Playoff Prediction not so Crazy Now

By on February 22, 2012

Tampa, Fla. –Hours after a three way deal with the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche that saw a Lightning teammate favorite being sent to the Rocky Mountains and Downie teammates needed to prepare to take on the Anaheim Ducks.

With that going on, the Lightning entered the game just six points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and seven points out of first in the Southeast Division came out with getting two points on their mind. And more importantly, me not budging a bit on my playoff guarantee. Maybe you just think I’m crazy?

As I was handed the starting line-up a smile lit up my face as I saw #32 Mathieu Garon in goal.

Yes the malocchio (The Evil Eye) is still on Dwayne Roloson after his condescending attitude towards me on November 17th in the post game locker room. It’s hard to believe it was only three months ago DW was a number one star that night. Home Cooking = Number 1 Star for Roloson. He was 6-4-1 with a 2.46 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Since that night; 2-7-1, 3.64 GAA with a .865 save percentage… hummmm, coincidence??? Rocket Sports & Entertainment says, “ Uh, No!”

Game time, or should I say Hammer Time! Steven Stamkos was busy the first twenty eight seconds of the game. First, Stammer hooked on a break away by Cam Fowler in twenty-two seconds and then putting the puck in the goal six seconds late on the power play. . 1-0 Lightning. “Getting that quick and that well,it did give us a boost,” coach Guy Boucher said of the goal at :28 into the game.
Stamkos scores again at 17:58 to make the score 2-0.

Later in the second goals by Ducks center Saku Koivu and Teddy Purcell (which would be the eventual game winner) make the score 3-1.
The killer of the second period for the Lightning was a Bobby Ryan redirect off a nice set up by Koivu at 18:38 making the score 3-2. Oh those late goals in the twenty minutes can kill you.

The scoreless third period was hi-lighted by a lightning penalty kill (no Duck shots), Garon making 11 saves for a game total of 28 and the Lightning snuffing out a late 6 on 5 rush by the Anaheim gang. “Our penalty kill was good when it needed to be,” said Steve Stamkos.

Post Game comments about Steve Downie

“It was an emotional day for a lot of us, we lost Downs.” Steve Stamkos
“Downs has been a warrior for this team; he’s going to be missed…he’s always in the mix, a lot of laughs with Downs…a lot of heart.” Marty St. Louis
“Downie was a really nice person off the ice…he had some real buddies in there, best friends in there…I try to give them some room to pay respect to the man their friend… you look at Stamkos, Purcell and Malone they are best buddies with him and they way they came out was absolutely incredible.” Coach Guy Boucher

Note Conference standings below, pay attention to the schedule and games in hand the Lightning have.

big three game road trip: Thursday the 23rd at Winnipeg, then back to back Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th Pittsburgh and Jersey respectively. I need 4 points on this trip but it will be tough, the back to back probably means ROLOSON.


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