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Sabres spoil Callahan’s Lightning debut, Stamkos’ return

Mar 6, 2014, 10:38 PM EDT

The good news is that Steven Stamkos looked dangerous in his first game as Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Ryan Callahan made an impact in his debut. The bad news is that they couldn’t beat Jhonas Enroth often enough to win on Thursday, as the Buffalo Sabres took a 3-1 victory.

Enroth, 25, has been on quite the hot streak in his audition for a heightened role in post-Ryan Miller Buffalo. He stopped 43 out of 44 shots and now has three wins in his last four games, which is especially impressive being that he only has one other win all season long.

Even with the loss, Stamkos, 24, called the night a “step in the right direction” as he returned from injury. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper echoed that sentiment to Fox Sports’ Andrew Astleford and also praised Callahan’s first effort with the team.

It’s easy to see why Cooper was happy with the effort, even if the results weren’t there. Stamkos and Callahan, 28, combined for nine shots on goal and six hits in a busy evening. They also gave Lightning fans a chance to move on from Martin St. Louis … although that might take some time:

  1. thomasvanek - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    I’m not sure if the fan in the picture represents how the majority of how Lightning fans feel, but if it is that is ridiculous. This guy gave most of his career and got your city a Stanley Cup. What more can you ask of a guy? This isn’t to all Lightning fans only the ungrateful ones, show some respect.

    • letsgopens8771 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:07 AM

      I know. Stars fans didn’t do this when Mike Modano signed in Detroit because he wanted a shot at the cup. I bet you he retires as a Tampa Bay Lightning and Stevie Y would have no problem with that. Marty is good, but he is getting old and probably will retire in a few years. I didn’t think that too many fans would feel this way. Both of those guys won their cities cups and are great guys.

    • falstaffsmind - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:59 AM

      We’ll get over it, but it’s hard to appreciate your captain when he gets butt-hurt over the Olympic selection and demands a trade in the midst of a playoff run. People feel a touch abandoned. The thing that gets me is I thought Marty should have been captain over Lecavalier all those years. Now I am not so sure.

      • thomasvanek - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:14 AM

        I don’t understand why everybody thinks it’s because of the Olympic snub either. Marty is a big boy and I’m sure he understands that it was just business. Since he specifically asked for NYC than I would assume that’s where he planned to retire at and wanted to get his life started there. I heard from Cory Conacher on a interview for WGR 550 say that St. Louis was already building a house near NYC and I think that this decision was strictly based on family.

      • falstaffsmind - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        The reason everybody thinks it’s about the Olympic snub is that if it was about living in NY, he would have explained that. Instead he says it’s a ‘private matter’ between him and the Lightning.

    • hockey412 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      I don’t know – I kind of see their point. I like Marty, a lot – but that city rallied behind the guy, even though they also adore Stamkos, in support of the honor of being the Captain. In my opinion this was their best year and best shot in the playoffs that they’ve had. He was playing with and in some ways mentoring one of the special talents in the league. If he was upset because of ego, maybe I see their point. If he just wanted out and didn’t care where the team was mid-season, then maybe I see their point. I’d be upset too.

  2. kastout11 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    The St. Louis/Callahan was a big deal. However, I think it will hurt both teams. I don’t think St. Louis will be better in NY then he was in TB, and I don’t think Callahan will be better in TB then he was in NY. I just think that the systems they were in before the trade better suited their styles of play.

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