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Pregame and In-game vs. Ottawa (Dan Boyle now in)

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Jan 25, 2008 at 12:44 AM

The title says it all. Boyle not back tonight. And really, once he didn’t play on Tuesday, it was pretty evident in my mind he wouldn’t play tonight. Why put him in for just one game? I guess the plan is to give him the extra weekend to prepare to return after the All-Star break, so I guess now we look to Tuesday against Buffalo for his return. As one of the team trainer’s told me on Wednesday, we’re keeping you guessing, huh? Yup, indeed they are….

Johan Holmqvist back in net tonight looking for his fifth consecutive victory. I didn’t get a chance to see who came off the ice last, but Lightning coach John Tortorella said the lineup was the same, so I guess (there’s that word again) that means Kyle Wanvig is a healthy scratch again. I expect the lines will be the same as they ended Tuesday (the morning skate was optional, so no line rushes) but at practice on Wednesday they were as follows:
Vinny Prospal-Vinny Lecavalier-Jason Ward
Jan Hlavac-Brad Richards-Marty St. Louis
Andre Roy-Chris Gratton-Mathieu Darche
Nick Tarnasky-Craig MacDonald-Andreas Karlsson

Tortorella talked a lot this morning about situational play and how it escaped the team on Tuesday against Edmonton. There were two particular plays he talked about - the first involved two Lightning forwards deep behind the net on the forecheck, getting caught and the third-man down too low leading to a 3-on-2 in which Edmonton scored their second goal. Then later in the period, Andreas Karlsson left a drop pass for Andre Roy just inside the opposing blue line while trying to protect the lead. It’s plays like that which get players in Tortorella’s dog house. He’s very big on situational play, and for somebody like Karlsson who has been fighting to get in the lineup and stay in the lineup, the smart play is to get the puck in deep and make the opposing team have to work to get the puck back and go the length of the ice to try and score.

PREGAME UPDATE: So much for the truth being told. Dan Boyle just skated out onto the ice and is going to play tonight. It appears that Doug Janik is the odd man out.

I’m on a bit of a soapbox right now with this statement, but this really bugs the #%#$! out of me. John Tortorella was asked directly if Dan Boyle was playing tonight and his answer was no. And why shouldn’t we have believed him? And to see him come out means we were just flat out lied to. We in the media are assigned to gather information and that’s all the question was meant for this morning. And when we are told that, either answer the question honestly or say something else, don’t just flat out lie. My guess is that nothing changed from this morning, but Tortorella likely didn’t want Boyle being talked to by the media. As if we are the downfall of man kind. Like if we talked to Boyle this morning, seven hours before gametime, it was going to affect his game tonight. I don’t buy it. All we ask for is honesty. It’s not the first time I’ve been lied to and it won’t be the last. But it doesn’t make it right.

I have a lot of respect for Tortorella and normally being honest is one of strenghts. And normally a question like that might garner a response along the lines of “none of your business’‘, and that’s just fine. It’s not the truth to the answer, but it’s not a lie. And I understand that Boyle saw the specialist which preformed the surgery on his hand today and he got clearance. That’s fine, but you can’t tell me Tortorella didn’t know that this morning. And if he didn’t, then I apologize in advance. But I know how much Torts is involved on all this stuff, and while his mantra has consistently been when it came to questions about Boyle is that he doesn’t want to hear about it until the trainers say he’s ready, and maybe that happened this afternoon after the Boyle saw the doctor. And maybe that’s the truth, but I still think we were lied to.

Soapbox rant over. Back to your regularly scheduled in-game blogger.
POSTGAME COMMENT ON THIS
Tortorella didn’t really talk after the game, but this is what I’ve been able to piece togther about today. And I gather that Tortorella honestly did not know Boyle was playing. The surgeon who worked on Boyle’s wrist came over from Orlando for a quick checkup around 12:30 p.m. and cleared him to play sometime around or after 1 p.m. So while Boyle was preparing to play, he said it was 50/50 at best when he went to sleep Wednesday night. He knew the doctor was coming and the hope was Boyle would be cleared for after the All-Star game, but he got the go-ahead to return. I had an emotional reaction, and it did indeed need to come out as a vent. So I apoligize for mischarcterizing the situation as it appears Tortorella was upfront with us in the morning. I guess when the media gets lied to or misguided so many times, you get a little bitter when these kind of situations arise. But everything sounds like everything was on the up-and-up. And at least Boyle’s voice is well rested after sitting in silence for the majority of the past three months as he was forbidden to speak to the media.

