April Fools! Oh man, you should've seen the look on your faces. Now for the reveal: we fought our way to the lead, then got minor penalties until we finally gave up a goal. Joke's on us - instead of tanking full-on, instead of winning, we held until OT then lost. Yay for mediocrity.
1st Period: 15:37 Tampa Bay ES Goal, Ryan Malone 19 (unassisted)
Shots: Winnipeg 28, Tampa Bay 39
3 Stars: 3. Antti Miettinen 2. Steven Stamkos 3. Ryan Malone
Thoughts from the Tarmac
- And so the playoffs are now officially out of the picture. Good. Rest your hobbled players, give some young guys a little more PT, and start thinking about the offseason. A lot of shuffling and (hopefully) a high draft pick to think about.
- To the above point: Tanner Glass is shutting it down for the year. His effort was much admired this year, and he closes the season with career highs in games played, goals, assists, points, hits, blocked shots, and shots. Good for him.
- In other news, our AHL affiliate clinched a spot in the playoffs last night, so that's nice.
- As for the game itself, Evander Kane took a really ugly run at Taylor Pyatt and hit him up high in the head, and was given an elbowing minor. I would not be surprised to see it merit a look from the league office, but we'll see. My working theory is that Kane didn't want to play these last games anyway.
- Ondrej Pavelec had another extraordinary game, but let's just say six words that sum up his season: it has been a damn shame. He is not a bad goaltender.
- Spencer Machacek made a nice play to Bryan Little that could have sealed the deal, but Little remembered that we were supposed to be tanking and blew a wide open shot.
- Miettinen continues to redeem himself, making a case for sticking around next year.
- Ron Hainsey and Ryan Malone got into a fight, presumably because Hainsey nearly drove little Martin St. Louis's head through the boards. Thankfully for both Hainsey and St. Louis, St. Louis was able to turn a bit and avoid any major injury...then Malone threw down with him later and you can be sure now that Ron Hainsey will never hit anybody ever again
- In all honesty, we lost this one fair-and-square. Their goals were good, our goals were good, both teams had chances but Tampa looked like the better team. If we didn't have a complete discipline breakdown in the 3rd we might have snuck out of there with the prize, but that's not our style. It's all about the Greatest...Tank...Battles. Here we come.