Pre-game: 6:35pm LeafsTV
Broadcast: 7:30pm TSN, AM640
Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009, 7:35 PM EDT
St. Pete Times Forum
It took twelve years for the fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning to go from their franchise's first game to their Stanley Cup victory in 2004. Please don't let the Leafs' take that long.
The only standings that matter
Mirtle has a look at the latest in the Tank for Tavares competition. The Thrashers have picked the absolutely worst time to win six games in a row. They could have been just two points ahead of the Islanders and had a chance to draft John Tavares (duh). That would be a huge development with regard to Illya Kovalchuk because you could then sign him because he's excited to get a good linemate or trade him for a tonne of prospects that would help the everlasting rebuild. Then again, Don Waddell is still in charge.
Anyway, these two teams played just five days before and Ben Ondrus is probably looking forward to renewing acquaintances with his new best friend:
"Maybe someone beats the crap out of him and he doesn't do it again," Ondrus said. "I was standing there and he put his stick between my legs and he tried to lift me up or something, I don't know what he was doing. I don't think he speaks a word of English so that was another problem."
Turns out Artyukhin does speak English!
"Tell him I speak English," he said.
But Ondrus still doesn't want to fight:
"I'm not planning anything," he said. "Fighting's not the thing I'm going out there looking for. But every game is different. No one likes to be picked on."
Really? His Hockey Fights fight card suggests otherwise as he's been in four fights in just under two weeks. I guess technically he's not going out there looking for fights. He's out there looking to take a beating. Or maybe he got a good look at Artyukhin's stats:
Yeah, no one needs to go fight Sasquatch in a losing season.
So it's Maple Leafs at the Lightning on TSN! Whoever chose this matchup should get fired. And don't forget your SPG Picks.