While LeBron was busy dropping 45 at the Garden last night, pushing away the threat of
public embarrassment postseason elimination for at least one more night, Norfolk Admirals defenseman Mike Kostka propelled the Lightning’s top minor-league affiliate to within one win of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup championship…
With the Admirals and Toronto Marlies locked up in a scoreless impasse 9:09 into the first overtime period of Game 3, Kostka dumped the puck into the Marlies’ zone off the glass, only to have it take a lucky bounce and trickle into an empty net for the game-winning goal that gave Norfolk a commanding 3-0 stranglehold of a lead on the series.
Marlies net minder Ben Scrivens went behind the cage to play the puck, as he had dozens of times in the night, only this time, the puck hit a stanchion and caromed ever-so delicately as players from both teams seemingly just stood and watched in disbelief.
“I would rather somebody take a pair of steel toed boots and kick me in a delicate region than to lose a hockey game like that,” Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins told the attending media after the game.
Surely, by “delicate region” he no doubt means…
The video of the goal instantly set Twitter ablaze, and even though the puck found its way into the net, it’s one of those things that you’d otherwise expect to see on Sportscenter’s Not Top 10. In fact, Admirals head coach Jon Cooper put it in perspective pretty well:
“If I were Scrivens,” Cooper said, “I’d be sick to my stomach.”
True, it’s absolutely a tough way to go down, but it did make for an exhilarating finish and entertaining post-game reaction in the Twittersphere from several friends of TampaBayLightning.com.
From Bolts Prospects (@BoltsProspects): “I know this, never challenge Kostka to a game of pool.”
From Adam Proteau (@Proteautype): “The magic bullet in the JFK assassination had a more plausible trajectory than the puck bounce that just killed the Marlies.”
From Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (@malkin71_): “Вечная память Крутову!!!”
Yeah, I’m pulling your leg on that one. No one knows what that says…
But I do know that with Kostka’s luck, I’m seriously considering recruiting him to pick my numbers for the next drawing of Powerball.
The Commie Vote…
This isn’t exactly what it sounds like.
This has nothing to do with the upcoming presidential election, or communists, or anything of the sort.
But it does have to do with Lightning defenseman and Best Of The Web regular guest Mike Commodore.
It appears on Twitter that our pal @commie22 has endorsed Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux for the EA Sports NHL ’13 Cover Vote (apparently, as featured on the Best Of The Web edition from two weeks ago, that whole John Tavares ‘Rock The Vote’ Bus Tour thing never really panned out).
So, it looks like Giroux is up for the final two spots, going head-to-head against Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. And what better way to get fans behind you than to recruit Zach Galifianakis’ body double from The Hangover as an insurance policy. Can’t you see the resemblance there, maybe?
The only trouble is Giroux himself didn’t really get backing from Commodore as much as his teammate Scott Hartnell did.
Hartnell had some “friendly” words for Commodore over Twitter, tweeting the following:
From @Hartsy19: “Thanks for the support of my centerman, or else it might have been “go” time next season.”
Nothing like two gingers going at it, scrapping with the fists, huh folks?
Wanting no part of that, Commodore happily obliged, throwing out a few supportive Tweets of his own in Giroux’s general direction, including this gem:
From @commie22: “If you vote for Claude, you get a guy on the cover with a sick flow and a nice smile.”
Now that’s G.
On a more serious note, and as a nice tribute to you fans, the Bolts’ actual in-game attendance jumped this past season, as reported earlier this week by Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.
According to the report, official average attendance (tickets sold and distributed) was 18,468, up seven percent from 17,268 in 2010-11. But more notable, records from Hillsborough County, which owns the Tampa Bay Times Forum, show actual attendance (that is, the turnstile count) up 14 percent from an average 13,474 in 2010-11 to 15,364 this past season.
“There were some folks who sort of jumped on the bandwagon or might have only been doing it based on (the 2010-11) playoff run,” chief executive officer Tod Leiweke told The Times. “But the vast majority of fans come back because they believe in what (owner Jeff Vinik) is doing and they see what (Yzerman) is doing.
“If we can maintain a number like that (11,000 season tickets) and get back on the ice where we want to be, we feel good about it,” Leiweke said.
The thing I love about Photoshop is that, when combined with one’s creative genius, it can make for some pretty funny parodies.
That’s just what was accomplished by one Bolts fan in particular, when he or she (not really sure which) created this gem I found on Google Images when I typed “Guy Boucher” into the search field.
Call it the Lightning’s very own version of the A-Team, featuring owner Jeff Vinik, head coach Guy Boucher, CEO Tod Leiweke and general manager Steve Yzerman, with some extraordinarily large biceps that rival only NFL official Ed Hochuli.
Aside from the whole mercenaries outfitting their own commando unit thing, the description of them always acting on the side of good seems to otherwise be spot on.
Until Next Time…
Check back next week for another edition of Best Of The Web, and as always, if you come across any off-the-wall Bolts content, be sure to send a Tweet over to @TBLightning.