WHERE: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
WHEN: 10 PM EST
MEDIA: 620 WDAE
The Bolts finish up the western leg of their current road trip tonight in Anaheim where they face off against the western-conference-cellar-dwelling Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.
OK, I shouldn't go off on a needless rant in the age of venue naming rights (it's common, it happens, get over it), but sometimes some of the corporate names become fitting. So it's with disdain that I call the Ducks home venue the Honda Center instead of Arrowhead Pond which it had previously been known by.
Maybe it's been renamed for a long time now and this venting is a sign of my disconnect to what's going on with the Ducks... Regardless, I certainly find the quirky "Pond" name more interesting than another bland corporate identifier. Add the Arrowhead water sponsorship and you have a name that doesn't even make you think of an arena in the LA Basin.
But I digress, on with the preview!
Mike Smith is between the pipes again tonight for the Lightning. This comes on the heels of his stellar effort in Glendale on Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. I see this squarely as a confidence booster attempt -- and of course Tocchet going with the last winning netminder.
Mattias Ohlund is out for Tampa Bay on defense, he is still in the walking boot but he is on the mend. Look for his return perhaps this weekend in Raleigh.
For the Ducks, like the Lightning, a year has made a big difference. Playoff bound last year, Anaheim is currently last in the western conference (15 points and a 6-10-3 record).
Of course, Lightning fans first thoughts with the Ducks are of former Bolts wing Evgeny Artyukhin. Artoo hasn't exactly broken out in Anaheim -- he's notched 2 goals, no assists and is a -1 in 16 games this season.
The Ducks have an 18.9% conversion rate on the power play and a 74.2% kill rate. The team is taking 28.6 shots-on-goal on average and is allowing 33.7 shots a night -- that's worse than the Bolts (32.1 shots allowed), if you can believe it.
There will be no TV for tonight's game -- again -- in the TB area. Dave Mishkin will of course be broadcasting for WDAE for those staying up.
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines
(updated November 16, 2009 by RawCharge subject to change)
Mike Smith (Starter)