17 days removed from nursing one of their six regulation loses of the season, a 5-3 defeat by the hands (and sticks) of the New York Islanders, the underrated Tampa Bay Lightning overcame all of the odds and triumphed over their most hated
divisional rival (played one first-round series that went five games 17 months ago) and won 6-2 in an utter smacking (for two thirds of the game). [Raw Charge]
“During the 15 minutes that saw the Islanders dominate Tampa Bay, there was one shining gem that kept the Lightning alive—Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Russian netminder made an array of saves to keep the game tied as the Islanders onslaught kept coming during the second period.”
What part of this play from Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, and Brayden Point wasn’t fun as heck?
Bolts until 2037? YES, PLEASE! [Tampa Bay Times]
“The Tampa Bay Lightning and Hillsborough County are narrowing in on a deal that would keep the hockey team here until at least 2037.
The two sides hope to have an agreement in place by January, according to county officials.”
A quirky story here about how Associate Coach Rick Bowness cancelling an optional skate after only 15 minutes. What could possibly have happened?? [Bolts by the Bay]
“The Lightning definitely had momentum on their side up to this point after the way the team played on Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks. Could the two days off in between games been enough of a gap for this momentum to come to a halt? Have the players become complacent in their recent success?”
Thank you, Carlos del Castillo for all of your service to our community!
Line shuffling is a thing coaches do when they need to ignite an offense, or clean up a defensive effort from his/her players. Coach speak, lineup notes, and injury updates in Smith’s Journal today. [Tampa Bay Times]
"It’s all bull-(expletive). I get a kick out of us coaches, we talk about this, that and the other thing. ‘This is what I’m looking for.’ It’s a bunch of bull-(expletive). We try things, and if it works, it works." - John Tortorella
"It’s a little mix. Torts is right in the sense that, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’? And when it goes stale, it goes stale. As a coach, you have to have a feel for what guys can work with each other, because not everybody does.” - Jon Cooper
New acquisitions Mathieu Brodeur and Matthew Spencer help the Adirondack Thunder began December with two wins. [Raw Charge]
The game was tied.— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 2, 2017
And then it got TY-ed. pic.twitter.com/FNGI29kXli
Syracuse Crunch defenseman Reid McNeill didn’t think trying to put wads of tape on his teammates’ heads would lead to a full feature on him, but it did! Thank you, Lindsay Kramer for this hard hitting news, must-watch news. [Syracuse]
“That one kind of took the wind out of the sails a little bit, especially working hard all summer and going to Tampa and trying to come into a new organization and put my best foot forward”
"I didn't change anything. I keep working hard and maintain my focus. I knew it was going to turnaround at some point, whether it was here or still in the NHL. Through tough times you've just got to keep grinding, keep working hard and it will turn around by doing so.” - Domingue
Keep an eye out for the World Junior roster announcements at 1pm EDT today. The December classic looks to be filled with Tampa Bay Lightning prospects once again.
Now, this isn’t directly hockey, but it will most definitely affect both Women’s and Men’s hockey at the Olympics. [NY Times]
“Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.”
I really liked this Tim & Sid (ft. Caroline Cameron) discussion about the Russia Ban and what it could possibly mean for hockey, as well as what it could have possibly meant for the NHL had they chose to go. Give it a listen!
Matt Moulson cleared NHL waivers yesterday. Aww, that’s a shame for him, I hope he does well with Rochester now. Wait, he’s not being assigned to Rochester? Oh, he’s going to Ontario, that’s not too far. WAIT. Ontario, CALIFORNIA!? Alrighty, then. [Die by the Blade]
“Clearly, Botterill didn’t want Moulson taking time away from players they’re trying to develop in Rochester. Moulson played 29 games in the Kings organization before moving on to the New York Islanders.”
John Gibson, ladies and gentlemen.
Hightlight of the Night: Jillian Saulnier dangles forehand to backhand in order to get close to the net. Then she puts the puck in a dangerous area so that she has to win a battle against two defenders in order to earn a shot. She does, allowing her to backhand the puck five-hole, past goaltender Alex Rigsby for the North’s first goal between USA and Canada. Oh, and one cannot forget the celly, the celly is one of the best moments! Canada would win this game 2-0. [TSN]