Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun discuss the highlights from Thursday night's Lightning-Rangers tilt:
Burnside: One of my favorite moments of last night was when Artem Anisimov went retro Teemu Selanne, using the old sniper celebration with his stick after scoring a shorthanded goal against Tampa. The problem was that, unlike Selanne, who pointed his stick at the rafters, Anisimov pointed directly at the Tampa net into which he scored.
Bolts captain Vincent Lecavalier took umbrage and went after Anisimov, and there was a bit of a brouhaha, which included Steve Downie, who looked like he was ready to make a change after the goal, coming from the bench area to join in the proceedings. Both Downie and Anisimov ended up with 10-minute misconducts, while Anisimov was also served with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as he should have been.
Anisimov was shielded from reporters after the game, but head coach John Tortorella acknowledged his player made a mistake, and it is something that you know he would have hated to see given his personality. I'm curious to see just what the HBO cameras picked up from all of this as part of their 24/7 documentary series leading up to the Winter Classic.
LeBrun: My guess is that Tortorella went Boudreau-like with the profanity after Anisimov did that. Tortorella is as old school as it gets. The lesson for Anisimov is that if you're going to use your stick as a machine gun in a goal celebration, make sure you aim it at your own glove a la Teemu Selanne, circa 1993 in Winnipeg.
Already, though, some great drama picked up by HBO cameras since they started filming. Not only what happened last night in New York but also the Flyers’ three-goal comeback win the previous night in Buffalo -- capped by Claude Giroux's breakaway goal in OT -- and Philly's victory over rival Pittsburgh last night. No shortage of material for the first 24/7 show.
Burnside: I would be remiss in mentioning that it was discouraging to see Martin St. Louis' consecutive games streak come to an end at 499 last night in the Lightning's shootout victory over the Rangers (maybe Tortorella will have to give Anisimov a lesson in karma). St. Louis was struck in the eye area in the morning skate and taken to hospital. The Lightning announced via release that St. Louis had suffered facial and nasal fractures and was returning to Tampa immediately to undergo further tests once the swelling around his left eye subsides. The Lightning haven't played very well lately, and St. Louis is the heart and soul of the team, so his absence will be keenly felt.
Also felt bad for Dominic Moore, whose errant shot was the one that caught St. Louis. Moore scored the tying goal while the Lightning were shorthanded and then scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Lightning a much-needed victory. But the game is always a better place when the tireless St. Louis is in it. Hopefully, his recovery will be shorter than longer. "I think the things I'm thinking about are how we stuck together as a team and responded the way we did," Moore told reporters after the game. "As a man in our room, everyone's thinking of Marty and we're trying to get the win for Marty. He's our leader every second of every day. That was our thoughts."
LeBrun: What made St. Louis' streak of 499 games even more impressive was the way in which he lays it out on the ice each and every night. Few players in the league hustle more than him. So his streak was about as legitimate as it got. Every young player in the NHL should look at the way St. Louis prepares for his craft. Steven Stamkos has certainly learned from it.
Well, my friend, safe travels back from Los Angeles. Enjoy your weekend.