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Jackets Schmackets Written by Laci Bloomers - January 15th, 2009

January 15, 2009

The model of inconcsistency in the CMHL continued to shine today as the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their string of games without a streak to 18.  Eighteen games without back-to-back losses, ties, or wins.

The table had been set yesterday when the club played Carolina, but they stank out the place in a 4-1 loss, a day after beating Boston 9-1.

That set the table for tonight's tilt against the CMHL top team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The mighty Jackets.  Tops in the lague with 59 points.  All-Star goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, with only 5 losses in 29 decisions this season.  A team full of stars like Lecavalier, Staal, Frolov, Zetterberg, Boyes ...

Third game in three nights for the Lightning, including one on the road.  And, of course this one was a home game, where the Bolts put the fear of God and anybody else watching with 5, count them, 5 home wins in almost half a season.

A lock for the Bolts to finally have the same results in back-to-back games as a second consecutive loss was inevitable.  Consistency of some type would surely be defined.

So, what do our home town heroes do?  All 20 inconsistent home town heroes?  They band together in Davidian fashion and defeat the big, bad Goliath from the Western land far away by a 2-1 score.

The score was kind to the visiting Blue Jackets, who were saved face by their All Star goaltender as the Jackets were outhustled, outmanned, outplayed and outshot 30-20 on the night.

A scoreless first period was less than sensational as the Jackets played a road team style by plugging up the middle of the ice.  Thankfully, the Lightning did the same, keeping the big guns from Columbus off balance with their fierce forecheck.  Shots in the period were 6-5 for the home team.  Mike Rathje took a double minor for an accidental highstick, during which the Blue Jackets took 3 of their 5 shots for the period.

Just under 5 minutes into the second period, Mike Knuble scored his 11th of the season to give the home town crowd something to cheer about.  The club's other new guy, Bobby Holik, and D-man Matt Walker assisted on the goal.  1-0 Bolts.

With less than a pair left in the second period, Rob Neidermayer took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he argued an icing call with a little too much enthusiasm.  The Jackets took just 17 seconds with the man advantage betfore Zetterberg scored his 23rd of the season, on a shot that starting goaltender Tim Thomas got a piece of but could not sqeeze tight.  Period ended 1-1 with the Lighting holding a 18-16 edge in shots.

The Lightning put pressure on from the opening face off to start the third period, and twenty-two ticks later Roman Hamrlik scored what proved to be the game winning goal, his 10th of the season.  Scott Walker and Rod Brind A'mour drew helpers on the goal, as the club penned the Jackets in their own end.

Thomas was solid the rest of the way, and the Jackets drew 3 third period penalties as the Lightning held on for the win.  Tampa Bay outshot Columbus 12-4 in the third, making the Jackets look like the team that had played in 3 consecutive nights.

The win moves the Bolts back to within two points of eighth place Buffalo in the East, where there are only 5 points separating 5th place Carolina (41) and the 12th place Rangers.  Look s like there could be a wild second half coming up in the CMHL's Eastern Conference.

In other news, the final All-Star teams were announced for the CMHL and the ICHF.  Dan McGillis, who has been very steady since coming over from Atlanta early in the season, is the lone Lightning representative.  McGillis, who has stated that he is likely to call it a career after this season,  has a pair of goals and 17 points in 33 games this season, along with a +12.  If indeed he does retire this is a fantastic way to leave the game.

As expected, Steve Mason was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the Whoopee, joining voted starter Mark Giordano.  Mason has been very solid, with a 2.13 goals against average although he is still one start short of qualifying as the league leader.  Giordano received the highest vote total in the ICHF as he was named to the starting squad.  Also added was fellow defenceman Dmitri Vorobiev.  Vorobiev leads Macon D-men with 28 points in 40 games, two ahead of Giordano and Adam Pardy.

Congratulations to all Tampa organization representatives.

- Laci Bloomers reporting -

Submit A Comment -

Haha, nice article!

The Jackets had an off game I guess. Can't win them all :D
Maybe the guys wanted to rest up for the All-Star Game.

Written By: habsfan93 (2009-01-15 19:43:47)

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