capitals for his entire professional career, I think he's about to have some culture shock. No longer will he be living in a state with actual seasons. You know, I give a lot of credit to sports figures. One day you live in one state, and at the blink of an eye - you get moved! I most certainly couldn't deal with that. But that was just a random thought. Moving on!

Question: How many goaltenders does it take to keep a puck out of the net?
Answer: Three.

Also signed today was right wing Adam Hall, acquired from the Penguins as well. (Apparently we covet their team. Can we get that hot piece of ass Crosby too?) I'm questioning whether or not he'll be a solid addition considering he ended up scoring 3 goals during the playoffs, and only two goals during the regular season. That doesn't inspire confidence.

It seems like a lot of these players are lacking the WOW! factor. The Lightning are in no position at this point in time to not get players who encompass the little something extra. Radim Vrbata has the WOW! factor simply because he's coming out of a break out season with Phoenix scoring 27 goals, and accumulating 56 points in 76 games. That definitely is a player worth signing, assuming he keeps up his momentum.

You know, I love July 1st. Thank you Oren and Len for making this the least boring off season in a long time!

Free Agent Extravaganza


Finally, July 1st is here and the Lightning embark on a Free Agent extravaganza. The thing is though...they started a little early. I've been holding off writing this post simply because the moment I put anything up about who has been acquired, it would change and I would have to revamp the whole thing. But with a few dotted lines signed, I figured it might be time to actually say something about all of this hubbub.

First things first, I have to say how incredibly happy I am that Prospal is back on the team. You really can't hate on the guy who licks his lips on the jumbo-tron after just scoring a goal or making an assist. To be quite honest, I missed it during his absence. In all seriousness, Prospal is a strong member on the team. He was finally coming into his own when he got pulled. Maybe he shouldn't have told Torts to shove it up his butt on SunSports, but what are ya gunna do? Hockey players say the darnedest things! Looking past his funny accent, you must remember that last season was a career high for him with 33 goals and also 38 assists in 80 games with Tampa Bay and the Flyers. I'd say that's pretty damn good. Oh Vaclav, how I love you so.

RYAN MALONE. RYAN MALONE. RYAN MALONE. All during the Stanley Cup Finals, I kept saying to the TV (Yes, I talk to the TV), "I want Malone on the Lightning." Then I wake up one morning, stumble on to the computer, and I come to find out that it actually came true! Reason why I liked Malone? Two shots to the nose in two games during the Stanley Cup finals, and he literally didn't care. He just did this thing, hung out on the bench with cotton up his nose and still got 16 points during the playoffs. Plus he had a 51 point season during the regular season. That is fine by me! Now, we've got him for 7 years and I'm stoked! Also, that picture of Malone just proves he's a badass. Normally, I only use that term for Andre Roy, but I think that Malone has earned it from everything I've seen of him while playing for the Penguins. Welcome to Hockey Bay, Malone. Now, take off that sweater and let me see your tattoos! Just kidding! Or am I?

In with the Ryan Malone deal, we also can add Gary Roberts to the roster. I like when announcements are made about players who are experienced, veterans, and can do a lot for the rookies. That's just a fancy way of saying that they are old. None the less, Stamkos needs a line and apparently the Lightning are building one from scratch. Roberts has definitely got some miles on him, and hopefully he'll be a good addition to the team. Minus the whole being 42, going into retirement, coming back from retirement, being out for a good portion of the 2006-2007 season due to injury and the whole being old thing. I especially like his contract though. "
The Lightning signed Roberts to a one-year contract that pays him a minimum of $1.25 million, with $10,000 extra for every game played in the regular season, a possible bonus of $820,000." Most random contract that has ever been drawn up.

Brian Rolston. He's a blip on my radar and not even official yet. I'll get back to you on this one. But props for actually being born in the US?

Who the hell is
Janne Niskala? Moving on...

I don't know if anyone has read the rumors about the Lightning shopping Dan Boyle but I think that's just about the dumbest thing anyone can do. Look how much the team was hurt when he was out on wrist injury? When he came back, it was obvious that the team played better with him around. It's bad enough the Fantastick Four was broken up because of Richards, but don't give away Boyle. Especially don't give up Boyle to get funds for Rolston. Are you kidding me? I can't even say that the no trade clause will be on my side, because Richards had one too. Now he's off in Dallas herding cattle. I'm loving this quote though.

His agent, George Bazos, said he hadn't heard anything from the Lightning that would indicate they were planning on asking Boyle to waive his no-trade.

But Bazos raises a fair question: Why all the focus at forward in Tampa when it was a lack of defense that kept the team from winning?

