Friday, October 31, 2008

Game 9: Tampa Bay at Buffalo

The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight game in regulation – the second straight road win as well – beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. I have to add the “regulation” since Tampa Bay played four straight overtime games in a row this season already.

I thought that it was a good all-around game. They came out flying in the first, and then they settled down into a more steady game after that. Taking six penalties isn’t exactly the best, particularly the too many men on the ice penalty, but it’s more within the realms of normal for most teams. I did notice that only one of those penalties was taken by a defenseman, so good for the defense.

And they outshot Buffalo, too, by quite a bit – 40-31. Both Ranger & Lecavalier had six shots on goal each, while St. Louis & Stamkos had four shots each. Those four players had half of the shots taken for the team. And that’s not a bad thing. Good for Ranger that he was shooting so much.

St. Louis had an outstanding game defensively. Most people probably didn’t notice, but he was right there as good as the defensemen most of the time. Sorry, tho, St. Louis, but had you had that kind of a game before Lecavalier did, then you would’ve been my new hockey god. That’s just nothing but bad timing right there.

Stamkos had a great game with his first and second goals of his NHL career. Sucks that it had to be in Buffalo, tho. But I just have one question. I can understand why Melrose doesn’t usually play Stamkos on the penalty kill, but why put him in the box to serve the too many men on the ice penalty? He was having such a good game, I think that it might’ve been nice if he’d been put on the ice as much as possible for the opportunity to get that hat trick.

Malone had yet another penalty-free game – and he even got a goal – so he’s up to two games without a penalty. Lecavalier was pretty much unstoppable in terms of trying to contain him physically. He was blowing past people left and right. Ryan Miller was the only guy off of the Sabres who had his number. Kolzig had a fantastic game. It’s hard to not want both goalies to have equal time, but it’s really better for the team to have a clear number one goaltender.

Next up is Ottawa at home tomorrow night. Let’s keep this roll going.

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