Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced their opening night roster. There were no big surprises, although it was good to get confirmation about who was on the injury list. We will miss the Conachers, but hope they play good hockey together in Syracuse (more about that below).
Tampa Bay Lightning opening night roster
|JT Brown||Braydon Coburn||Peter Budaj|
|Ryan Callahan||Jake Dotchin||Andrei Vasilevskiy|
|Gabriel Dumont||Dan Girardi|
|Yanni Gourde||Victor Hedman|
|Tyler Johnson||Slater Koekkoek||Injured|
|Alex Killorn||Mikhail Sergachev||Michael Bournival|
|Nikita Kucherov||Anton Stralman||Erik Condra|
|Chris Kunitz||Andrej Sustr||Dominik Masin|
|Vladislav Namestnikov||Jonne Tammela|
|Ondrej Palat||Carter Verhaeghe|
There were so many articles published today that I don’t know where to begin, so we’ll start with the captain, and this hopeful piece by Joe.
Can Steven Stamkos make it all the way back? "Someone joked with Steven Stamkos that they knew his right knee was ready when they saw a clip of him dancing at his June wedding." [Tampa Bay Times]
Lightning journal: Defensive depth never a bad problem to have. "But with Mikhail Sergachev making the team — and it appearing like he'll get a chance to play (paired with Anton Stralman) — that leaves Slater Koekkoek and Andrej Sustr as the fourth pair, and potential scratches." [TBO]
Mikhail Sergachev’s (Hopefully) Ready for Primetime. "Not only do they Lightning have a vested interest in Sergachev getting real ice time to aid in his development, they also have the personnel around to help carry a young defender through his struggles." [THW]
"I just made Opening Night, but I want to play the full season. I want to be an NHLer."— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 4, 2017
Practice day | Mikhail Sergachev: pic.twitter.com/xhHKtYiCwJ
It is the week of power rankings, and so far so good. NHL power rankings: New hope in a new season. They rank the Bolts fifth. [USA Today]
Here are the most important questions facing each team entering the 2017-18 season: "Tampa Bay Lightning: Was missing the playoffs last year just a one-year fluke?" The answer is yes, so you don’t even need to click through. [USA Today]
Even the Washington Post is saying nice things. NHL 2017-18 Preview: Playoff projections and pivotal stats for every team. They're predicting 101 points for Tampa. [Washington Post]
This is perhaps the most extreme position: Lightning favored to win the Cup. Not exactly true, Bovada has our odds at 11/1. [Fox]
Here’s an even better preview of our season:
Team Conacher makes family hockey history at Syracuse Crunch practice. "Hopefully, he passes me the puck more than the other guys,'' Cory said. Cory, 27, was joking of course, something he does a lot around a hockey rink. But the underlying sentiment was clear: the Conachers are finally skating together, and it's even more fun than they imagined. [Syracuse.com]
Good to know: When heat is on, Katchouk's at his best. "A second-round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Katchouk is highly-competitive. And there’s definitely a swagger to his game." [Sault Star]
Looks like the Dallas Stars are the new Tampa Bay Lightning goalie system.
The Stars are super happy to have a good goaltender, but can they be responsible enough on the ice to help keep Bishop looking good? Why Ben Bishop's down year last season sort of makes his Stars debut even more exciting. "Hitchcock's theory of team defense is to help the goalie as much as possible. He said he wants the team to create a system where the quality scoring chances are minimal. He did that in St. Louis, where his teams ranked third in goals against average at 2.43 and second in shots against at 27.9 per game." [Dallas News]
McKenna hoping to improve Stars goalie situation. "The 34-year-old St. Louis native signed with the Stars this offseason after spending time with the Blue Jackets, Lighting, Devils, and Coyotes. He was named the starter for Texas after a successful preseason." [Hill Country News]
If I were Hardev, I’d post his “highlight of the night” right here, but I’m pretty sure it would simply be the entire Leafs game vs. the Jets.