FIRST INTERMISSION

If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything. So I guess I just won’t say anything.

This stat tells it all: Ottawa shots on goal - 14; Tampa Bay shots on goal - 4
(And please tell who is keeping track of these stats - Ottawa zero takeaways and Tampa Bay only four giveaways????)

Dan Boyle ice time: 8:14, a minus-1 with one blocked shot

SECOND INTERMISSION

Read the above post.

Although the one nice thing to say is that Dan Boyle scored a goal in his season debut. Unfortunately the goal cut the Tampa Bay deficit to four goals!!!

One other note to pass along to you guys here because I know you are starving for information and something to point to:
Brett Hull and Dave Taylor, two high execs with Dallas, are in the pressbox for the second game in a row as is Chicago head pro scout Marc Bergevin. You can also add to the list Phoenix Director of Player Personnel Tom Kurvers. Anaheim director of pro scouting Rick Paterson is listed on the roster, but he lives in the area and is frequently at games, so it’s not a big surprise to see him here, but you never know. Anaheim and Tampa Bay were trading partners last year.

This is almost a sure sign the Lightning are in full-fleged sell mode and I would expect a handful of deals will be made before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Reader Comments

Por (Matt) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

How much longer do we have to endure Karlsson and Hlavac? These two guys couldnt crack the line-up in Norfolk yet they are pretty much in the line-up night in and night out. I would rather see a young guy with potential then two bums just collecting paychecks. I know the scouts give all the info to the GM and then he makes the final decisions, right? Are the scouts that bad or is Feaster just over-riding them?

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Por (Nancy Pacini) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Matt, in my opinion, the first change that needs to happen once the sale is complete is a complete overhaul of the scouting staff, starting with Jake Goertzen.  This actually should have happened at the same time Ramsey was given his pink slip.  The scouting, and consequently the drafting and minor-league system, is in a shambles.

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Por (JayD) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the update as always EE. Disappointing not to see Boyle in the lineup. Hoped he’d get some ice time then have the break to recover if needed.

Matt, if you have any suggestions to who should be in the line up, do tell! Last time I checked, the pickings slim.

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Por (Matt) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

You aare right, there isn’t much to choose from but,how about Blair Jones? Torts gave him a whole 48 sec of ice time when he was called up. Norm Milley, comes to mind. I think he’s Norfolk’s #1 or #2 scorer. Keeping Wanvig in the line-up instead of one night he’s in the next he’s out. There you go, 3 young prospects to replace 2 underachieving bums. The results might not be any better but at least the younger guys could get some valuable ice time.(Not 48 sec) Maybe show some hustle and grit.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Nancy, I agree about the scouting staff being poor and should go.  Don’t forget that there were no decent draft picks because Feaster traded all the high picks away to avoid having to trade a good player.  As a result, the best players in the system are on the Bolts and there is nothing in the minors.  Norfolk is doing nothing.  Last year the minors didn’t do anything; that’s why they had to move to Norfolk.

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Por (Matt) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow….I think the goalies started the break a day early. That was a horrible game by not one but both of the goalies… It was good to see Boyle back though. And he scores 2 goals.

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Por (Scott) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Pathetic.  Spoiled two goals by Boyle with lackluster effort, marginal defense, and really poor goaltending.  Too many soft goals tonight, and seems like every odd man rush resulted in a goal.

Not a great way to go into the break.  Interesting observation on the attendees tonight, Erik.  Guess we better pay attention.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

For those of you who said that I didn’t know what I was talking about when I said that Boyle wouldn’t help the defense, but would help the offense, thanks for pointing out my ignorance.  Each of you must have played more than my over 20 years and been around the game more than 60 years.

Boyle had a significant impact on the defense (how many goals against were there, I can’t count that high?).  He also had no effect on the offense (how many goals did he get?)

Thanks for proving me wrong, and I bow to your considerable more experience both playing (especially the women) and watching.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Forgot to mention the other big Boyle fact.  He’s played five games, and how many have the Bolts lost when he’s played?

Can you spell TRADE BAIT?

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Por (Troy Branham) on January 24, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I concur with Mike….Boyle was on display tonight.

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Por (Mike Moulton) on January 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

As bad as things sometimes seem, I just have to say that Craig McDonald has been a real bright spot.  He has proven himself to be a great addition to the team, and Nick Tarnasky has been doing very well lately too.

