I'm not bitter! Lightning at Atlanta Thrashers preview

WHERE: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
WHEN: 7:30 PM EDT
MEDIA: Sun Sports (Cable), 620 WDAE (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: Bird Watchers Anonymous

I can live with losing a game by review. Really, I can... I can live with ten-minutes of video review (as if the game was a playoff game, or some other game with monumental ramifications). Honestly, I'm not bitter that the Islanders won. Live it up, guys....

What I am bitter about is the overtime goal that defeated the Lightning last night was scored at 1:56 of overtime.... And the review did not start until 3:28 of overtime.

Talk about muting the term "sudden death".

The excuse for the delay is that there had been no chance to review the play up until the stoppage in play with 1:32 left in overtime. No chance until that break in the action, cuz you gotta' let'em play.

To which, I must call bull.

Last time I checked, the referees are the ones with the whistles that could stop play dead at any given time with a tweet or two. Well before an icing, well before a offside, well before some other stoppage in play.

The fact that the overtime was able to continue for another full minute-and-a-half produced opportunities for the Lightning to score the winner... Which was ultimately going to be nullified by the review of Matt Moulson's goal.

And if the Lightning had scored? Last night's late-because-we-gotta-let'em-play review looks more like a screw job than what some have made it out to be.

But that was last night. Tonight, the Lightning make the trip up I-75 to Atlanta to take on the Thrashers for the second time this season. You may recall the Lightning spanked the Thrashers on opening night at Times Palace.

Last time, however, the Thrashers were the team that had played the night before. This time? It's the Lightning. And the Thrashers haven't played since Wednesday. That's one complication we'll see going into tonight's match-up.

Odds are that Mike Smith starts tonight in goal for Tampa Bay. Chris Mason will get the call for the Thrashers. Will Vincent Lecavalier play? He did suit up last night, but that doesn't mean he'll be good to go tonight. Mattias Ohlund will remain out for TB with his knee issues. He may not return until Wednesday against the Penguins or later.

It feels like, on the heels of last night's game, it will come down to how much energy the LIghtning have... And how well Chris Mason plays his angles. Rick DiPietro played them perfectly last night, and it resulted in holding the Bolts to 2 goals on 30 shots.

[Note by John Fontana, 10/22/10 12:19 PM EDT ] I get names mixed up ... Chris Mason?  Steve Mason?  Whatever.  Two completely different players though...  I've corrected all Mason references to reflect the correct player

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