The Southeast This Week

The Lightning won Saturday for only the third time this month.  While one win all week doesn't necessarily mean the slump is over, the victory certainly provided some relief to what was no doubt a tense locker room.      

Talk of playing for the entire length of the game permeated throughout the team and there was a positive vibe coming from everyone.  Some of the feedback:

 Simon Gagne

"To get this one was huge for us. We battled really hard as a team from goalie to forward to defenseman. It was really a playoff-type game, and it's good to come here on the road and beat a team that's very desperate for points."

Vincent Lecavalier

"This was good.  We played 60 minutes, played hard, played physical and did a lot of good things. Now we have to carry it over to the next game."

Guy Boucher

"The reality is we didn't work last night.  We decided today we were going to work, and that's how we played all year long. This is exactly how we won our game. The minute we don't work we lose against anybody."

With the team feeling like a proverbial monkey has been taken off their backs, the team can hopefully get back to having fun, and playing aggressive Lightning hockey. 

Coming up, we'll take a look at the rest of the Southeast.

Atlanta Thrashers: The week started in an interesting way for the Thrashers.  Coach Craig Ramsay held individual player interviews after an off day.  Interesting approach. 

Speaking of, Ramsay is a ‘glass half full' kind of guy. The Thrash were all but eliminated with that loss to the Vancouver Canucks and he's going use the term wonderful?  Wow.

Chris Mason on the other hand? Half empty.

Carolina Hurricanes: Prospect Brian Dumoulin will stick around for his junior season at Boston College next year.

Pretty impressive perspective by the youngster - saying he has to improve a lot to cut it in the NHL.  If he keeps that head on his shoulders, he should have a good career.

Unrelated: The Canes had their perfect week and playoff hopes halted Saturday in the loss to the Lightning.  They now sit five points out of the 8th spot in the East with seven games remaining.  Also not in their favor: The Canes play back to back games three more times to finish the season.  Thanks again, Mr. Schedule Maker. 

Florida Panthers: Cool story about Marty Reasoner's brother Adam being plucked off of Wall Street to join the club.  

Pretty epic line by coach Pete Deboer at the end of that article: "The scary part is, [Adam] looked good. I don't know if that's because of our shooters or because he's good. It might just be the guys shooting on him.''

Unrelated:  David Booth was able to play against the Penguins Sunday after taking a puck to the throat Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.  Cue up the argument for players to wear throat protection. 

Booth played just over 20 minutes in the game against the Penguins recording six shots on goal and seven hits.  Good to see he's alright. 

Washington Capitals: The Caps are without Alex Ovechkin.   

If he's really been bothered by it for months, could that explain his "down" year?  Somewhat surprising that with the NHL's overhype of Ovi, and his outspoken nature that we haven't heard about this sooner.  Never the less, he should be rested and ready to go for the playoffs.  Good thing, because if the standings hold, they'll be facing the red hot New York Rangers.

Unrelated: Braden Holtby was recalled this week after an illness felled Michael Neuvirth.  He promptly recorded another shutout, blanking the Canadiens 2-0.  That's six wins in a row, and a 1.79 Goals-against for the season.  I'm not a coach, but how can you sit this kid right now?  Not sure what else he could do to earn the spot.  I have to imagine the Capitals move one of their three young goalies this summer. 

Related:  Who do you think the Caps playoff starter should be? 

Important Matchups: Hurricanes at Capitals (Tuesday, 3/29), Canadiens at Hurricanes (Wednesday 3/30), Penguins at Lightning (Thursday, 3/31)

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