@ Tampa Bay Lightning
Saturday, Oct 29, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT
St. Pete Times Forum
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Or "Wherein we get one game removed from that circus in Philly." There could be a bit of fallout from last game, most notably the injury to Chris Mason. Does this mean we have to deal with the inexplicably coddled David Aebischer, or Peter Mannino? It's actually a serious question to ask, since Claude Noel has had to do damage control twice on Ondrej Pavelec after the Jets' defence bailed on him.
It's okay to feel good about the fact we're coming off a 9-goal performance, but let's keep in mind that it was on 25 shots (36% shooting, or like 4 1/2 times league-average). As it stands, we are 18th in the league in away shots-for (27.8), so offence is still fleeting. Maybe Tampa will be an elixir; they're giving up so many shots it's goofy right now (36.6 shots-against per game across 7 away games), and their goaltending situation is in flux. Had you predicted the Jets-Flyers game would end 9-8 I would've chortled (cross that one off my "ridiculous words I've yet to use" list), but a 9-8 prediction for this tilt doesn't seem so far-fetched.
#8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #9 Evander Kane
#16 Andrew Ladd -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#23 Kenndal McArdle -- #13 Kyle Wellwood -- #14 Tim Stapleton
#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #33 Dustin Byfuglien
#5 Mark Stuart -- #4 Zach Bogosian
#29 Johnny Oduya -- #12 Randy Jones
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
Observation: GST and BAK in the USSR are full-on, functioning lines now, and Ladd's Little Wheeler appeared to be together by the end of last game. The only line that doesn't seem to be figured out is that 3rd line (which, if you'll recall, was to be a "scoring" line). Stapleton was looking pretty sharp out there, and there's no doubt that Wellwood belongs there, but the left wing has been a revolving door. Perhaps we see MacLean there, maybe Carl Klingberg (6 goals in 8 AHL games), maybe Jason Gregoire (3 points and +3 last 4 AHL games)...and maybe even Kenndal McArdle.
#14 Brett Connolly -- #91 Steven Stamkos -- #26 Martin St. Louis
#12 Ryan Malone -- #4 Vincent Lecavalier -- #9 Steve Downie
#22 Ryan Shannon -- #19 Dominic Moore -- #16 Teddy Purcell
#18 Adam Hall -- #44 Nate Thompson -- #11 Tom Pyatt
#77 Victor Hedman -- #2 Eric Brewer
#7 Brett Clark -- #13 Pavel Kubina
#47 Marc-Andre Bergeron -- #27 Bruno Gervais
#30 Dwayne Roloson
New Player Nickname: Tim "Steam Trunk" Stapleton. Because I have a hunch when he came back from Europe he was wearing that stuff.
What To Do if You're Going to the Game: Wear a hoodie sweatshirt to the game backwards. When you get nachos, put them in the hood. Don't forget a cheese bucket.
Prediction: Tampa 9 to 8. Hope you got Steam Trunk and Stamkos on your fantasy team, because they're going to drop it like it's haaaaawwwwwwttttt.