"They haven't had any trouble scoring goals. They've had the stars up front," Bazos said. "You remove [Boyle] from that team, I don't care who you have up front, they're a worse team. Players like Boyle, they're not replaceable. It'll be interesting to see what happens." - From SportingNews.com

George Bazos, you are a genius. Let me refer back to Mike Smith and the fact that he needs a good defensive line to keep the puck from going anywhere near him due to the fact that he is an ogre. Kthx.

There are about 20 more things I could add in regards to all of this. But I figure July 2nd will be a better day seeing as how thats when the crap will really hit the fan. Plus, I have a job to go to and such.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pulling The Goalie

Things I need to get off my chest:

Mike Smith looks like an ogre at the net. An ogre that is hard pressed to find his footing. I hope he's spending the summer with a really good goaltending coach so he can hone that skill that everyone is convinced he has. The skill that was so important to bring to the team that the Lightning gave up Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist. Also, please have better taste in helmets and get a hair cut. Take that honker of a paycheck and go to Sport's Clips. They might even give you the cut for free since you're a Lightning player! Read the quote below, and tell me if anything about it rubs you the wrong way. "...and if we cut the shots down in front of him..." Translation: If the other players do all of the work because homeboy can't hack it. Hmm, that inspires confidence. Especially the part where Melrose says he'll be a "very good" goaltender. Very good is how you explain your meal when the waiter or waitress comes up and asks you how your food is.
“Mike Smith will be able to stop it (the puck), he’ll be able to pass it, he’ll be able to move it up,” Melrose said. “That’s a big asset in today’s game. I think with his size and his competitiveness, and if we cut the shots down in front of him and shut down where the shots are coming from in front of him, I think he’s going to be a very good goaltender for a lot of years here in Tampa.” - Barry Melrose, taken from TampaBayLightning.com
Marc Denis never should have been put on the team. He was a waste of money. I'm still mad the Lightning gave up Freddie Modin for Denis. I will always have a spot in my heart for Modin, and if the Lighting ever brought him back...I would not be disappointed.

They didn't give Johan Holmqvist enough of a chance. There was a lot of potential there, especially if our defense had been stronger at the time. They should have kept him on the team for his hair alone. At least it's not an awkward bush like some people. HinthintSmithhinthint. But to be serious for a moment, I really felt like he could grow as a goaltender given more practice. He had some pretty amazing games. Remember the shut out games? Everyone was so quick to jump on the Anti-Homer train when word of Mike Smith got out. Bet you all are biting your tongue now!

When Nikolai Khabibulin asked for more money, the Lightning should have given him more money. You shouldn't mess with the Bulin Wall!

Karri Ramo needs a lot of work. A lot. Why couldn't we have gotten Marc-Andre Fleury? Granted, he sat on the puck and it slid in the net causing the ruination of the Penguins during the Stanley Cup finals. But up until then, he was rockin!

Let's talk John Grahame for a moment because his entire existence makes me laugh. He went from Lightning to Hurricanes, got put on waivers January of 08, and now is playing for the Avangard Omsk. Basically, he fell apart. Part of me feels bad for him. Part of me laughs at the fact that he got his ass handed to him November 07 during the Lightning vs. Hurricanes game. Yes, I'm awful. But truthfully, there was a time I was rooting for John. I liked Grahame over Sean Burke, that's for sure. Then they both ended up not making the cut.

Goaltending is key. Why hasn't anyone in the franchise figured that out yet? They like to pretend like they have it under control. Let's face it though. They don't.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mullet & The Macedonian

It was no big surprise when Steve Stamkos or Barry Melrose were officially put on Lightning payroll. Since the end of the season, Tampa has been laden with "Seen Stamkos?" stickers and billboards. John Tortorella digged his own grave at the end of last season, making it public that the team needs a breath of fresh air. We all knew he was going, although I hated to admit it. I enjoyed Torts coaching style and disposition. I felt he was smart, classy, tough, and he sure knew how to bring us good comedy. Let us please refer to the post game interview after the Devils took the lead in the 2007 series.


Brooksie didn't stand a chance.

