Last night’s loss to Columbus was ugly. It’s okay to lose a hard-fought battle, but the Lightning definitely did not put forth their best effort. In the words of Coach Jon Cooper, “We were just rotten, that’s it from start to finish. I don’t even know how else to put it. We play 82 games, and I think we just chalk that one up to a stinker.” [Raw Charge]
Despite an overall poor performance by the team, Ben Bishop is holding himself accountable for the loss. "We did a good job of coming back," Bishop said. "We battled our way back to a tie it in the third. I got to come up with a big save there. I think I let the guys down." [Tampa Bay Times]
On the bright side, Nikita Kucherov hit a major milestone. He has now scored against all 29 opposing NHL clubs - and he did it in less than three years. So exactly how impressive is that? It took Sidney Crosby 10 years to accomplish the same feat. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and review our favorite right winger’s first goal against each of the 29 teams not named the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Raw Charge]
Luke Witkowski, Captain of the Syracuse Crunch and owner of an amazing beard, picked up his first NHL point with an assist on this goal by Jason Garrison. Congrats, Luke!
After a slow start to the season, Tyler Johnson is riding a six-game point streak. It’s essential that he continues to produce at a high level if the Bolts want to make another push for the Stanley Cup. [The Hockey Writers]
The Syracuse Crunch took down the top-ranked Toronto Marlies last night. “After climbing back from a three-goal deficit in under four minutes in the second period, the Syracuse Crunch went on to defeat the Toronto Marlies, 5-4, with Dylan Blujus's overtime game-winner tonight at the War Memorial Arena.” [Syracuse Crunch]
Former Tampa Bay Lightning blue-liner Matt Carle announced his retirement from the NHL. “In addition to 730 career NHL games and an All-Rookie Team selection in 2007, Matt is one of just four defensemen in the last 32 years to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's top player, was a two-time NCAA Champion, a World Junior and World Under-18 Champion for the United States, and a World Championship medalist.” [NHL]
Happy 99th birthday to the NHL! May you continue to grow and prosper (hopefully without any more lockouts)! [NHL]
As always, I like to end on a light note. Here’s a KHL goalie who was too thirsty to pay attention in the middle of the game - and the opposition still didn’t score.