Slater Koekkoek or Andrej Sustr. One is skilled and dynamic, the other is big and tall. (Sorry, is my bias showing?) Both carry the role of seventh defenseman. Who ya got? [Raw Charge]
“The coaches have frequently used a lineup featuring eleven forwards and seven defenders, meaning that Sustr and Koekkoek have gotten more minutes than they would in a traditional lineup. The coaches seem committed to splitting those minutes evenly between the two players, but I’m not sure that this is the correct decision.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning are losing at their own game: special teams. Is having the 22nd penalty kill in the league just a product of losing players to injury or something more? A must-read from Joe Smith. [Tampa Bay Times]
“That the Lightning is without veteran wing Ryan Callahan (upper body, out three to four weeks) hurts because he’s a key cog on the penalty kill. Tuesday it also didn’t have F Tyler Johnson and D Jake Dotchin, both out with the flu.”
This week eight years ago, Vincent Lecavalier becomes the first player in Tampa Bay history to earn 700 points. [NHL dot com]
“December 23, 2006 - Boyle's third period hat trick erases three-goal deficit
Through 40 minutes, the Lightning found themselves down 3-0 to the Rangers. Defenseman Dan Boyle scored three goals in just over 11 minutes to erase the deficit and lift the Bolts to a 4-3 win. It was the only hat trick of Boyle's career.”
Always proud of the brave men and women who serve the country!
The Syracuse Crunch fell to the Laval Rocket by a score or 5-2 Wednesday night. Penalties a clear indicator of who was skating and who was not in this game. [Syracuse Crunch]
“Louis Domingue stopped 20-of-24 shots in net for the Crunch. Charlie Lindgren earned the win with 22 saves for the Rocket. Syracuse was able to convert on 1-of-4 power play opportunities and went 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.”
Will the Syracuse Crunch ever see Cory Conacher back with them in the AHL? It sure doesn’t look likely with the way he’s playing with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a current staple of the middle-six forward group. [Syracuse]
"He's done well,'' said Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois. "He's playing with pace. He's done a good job creating turnovers for us using his speed. We're pleased with his performance.''
In his second professional year, Dominik Masin is learning to be much more dynamic offensively. [Auburn Pub]
“Masin has four goals and eight assists in 25 games this season. The 21-year-old has only seen spot duty on the power play when the Crunch have dealt with call-ups, but is consistently on the team's penalty kill and has a shorthanded goal this season.”
Not exactly Tampa Bay’s prospects but it is our home and native land. Team USA wins a close one over Belarus.
The nine rookies with the Crunch are learning to not only be comfortable in professional hockey, but also with each other. [AHL dot com]
“It helps when you know guys before the season starts, especially what they’re like off the ice,” Stacy Roest, Tampa Bay Lightning Director of Player Development, explained. “Once you’re comfortable and you’re confident, it just makes it way easier to play. You can see why the kids played in those big events. They have more confidence and exposure, it’s just easier for them.”
“The more you play with some guys and see those guys around, the better you’re going to get."@SyracuseCrunch's chemistry on the ice has been a key factor to their success.#AHLOTB → https://t.co/j258kRGqni pic.twitter.com/DiAgrR0jpX— AHL (@TheAHL) December 20, 2017
31 Thoughts is back for another week! No, not the podcast, the actual one with words and stuff. The New York Islanders have a new home. Trade rumors surrounding VCR, EDM, CBJ, OTT, and FLA. And Outdoor games news! [Sportsnet]
“20. Another thing I think the league is considering: new blood. There are always complaints about Chicago’s outdoor appearances, but I look at it this way: You get what you earn. Some new teams are climbing the mountain, and their merits are being discussed. Tampa Bay makes sense, even if the state of Florida doesn’t host.”
Of course Philadelphia is the city that has the most streakers. Err, I mean streaks. Whatever, they both work if you think about it. [Sports Illustrated]
“With a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, the Flyers' six-game winning streak came to an end. Not since the 1966-67 Toronto Maple Leafs has a team followed a 10-game winless skid with seven straight victories but the Flyers were close.”
I've said it before - being a Flyers fan must be the toughest hockey roller coaster possible. pic.twitter.com/Rjx8Cpfl0F— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) December 19, 2017
You never think about NHL players needing to do regular human things like taking out the trash, buying car insurance, and getting a drivers license. Well, you won’t believe this story about European players getting their drivers licenses. [Washington Post]
“Jakub Vrana successfully flashed both turn signals, but when the examiner asked him to flip on the hazard lights next, he panicked. What were those again? Time moved slowly as he scanned the buttons on the rental car. Finally, Vrana spotted the red triangle. Of course, the hazard lights.”
I guess the 90’s are back? I feel so young again! (Says the Raw Charge writer born in 1996) [Spectrum News]
Highlight of the Night: Who did the solo end-to-end rush snipe better: Mitch Marner or Brayden Schenn? Who cares because Jimmy Howard has been saving the Detroit Red Wings’ bacon all season and this is exhibit 1A.
Schenn and Marner for those interested.