Thoughts and Notes Leading Up to Tonight's Game

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 22: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates with Vincent Lecavalier #4 and Martin St. Louis #26 after Stamkos' goal against Atlanta Thrasher at Philips Arena on October 22 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
  • First off, visit, join and bookmark Raw Charge for your TBL coverage
  • Tonight's game will pit last season's Rocket Richard winners against one another: Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos.  So far Stamoks has taken the early lead in the category this season with eight goals over eight games and is only two games removed from his first hat trick of the season against the Thrashers on October 22.  He also has seven assists for a 15 points total.  To compare, Sid has six goals and five assists over the first nine games.  Prior to being shutout against the Blues Saturday night, Sid had registered 10 points in five games.
  • Keep an eye on Steve Downie whenever he's on the ice.  You may remember this from last season.
  • Lightning goaltender Mike Smith is 4-0 so far this season, which no doubt looks good on paper, but if you look at some of his stats you'll see he's very much like Marc-Andre Fleury in that he benefits from having a strong offense.  Tuesday's win over the Thrashers was the first game this season where Smith allowed less than three goals (two), as he's currently holding a 3.11 GAA.  To compare, Brent Johnson is 4-0-1 with a .951 save percentage and 1.39 GAA and Fleury is 1-3 with a .859 save percentage and 3.25 GAA.
  • Arron Asham is ready to return to the lineup for the Pens tonight.
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