When my fantasy hockey league started this season, I forgot about the draft. The autodraft picked up Stamkos for me, and never before have I been happier with technology, until it used my second pick to draft Spezza, and then my third to pick up Hank Lundqvist. I was quickly reminded of why I dislike most technology. Give me radio and a TV with only NHL Centre Ice, and I'm good.
Back to the Bolts.
Stamkos is on a tear. It's as if he has something to prove. Thing is, he doesn't. He's a killer in pools, and more importantly, in real life. Scoring four points so far this season would make a lot of players happy. He got four just last night. Unreal.
On Friday, Tampa had their way with Atlanta, and did a thorough job of it. Stamkos netted a hatty, while Vinny and Brett Clark picked up the other two on route to a 5-2 victory over the TrashHawks. Vinny's goal wasn't pretty, and he should be the first to admit that it was a fluke, but he'll take it. The guy needs to build back his confidence after a slow season last year, and goals like that will help pad his ego.
Sidenote: Is St. Louis ever gonna slow down? At 35, he's on pace for a 93 point season. The guy is 5'9" full of heart and pure talent. Amazing.
The Bolts improved to 5-1-1, taking over the conference. Mind you they have a game in hand over the Leafs, who will be tied if they win their game tonight against Philly. Also, it's only 7 games in. Not enough time to start claiming this is the second-coming of the 2004 squad.
I'm hoping this is just a start of what is to come this season for Tampa - goals, hard work, and some rough stuff.
Before the season, I thought their goaltending tandem would do the trick, but after the short sample of regular season that we've had so far, I'm not so sure anymore. That's not to say that Smith and Ellis can't get the job done, but neither of them have GAA under 3, or a sv. pct over .900, and that just isn't good enough. Actually, it stinks worse than the latest, or any, movie starring Ice Cube.
They also need better defending from their forwards. Having Gagne at -8, and Malone at -7 is unacceptable after just 7 games (6 for Gagne). Their defence seems to have more holes than faulty condoms, and has to get better if Tampa is going to go deep in the post season. Sure, they have tons of fire power, but if a couple of the guys up front slip into a cold streak, then they're gonna lose games. They're gonna be losing games like a bulimic loses lunch - it won't be pretty. But for now: wheeeeeeeee! Enjoy the ride. These dudes seem for real, and are gonna give us one hell of an exciting season.