Last night was a happy night in Lightning Land as Tampa picked up a decisive 4-1 victory against divisional rival Detroit. [Raw Charge]
After writing his name atop the record books for points by a Lightning defenseman a few days ago, Hedman added another feather to his cap last night. With eight more years in Tampa, expect the franchise records to feature many more milestones by the big Swede.
Of course nothing is that simple with the Bolts. We can’t have nice things, as evidenced by losing Bishop in the first period. The Lightning currently have five of their starting players injured. [Raw Charge]
Perhaps the most heart-warming story of last night’s victory was the NHL debut of Tanner Richard. He was recalled to play in Edmonton on Saturday, but missed his flight due to weather delays. Nothing was going to keep him from the rink last night. “I was early - real early. I was the second guy here.”
If you’re free this afternoon and in the downtown area, stop by Amalie Arena to meet Valtteri Filppula. Just bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Metropolitan Ministries in exchange for a photograph or autograph with the Finnish forward.
World Junior Championships
The Lightning are the most well-represented NHL club on Team Canada’s U20 team with five prospects wearing the Maple Leaf this year. [Raw Charge]
Connor Ingram is one of the most entertaining young guys in the pipeline, but don’t take my word for it. Team Canada teammate and New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal laughs when describing Ingram “He’s just a little bit of a goalie. [laughs] He’s super funny, really easy-going, makes jokes about himself all the time which is pretty funny. Just a really light, light guy - keeps it funny all the time.” [TSN]
Mitchell Stephens is a returning member to this year’s Canadian squad. Analyst Craig Button speaks highly of the young forward. “Anything, anywhere - he can make things happen with his skating.” [TSN]
It appears that Canadian head coach Dominique Ducharme agrees with Button’s assessment, promoting Stephens to the first line for tonight’s game in an effort to generate more offensive production. [TSN]
This year is my first year watching the World Junior Championships and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys truly fast-paced hockey. The tournament officially kicks off on Monday December 26 and you can catch all of the action on the NHL Network. [USA Hockey]
If you still need some convincing, here are the highlights from Team Canada’s first pretournament match against Finland on Monday night. Keep an eye on #16 - that’s Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh. I’m willing to bet you’ll get used to watching him light the lamp at Amalie Arena in a few years.
Jaromir Jagr is a legend. I know that’s a widely accepted truth, but his remarkable accomplishments continue to amaze me. Netting his 1,887th point, Jagr is now tied with Mark Messier for second place in all-time NHL points.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo also made his mark in the NHL record books. He’s now tied for fifth place in all-time wins.
Those milestones weren’t even the greatest things about the Sabres-Panthers matchup last night. Marcus Foligno got into a bout with the Shawn Thornton and in the middle of throwing fisticuffs, Foligno elected to fix his hair. Watch the fight and listen to the hilarious commentary by former Lightning goalie turned hockey commentator Kevin Weekes. [SB Nation]