Au Revoir, Mellon Arena; Bolts at Penguins preview

WHERE: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable), Versus (cable), 620 WDAE (radio)

In light of last night's game in Columbus, and the outcome of the Bolts previous contest versus the Sabres... Well, I was reminded of a monologue by actor Robert Loggia (playing coach Wally Rig) in the movie Necessary Roughness.

People might get a little flustered that I'm quoting a football movie (and one that featured Rob Schneider at that), but the situation and Loggia's character's reaction just seems so fitting on so many levels right now. It's the end of the season, the coach's team is a rag-tag bunch of non-achievers, they are playing the top ranked team in the country, and that game ain't going well.

In the face of adversity, it feels like Coach Rig channels something that Rick Tocchet should want to say at this point. Edited for profanity (and some snipped context), and taken from IMDB's memorable quotes page for the film:

[Halftime of final game]

Coach Rig: Now, let's analyze what's been working for us.
[Long pause]
Coach Rig: NOT A GOD DAMN THING'S been working for us. Like this goddamn suit doesn't work for me... and this stinking tie... and this goddamned shirt. IT DOESN'T WORK FOR ME. YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY WINNING HARD-NOSED FOOTBALL? ..... LIKE A GODDAMN RAMPAGING BEAST! And that's the way you got to do it! YOU GO OUT THERE! YOU TEAR THEIR ... HEADS OFF, AND YOU [CRAP] DOWN THEIR NECKS!

Of course, the rag-tag team ends up winning their game...

Apologies for yesterday's game preview listing the incorrect TV data.  I was pretty sure that the game was going to be televised locally on Sun Sports TV, and it turned out that it wasn't...  Again, apologies.  Tonight's contest is supposed to be on Sun Sports, and also covered by Versus in markets outside of Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh (apologies for that one too, national audience).

Tonight is the final game that the Lightning play in Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena. The Penguins will be moving across the street to Consol Energy Center in 2010-11. This ends a long saga for the Pens that dates back to the late 1990's when the team declared bankruptcy, thanks in part to their lease at Mellon Arena... That story has more twists and turns than can be accurately described from an outsider's perspective, but the arena was part of issues with the franchise for a while.

The Bolts are 11-16-5 all time at Mellon Arena.

With this send-off game, there is a chance Ryan Malone will be in the lineup for sentimental value. A Pittsburgh native as well as a former Pen, Malone is physically at the point of return, though is still listed as questionable on previews for tonight's matchup. Defenseman Victor Hedman reportedly left last night's game early and is out for tonight. Erik Erlandsson reported via Twitter that Matt Lashoff is en route to Pittsburgh

Steven Stamkos is now in third place, two goals behind league scoring Sidney Crosby, in the hunt for the Richard Trophy. Crosby sits at 47 goals while Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin has 46.

2010 NHL Entry Draft Prospect

Continuing our look at some of the top prospects for this year's entry draft (taken from The Scouting Report)

Brandon Gormley(D)

Gormley has really raised his stock this season....The one thing about his game is that he definitely isn’t the most flashy player, but he’s a guy that provides a lot of substance in his game. Gormley skates well and is very mobile, aiding his transition game. He has a strong point shot and has really benefited from a lot of powerplay time this season as well. He could still stand to add some strength to his frame and compete harder, but those are things that should come with time. At this point he’s likely a sure fire Top 5 pick, but he’ll have no shortage of challengers behind him.

Other Previews

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

St. Pete Times

Tampa Tribune

News Observer (PIttsburgh)