February 7, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 53: vs New York Islanders

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 1-0.

It was about what I'd expected. The Lightning came out strong in the first and then faded as the game went along. They had 16 shots on goal in the first period, and then a total of 12 shots on goal for the last two. Consistency would've given them a more goals. Still, they manage to win, and that's what matters.

McKenna actually looked a bit nervous in this game. I'm not sure if it was a case of being in front of the home crowd, or that it had finally sunk in that he was starting his second game in a row in the NHL. He still did very well, though - and got the shutout this time, too.

I liked the way that various members of the team decided to stick up for Lecavalier during the first period - for tonight, anyways. There was the Smaby-Jackman fight on the opening faceoff. Then Downie stepped in between Lecavalier and an Islanders. And Malone did the same as well a bit later. So where has this been all season, huh?

The second period was all about the tackle hockey. Bodies were flying everywhere, and, sadly, it wasn't necessarily because people were intentionally hitting each other. But it did make me think about how nobody throws open-ice hip checks anymore. At least, not how they're supposed to be done, anyways. These days, it's almost always accidental if it happens. I guess there's always danger of hitting someone that knee-on-knee, among other things.

The game had a good tempo, and the guys came out ready to play. But, honestly, there wasn't a lot going on but running around. The Lightning dominated on face offs, but shots were equal, nobody scored on the power play, and even most of the penalties were off-setting. In theory, that's good; but in reality, that's not all that great considering that the Islanders are dead last in the league.

There were some nice stretches where the Lightning dominated the Islanders, but nothing came of it. Still, everyone knew where they were supposed to be, and what they were supposed to be doing. And it was good to see that they're being more patient with the puck than they have been.

As you probably already know, Jokinen was traded to Carolina today for LW Brookbank, D Melichar, and a draft pick. In case you were wondering, word is that they didn't actually want Brookbank, and Melichar is destined for the minors. So, obviously, they were just trying to get rid of Jokinen and didn't really care what they got back in return. In case you missed that.

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