[SBN Lightning blog - Raw Charge]
Lightning record: 15-15-10 (11th in the East)
Top Scorers: Martin St. Louis (8g, 36a), Steve Stamkos (21g, 16a), Vinny Lecavalier (9g, 28a)
After losing two straight games to close out 2009, the Penguins now have a chance to turn things around and start 2010 off on the right skate. This weekend it's another back-to-back adventure: tonight in Tampa and tomorrow in Sunrise. As of right now the Pens are four points off the conference lead, held by none other than the much-despised Devils.
As for the Lightning, Steve Stamkos is finally having the sort of year that everyone wanted from him during his rookie campaign. His 21 goals and 16 assists ranks him second on the team and points, tied with none other than Vinny Lecavalier. I remember seeing a lot of people make unjustified statements last year calling Stamkos a "bust," but it's kinda hard to label an 18-year-old rookie as anything other than a kid in my book. He's already two goals and seven assists off from his entire 2009 total with over 30 games remaining on the schedule.
With that said, how about former Pen Ryan Malone? He's not doing too shabby either. His 19 goals and 16 assists may ultimately set the pace for a new career high in point, injuries withstanding. Also doesn't hurt that he was announced as a forward for Team USA's roster following the Winter Classic yesterday afternoon.
No clue as of right now who we'll see in net for the Bolts, but Antero Niittymaki was recently picked for Team Finland's 2010 Olympic roster. So if not him, then expect Mike Smith.
Puck and thread at 3:00 today. Yes, check that again - 3:00.