But alas, Torts is gone and now we were given Barry Melrose. A guy who hasn't coached a team in about 13 years. As a fan, you can't help but wonder if he was really the best choice for the Lightning. More importantly, you can't help but wonder if Oren Koules is just addicted to Hollywood. Barry's claim to fame is that damn mullet. I am pretty sure that mullet is going to get more attention than the actual team this year, which is depressing. This is only because he's so commercial. For being on TV as long as he has been, his announcer voice takes over. Once you get past the mullet and his entire persona and actually listen to his philosophy, there could be something there. Known as a player's coach, this could be what we need. The veterans of the team don't need much work, but we do still have a lot of rookies and fresh faces coming in. Papa Andreychuk is off the team and isn't there to babysit the youngin's, which is something Torts definitely did not do. Safe is death, but tough love could be too. If clearly didn't work for the Lightning last season. The dynamic of Torts and Sullivan is the equivalent to bad cop vs. bad cop. I am willing to bet Melrose will not be the answer to our prayers, but I'm hoping he's got enough gusto to get us out of the slump. With the Marty, Vinny, and Prospal line back in action, there is no reason why we shouldn't be a top scoring team. It's just a matter of getting back into a grove. I can go on and on about Melrose and my thoughts on him, but I will save that for another day.

Now let's talk about boy wonder Steve Stamkos. Yes, we all understand the fact that we was amazing in the OHL. But he isn't in the OHL anymore. Now he's in the NHL and playing against a different caliber of players. Will he live up to all of the hype? Here are some Stamkos facts that have been posted all over the internet.

-- > He scored nine goals in the first round of the 2008 OHL playoffs -- including four goals in a 5-4 win in Game 4 -- helping the Sting eliminate the Windsor Spitfires in five games.

-- > Led the Sting and ranked second in the OHL with 58 goals (58-47--105) in 61 games played in 2007-08.

-- > Named the OHL's Player of the Month for February after scoring 13 goals and 22 points in 13 games.

I think Stamkos could be a ray of light after a thunderstorm, but who is to say he's going to handle all of the pressure of being the first round pick? The media has been building him up to be our savior, which he could end up being...but let the kid get some Lightning ice time before anyone makes that call. Although, I do give him credit because he does seem pretty mature. After watching all of the draft interviews, I understand his appeal. He speaks well, comes off older than 18, and it looks as though he wants to really make a dent in the community. He's already making his rounds at Tampa General Hospital. Hopefully, he'll be as good for the commnunity as Vinny is, and Brad Richards was. Let's see whatcha got Mr. 91! Also, does it scare anyone that he's the same number as Brad Richards on the Stars? Was that on purpose? Like he's supposed to fill a void? Granted, I know it was his Sarnia Sting number...but weird none the less.

When it comes to the Mullet & the Macedonian only time will tell if they are a good fit to the Lightning franchise. I know I'm excited to see it all go down. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, that's for damn sure.

Obligatory Introduction Post

Welcome to the first post on Femmes & Fisticuffs! Let me start off by telling you a little about myself, and why this blog has come to existence. It all started in the beginning of the 2005 season when my best friend took me to my first Tampa Bay Lighting game. I didn't know anything of hockey before I walked into the St. Pete Times Forum, so I was definitely going in blind. The only thing I knew to do was wear a blue shirt in order to fit in! After going through the program and reading up on all the players I randomly picked one to root for, in order to break the ice. I'll admit, it's a totally chick thing to do but it definitely helped me get into the game. After that, I was hooked. I watched every game on TV, and did all of the research I could. It was then that I officially became a hockey fan. I was converted! There is nothing I love more than Lightning hockey, to be honest. Sure, we were last in the standings at the end of the 2008 season - but that doesn't change anything for me. The Lightning have a lot of heart, passion and drive, and that is what I love the most. 2008 was the season of set backs, but they never gave up! Okay, I'm getting off course now. Let me reel it back in.

Moral of the story: I'm a 22 year old college student who is counting down the days (3 months & 5 days) til the 2008-09 season starts. I read the Lightning website and the newspaper religiously, taking in any piece of information I can. The day I became a fan, is the day my life definitely made a change for the better. Because of hockey, I've met a lot of great people and got to make memories I wouldn't have had the chance to make prior. My best friend and I even got matching Lighting tattoos in order to commemorate this time of our lives forever. In 20 years, we can look back on our tattoos and remember all of the great memories we were a part of because of this team. And that's a little bit about me, Miss Conduct.

Now, the purpose of this blog is to discuss Lightning news (and there is plenty of it now with all of the changes), but it's also a outlet for me to discuss the funnier things of hockey that a man just might not pick up on. Or the things a guy would NEVER expect a girl to pick up on and find interest in. Basically, a lot of crazy things come out of my mouth and I need a place to put them in writing. I'm not just a puck bunny. I don't go to the game dressed up in my scandalous outfit in hopes of dating a player. I rock the Lightning gear, yell when there is a bad call, and threaten the lives of away team fans. But, you can't not appreciate a cute face, or a good sense of humor. Please let me reference "Rappin' With Roy". With that being said though, I still wouldn't kick Paul Ranger out of bed.