The Weekly Roundup
Weekly Record: (1-2)
Overall Record: 1-3 (In the Wasteland Shootout Losses count as regular losses)
Wasteland +/-: -1
Key Injuries: Kurtis Foster - back, David Hale - flu, Mike Smith - run over by a truck.
Highlight: I think I have to go with the Ryan Malone hat trick on Saturday night. Two things that you won’t see in the box score about Malone.
1. About 6 minutes into the game a group of about 6 fans sat down behind us. One of the ladies commented, “That Malone better get his ass in front of the net, ‘cause he’s crap anywhere else on the ice!” The words alone were great, but when spoken with a Plant City-esque accent it was priceless.
2. After the puck went in the net for Malone’s third goal the crowd wasn’t quite sure what to do. One hat made it onto the ice about 30 seconds later, but it sat out there all alone for another 30 seconds until the next hat came out.
I don’t know if the crowd:
(a) didn’t realize that Malone scored the goal. After all he was dumped on the play by a Carolina player and it could have been hard to see which Lightning player touched it last.
(b) tough economic times + $28.00 hats = lack of participation
( c ) lack of hockey fan knowledge
I’m going with a little (a) and a lot of ( c ).
Disappointed By: Paul Ranger. He did pick up a goal on Saturday night, but is still plagued by inconsistency. His bad clearing attempt that led to New Jersey’s tying goal on Thursday was just the most glaring turnover he’s made so far this season.
It’s hard to say if it’s a confidence issue or if he’s having trouble with the system. It seems that he is struggling to regain his pre-injury success. At best he is their 4th best d-man (Hedman, Ohlund and Meszaros would be the top three), and could be a scratch candidate when Kurtis Foster is back.
Surprised By: Marty St Louis. I’m not sure what’s gotten into him this season, but he’s definitely playing with a chip on his shoulder. Coach Tocchet has mixed him in with Lecavalier’s line during games, but it’s blatantly obvious that he is gelling with Stamkos and Malone best. With 7 points in 4 games St Louis is on pace for a career year.
Playoff Confidence: Still hanging at 65%. Even in their win they had a 10 minute malaise that left Carolina back in the game. Their struggling on the power play as well as the penalty kill. Without improved special teams they will struggle against higher echelon teams.
Pet Peeve of the Week: I share this one with my buddy Hamel. People who get on the elevator before you get off. Look folks, the elevator isn’t going to go faster just because you push your way on. It’s not the subway.