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Tampa Bay Lightning brings in yet another youngster in D Matt Lashoff

TAMPA — When Matt Lashoff took the ice Tuesday, he was the 48th player to suit up for the Lightning, and (gasp) the 20th defenseman.

"A lot of sleepless nights," coach Rick Tocchet joked.

Seriously, he said. "It's been weird. We've had injuries when some guys would just show up at warmup time. It was that crazy this year. It's tough. Continuity is so big in the NHL; I don't think with having 20 new defensemen, any organization can win in that situation."

To be fair, much of the turnover was because of injuries. But some of it was bad personnel decisions and trades.

Whatever the lineup, Tocchet said he tried to maintain a high standard of expectations.

"You expect the guy to do the job," he said. "Whether it's unfair or not, you just don't let someone have an excuse. You can't. If you give excuses, you're done. So, you keep expectations high and, hopefully, the guy can give you something that night."

Lashoff, 22, was the key piece acquired from the Bruins in the Mark Recchi deal. Finally healed from a 30-stitch gash he took on the side of his left knee while playing for AHL Providence, the East Greenbush, N.Y., native said he is ready to go.

Especially after four seasons in the Bruins organization in which he played just 46 NHL games. Lashoff, the 22nd overall pick of the 2005 draft, said Boston was not interested in changing its core group of blue liners.

"I'm relieved to get an opportunity to come in and have a fresh slate," said Lashoff, who played 22:58 Tuesday with a shot and a hit. "What happened in Boston, it seemed things weren't going in the right direction toward the end. I'm just happy to be part of this organization."

TROUBLE AVERTED: If Lightning W Evgeny Artyukhin and Toronto W Ben Ondrus were to settle their simmering feud, they had a chance as both lined up at center for the opening faceoff. Neither made a move as if he wanted to fight.

Ondrus said after their stare-down Thursday, in which he took exception to some of Artyukhin's stick work, someone should beat up Artyukhin.

QUICK SHOTS: Lightning goals in 10 seconds in the second period by Steven Stamkos and Matt Pettinger tied the franchise record for fastest at home and were one second off the overall team record.

Tampa Bay got goals in 10 seconds twice at home last season: March 11, 2008, when Vinny Lecavalier and Jason Ward did it in an 8-4 win over the Islanders; and Dec. 13, 2007, when Lecavalier and Andre Roy scored in a 9-6 loss to the Flames. Dave Andreychuk and Fredrik Modin scored in nine seconds on Jan. 4, 2004, in a 4-1 victory at New Jersey.

GREETINGS: Former Tampa Bay G Olie Kolzig, traded to Toronto at the deadline, for the first time met his teammates.

Kolzig, out for the season because of biceps tendon surgery, stayed in St. Petersburg.

"It's kind of like the first day of school," he said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay is 3-9 in shootouts and 4-15 in overtimes. … The Lightning power play is 10-for-32 in its past eight games. … A moment of silence honored former team owner Bill Davidson, who died Friday at 86. … RW Adam Hall and D Marek Malik (foot) were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning brings in yet another youngster in D Matt Lashoff 03/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:54am]
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