Weekend Edition: July 26

Kristers Gudlevskis put on a great show in the IIHF Mens World Championship in May 2013. - Martin Rose


Local (Lightning)

Rick Bowness Sits Down: Part 3 Video - NHL VideoCenter - Tampa Bay Lightning
The latest in a series of videos with the Lightning's new Associate Coach, Rick Bowness. The Lightning are "an offensive team," Bowness said, "that has to be allowed to play offense." Which puts the emphasis on team defense. "You get five guys committed to keeping the puck out of your net and working with your goaltender, then you're going to win a lot more hockey games."

Leafs sign former Lightning d-man Ranger | ProHockeyTalk
Ranger, whose name, by the way, is still a popular search term that brings folks to Raw Charge, has played his way into a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

National (NHL)

Flames say Saddledome will be ready for preseason | ProHockeyTalk
This after massive flood damage in late June.

Madison Square Garden given ten years to move to another location | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
So, after undergoing a major renovation, the venue is going to have to pick up and move to make room for an expansion of Penn Station.

International (Europe & World)

On the differences between playing on Olympic and NHL-sized ice sheets | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com

Justin Bourne used to play on international sized ice, and he talks about the adjustments you have to make.

"There’s a huge misconception that because there’s more ice, you need faster players. I think you need better decision-makers with the puck. On the small sheet, you need players with great instincts who get the puck to the right areas without much deliberation. On Olympic ice, it can be alarming when you get the puck and realize you have a full second or two to figure out just what you want to do."

LGBT Olympians And Allies Should Show Up In Russia
You Can Play Project co-founder Patrick Burke writes that out LGBT and "publicly pro-gay" people should not boycott the Sochi Olympic games, because it's the ones who show up that make the difference.

Canada will be star-studded, but Steve Yzerman isn’t building an All-Star team | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports

"We're not putting together a team for an NHL all-star game," explained Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman Monday when quizzed about the stay-at-home blueliners. "We're putting together the best possible team that we can to compete against the best players in the world and try and win a gold medal. Part of that comes with having players that can do specific things for us." The specific thing, in this case, is guard the flag.

Farm Report (Syracuse & The Minors)

Report: Lightning Sign Goaltender Gudlevskis | Bolt Prospects
Whoa. This is a so-far unconfirmed report that 2013 draftee Kristers Gudlevskis is coming to North America this season rather than next season. He had a contract in the KHL, I believe, but if this new report is true, he's destined for either the ECHL Florida Everblades or the AHL Syracuse Crunch, depending on what happens with the other two AHL goalies, Cedrick Desjardins and Riku Helenius, both of whom need to go through waivers to report to Syracuse.

Last month, Mike Gallimore of BoltProspects.com gave a report on development camp in which he had this to say about Gudlevskis.

"if it weren't for the equipment and maybe a few stylistic differences, it'd be hard to tell 2013 5th-rounder Kristers Gudlevskis (6'3", 205) apart from Vasilevskiy. With a nearly identical build as his Russian counterpart, Gudlevskis also shares an athletic and active approach in net. Not that it is significant, but he did appear much more fatigued than Vasilevskiy at the end of the breakaway drill, when he made a point to show his exhaustion by lying on his back for a few seconds before picking himself up."

From my very limited personal exposure to Gudlevskis, he's very, very quick, but also very uncontrolled. So if he ends up in Syracuse, he'll get a lot of benefit from working with .....

Tampa Bay Lightning Hire David Alexander as AHL Goaltending and Video Coach | Lightning 101 | Sports Media 101

The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired University of Maine goaltending coach David Alexander to coach goaltenders and video for the AHL Syracuse Crunch. The official announcement on the Crunch website: Syracuse Crunch - David Alexander joins Crunch coaching staff. I'll have more to say about Alexander in a few days once things calm down for me personally, but at this point, I can tell you that this is a Very Good Thing, in my opinion.

The Market (Numbers)

Fantasy Hockey: Evaluating and Projecting Goaltenders

Here's an interesting take on goaltender evaluation from Michael Clifford: use PK save percentage combined with team Fenwick percentages to see which goalies are true standouts and which goalies aren't.

"While team puck possession certainly is a factor in a goalie’s statistics, good goalies will still usually be good (Rinne, Lehtonen, Backstrom, Reimer) regardless of their team while bad goalies (Mason, Nabokov) will usually still be bad."

The real question for stats people is just how predictive this approach turns out to be, As of yet, the evidence seems to show that PK save percentage is even less stable than even strength save percentage. This does not take into account team puck possession, though. I have also heard some smart goalie people argue that looking at a player's work in shorthanded situations gives a better idea of strengths and weaknesses because the chances are all much better. In other words, jury's still out, but this is intriguing.

Business

Daly: Pacific Northwest will ‘get serious consideration’ for expansion or relocation | ProHockeyTalk
Heads up, Seattle and Portland. And Cassie.

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