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Por (Ruthe Robertson) on January 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow! A real butt kicking. Hope they sold a lot of four packs, no one will be buying now. Glad I didn’t get the poster, you know, the one where the Big #4 look like the cast from “The Gunfight at the OK Corral.” Marty, Wyatt Twerp! Buckle up fans, going to be a long season. Maybe Crazy Eddie Belfour will come back from Sweden and play for us. His effort is always there!

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Por (Goalman) on January 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I agree with Mike and Nancy. The personnel scouting has been awful.Starting with Bill Barber and Jake Goertzen, they all deserve to go. (it pains me to say that, being an ex-Flyer fan). The drafting, trades and acquisitions by this organization have only weakened us. Add in a penny pinching environment provided by ownership and you have the Chicago Blackhawks when Bill Wirtz was alive.
I’m not sure that trading Boyle is the answer, but could be. Marty should definitely stay. Letting Vinny4 go would be a giant mistake.  Everyone else ,in my opinion,is available.

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Por (Goalman) on January 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Another scary thought just hit me. How can we make trades using the scouting I just railed about?

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 25, 2008 (Suggest removal)

If I’m reading EE right, Bret Hull has been at the last 2 games, and a there have been several other teams represented.  Now, let’s think about who they may be looking at - certainly not Roy, so that leaves a few more out there.

For those thinking that Prospal might be difficult to sign, I think he will be reasonable.  The chemistry between he and VinnyL is very good and he knows from his last foray that he likes this situation much better.

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Por (Richard Jay) on January 26, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wow…bangkok Mike you are still going after Dan Boyle, I guess you were not at the game Thursday to see the standing ovation when the fans heard that he was playing.By the way how was the team doing without him in the lineup?
Anyway, it is pointless talking to you as you seem to more than the experts who applauded his return….Anderchuck, the Chief, Coach Sullivan… Vinny…. Marty…. but what do they all know…Enjoy the Chicken PAD THAI!

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 26, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Richard, I suppose that it would have been difficult to have been in Tampa if I’m in Bangkok, so I didn’t hear the crowd. 

As far as the “experts” you quoted, they are all connected with the team.  If you know anything at all about team, you would know that you don’t bad mouth anyone on your team in public.  Ergo, they will all say really nice things about each other at all times.

I will be happy to meet and discuss any of this with you when I arrive for my end of season visit next month.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 26, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Also, Richard, if you remember my original comment was to those who were saying that they couldn’t wait for Boyle to come back to help the defense.  My point was that Boyle does nothing for the defense - and he didn’t (8 goals against), but that he was of more relevence on offense - and he was (2 goals).

I’m not anti Boyle, but let’s not say he’s a great defenseman, because he isn’t.

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Por (Billy Charbonneau) on January 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Sell the friggin’ team already. Clean house, top to bottom. Uncle Feaster should be the first to go. Then the idiot coach. Get rid of two of the “Fantastick Four” (take your pick) and get a couple of good second liners and a goalie that can stop a puck every now and then. Then get rid of Rick Pecker and that other pimp for the organization, Bobby “The Backup” Taylor.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

That’s OK Billy.  I remember my first beer too.

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Por (Goalman) on January 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey Billy,
The freeze in Moosejaw has slowed your thought processes.If you had any good ideas, they would be your first. I won’t keep you any longer. you really should go outside and trap some beaver for dinner.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Good thought Goalman.  You should have reminded him that johnny cake goes good with beaver.

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Por (Billy Charbonneau) on January 27, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Like I’m gonna listen to two people from those well known hot beds of hockey, Thailand and Sarasota. Gimme a break. Kids in Canada have forgotten more about hockey before the age of twelve than you two pukes will ever know. Thailand….don’t people go there to screw little boys? And Sarasota?? Ya go there to die!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Por (Mike Joyce) on January 28, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey Billy,  If you were a regular contributor, you would already know that I am Canadian and played to game for many years.  It should also please you to know that there is hockey in Bangkok.  Granted it’s not NHL quality, but they might give the Bolts a run for their money.

Now, you can go back to your pea soup and johnny cake.

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Por (Billy Charbonneau) on January 28, 2008 (Suggest removal)

And if you played hockey, you would have seen Slap Shot about 49 times and realised that Billy Charbonneau was the “Pretty Boy” defenseman (#5) who hailed from “If I can read this correctly…Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan” and that the posts were a joke with an obvious pseudonym. A Canadian who has not memorized Slap Shot??!? Must be French Canadian.

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