Tampa Bay continues its front office overhaul by adding new goalie consultant Frantz Jean

lightninglogowithname.gifIt’s actually not that unusual to see the Tampa Bay Lightning go through big changes in a summer. It seems like that’s been happening ever since they decided to keep their Cup winning trio of forwards (Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier) rather than parting with one of them to retain Nikolai Khabibulin.

The only difference is that now it seems like they actually are making wise moves, rather than haphazard ones.

The latest change involves the team adding a new goalie coach named Frantz Jean. Damian Cristodero has the news.

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday hired Frantz Jean as a goaltending consultant. Team spokesman Bill Wickett said not calling Jean a coach is simply a “contractual formality.” Jean, 39, the long-time goaltending coach for Moncton of the Quebec junior league will “work with all the goaltenders in the organization,” according to the announcement. Jean takes over for the fired Cap Raeder.

While the team still employs big goalie Mike Smith (the crowned jewel of the Brad Richards to Dallas trade), the other part of their 1a/1b rotation changes as Dan Ellis steps in for departed netminder Antero Niittymaki. Here is more about Jean from the Lightning.

Jean has been involved in hockey for more than 25 years as both a player and coach. He has made a name for himself most recently with Moncton, where he has worked for the previous 12 years. During Jean’s time with the Wildcats, the team has allowed the least number of goals in the league on four occasions (1999-00, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10). Jean’s goaltenders have been named defensive player of the year or goaltender of the year three times (Lajeunesse in 1999-00, Crawford in 2003-04, Riopel in 2008-09). Nicola Riopel was also named league most valuable player in 2008-09. Jean has had his goaltenders named to the first or second all-star teams on five occasions and six of his protégés have either been drafted or signed as a free agent in the NHL.

Jean began coaching at the age of 14 and has went on to coach under the supervision of some of the best hockey has to offer, including Vladislav Tretiak, Francois Allaire and Phil Myre. He also operated a goalie school with former Canadiens goaltending coach and ex-NHLer Roland Melanson.

In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Jean was selected as the goaltending consultant for the Hockey Canada Summer National Under-18 team that won the Gold Medals at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Since 2002, he has done several goaltending seminars for the Atlantic Center of Excellence and for Hockey Canada’s Advance Level 2 Coaching Program. Jean is also a member of Hockey Canada’s National Goaltending Consultants Team.

Now, the question is: does he know how to use Twitter? I hear one of his goalies might need a little “coaching” in how to conduct himself on social media networks

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    Holtby ‘wasn’t as sharp as he can be,’ says Trotz

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    Presidents’ Trophy winners once again in the regular season, the Capitals once again face an uphill climb if they are to advance beyond the rival Penguins and the second round of the playoffs.

    What began with a strong first period for the Capitals in Game 2, albeit without a reward on the score board, faded into a frustrating 6-2 rout, as the Penguins took a commanding 2-0 series lead as it shifts back to Pittsburgh for a pivotal Game 3 on Monday.

    Braden Holtby was pulled after the second period. He gave up three goals on 14 shots, while his opponent at the other end, Marc-Andre Fleury was brilliant with 34 saves.

    “He’ll tell you that he can be better. He’s a straight up guy and he will be. I was just trying to change the mojo,” said Capitals coach Barry Trotz of his decision to sit Holtby.

    “I thought some of the goals, he wasn’t as sharp as he can be for us. He’s a game-changer for us. So when he didn’t change the game, I just looked to change the mojo a little bit there. That’s all. Braden’s our backbone. He has been all year. We’ve got to find some goals for him, too. We can’t just put it on Braden Holtby.”

    Now in a deep but not insurmountable hole against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Capitals reportedly held a players’ only meeting following this latest defeat.

    After failing to open the scoring in an otherwise dominant first period, Washington surrendered three goals in the second, as the Penguins broke it wide open with their transition game, led by two great plays from Sidney Crosby.

    “We can’t get frustrated. I think that would be our biggest mistake is to get frustrated right now,” said T.J. Oshie, before expanding on the meeting between the players.

    “It was things that people need to say and things that some people need to hear. We were very together with what we said. I don’t need to go into details. Sometimes in our game … you need to hear from your teammates more than your coach. And tonight was one of those nights.

    “It was the players in here and what was said is what needed to be said.”

    We’ll find out Monday if what was said actually has any impact on the ice.

    Penguins rout Capitals to take commanding series lead

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    The Washington Capitals are in trouble. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Again.

    Despite a dominant first period, at least in terms of shots on Marc-Andre Fleury and puck possession, the Capitals saw this game go sideways in a hurry during the second period, on the way to a 6-2 loss to the Penguins in Game 2.

    Washington is now in quite a hole, trailing its nemesis 2-0 in this second-round series.

    Last year, Matt Murray stymied the Capitals. Though it’s only been two games this year, Fleury has stepped up in the absence of the injured Murray and given the Penguins solid goaltending and frustrated a dangerous Capitals lineup.

    After withstanding the storm of pressure from the Capitals in the first period, the Penguins broke this game open with a trio of second-period goals. It started with a shorthanded goal from Matt Cullen, and later continued with a beautiful goal from Phil Kessel and then Jake Guentzel‘s sixth goal of these playoffs.

    That led Barry Trotz to take Braden Holtby out of the game, after he gave up three goals on 14 shots, putting in Phillip Grubauer to begin the third period. The Penguins continued the onslaught.

    For the Penguins, there are some injury concerns to keep an eye on.

    Patric Hornqvist left the game in the first period after blocking a shot around his foot or ankle. He didn’t return. Ron Hainsey had to go to the locker room late in the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin shot up around the head.

    Game 3 goes Monday in Pittsburgh.

    ‘I wasn’t good enough,’ says Lundqvist after double OT loss to Senators

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    The task wasn’t impossible, but certainly daunting.

    The Ottawa Senators needed five goals on Henrik Lundqvist just to send Game 2 into overtime.

    The Rangers goalie had been spectacular for most of this post-season entering Saturday’s contest, but the Senators, led by a sensational four-goal performance from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, found a way to break through for a 6-5 double overtime win to take a 2-0 series lead against New York.

    They did so on just 34 shots through almost 83 minutes against Lundqvist.

    “I wasn’t good enough,” said Lundqvist, per the New York Daily News. “Coming up with the extra save there in the end, that’s my job. Even though it’s tough plays on deflections, I’ve got to find a way.”

    On three occasions, the Rangers held a two-goal lead. That includes with under five minutes remaining in regulation. They even had a pair of shorthanded goals. But they couldn’t hang on, as Pageau scored twice in the final 3:19 of regulation to record his hat trick.

    That set the stage for the eventual winner, as he beat Lundqvist over the left shoulder with a shot from his off-wing on a two-on-one rush.

    With the Senators in control, the series returns to New York for Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Thursday.

    “We played well enough to win this game, there’s no question about it,” said Lundqvist. “It’s really tough to lose this one. Clearly they’ve gotten the bounces here in the first two games.”

    Capitals’ Holtby begins third period on the bench, Grubauer takes over in net

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    Braden Holtby began the third period of Saturday’s Game 2 on the bench, giving way to Philipp Grubauer.

    The Washington Capitals fell behind the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 after two periods, with Holtby allowing three goals on just 14 shots. It will be interesting to hear the reason for this decision from coach Barry Trotz following the game.

    The Capitals had dominated on the shot clock, but gave up a pair of quick goals to fall further behind Pittsburgh in this game, while trailing in the series 1-0.

    Phil Kessel — on a great play from Sidney Crosby — and Jake Guentzel scored 3:10 apart to give Pittsburgh a two-goal lead.