“For much of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to slow starts. Luckily for them, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been around to bail them out until they found their rhythm. On Saturday night, they found out what would happen if their league-leading goaltender was merely human in a first period.”
The Lightning’s advanced stats 10-game report is in! Spoiler alert, the Bolts are (mostly) a very good hockey team. [Raw Charge]
“Everything else at 5v5 continues to be outstanding and they’re getting a boost above their expected results from high-end shooting and goaltending talent. The penalty kill is still outrageous. If we wanted an area to nitpick, it could be the power play, which has become a bit stagnant both in generating shots and scoring goals.”
Believe it or not but Victor Hedman is a victim of playful bullying in the Tampa Bay squad. [The Hockey News]
“Hedman’s as good a sport as anyone, and he gives it to his teammates just as well as they give it to him, but the teasing comes from somewhere. He’s legitimately a hothead, and his teammates know how to set him off.”
‘He’s a great person, first and foremost, very humble, and he likes to take care of his teammates and get involved, but he can be grumpy,’ - Anton Stralman.
It wasn’t a cliche, the embarassing, playoff-less summer of 2017 is still fueling the Bolts today. [Tampa Bay Times]
“For some players, coming close with the Lightning in 2014-15 (losing in the Cup final) and 2015-16 (losing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final) provides plenty of motivation. But what has driven this team since day one of training camp is the humbling, embarrassing summer of 2017 after missing the playoffs.”
Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk will remain teammates even after the World Juniors have concluded. Raddysh has been traded from the Erie Otters to Katchouk’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. [Raw Charge]
“Raddysh played 189 games with Erie, scored 97 goals, added 170 assists for 267 points. Often overshadowed by bigger names like Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome, and Alex DeBrincat, Raddysh was a solid producer for the Otters and was their second leading scorer this year with 44 points, after Kyle Maskimovich (47 points) who is also rumoured to be on the trading bock.”
So uh... do we have a trade to announce? pic.twitter.com/HBaEWj1G2z— Astute Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) January 6, 2018
They grow up so fast.
First announced as “Taylor, Tyler, whatever,” grew into the Big Dog and an OHL Champion. Fresh off a gold medal, @Raddy1998 ends his Erie career 7th in goals, assists, and points in team history. Thank you Taylor, and best of luck in the Soo and your future! pic.twitter.com/x8p9xVCeH0— Erie Otters (@ErieOtters) January 6, 2018
The Syracuse Crunch beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-2 and are now on a four-game winning streak. [Syracuse]
“Crunch goaltender Connor Ingram earned his third-straight win with 31 saves. Marek Mazanec stopped 28-of-31 in net for the Wolf Pack. Syracuse was unable to convert on two power play opportunities, while Hartford went 1-for-3.”
In the ECHL update, Ty Loney gets selected for 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis. This is the first All-Star game for the 25-year-old who has spent time up with the Syracuse Crunch. [Raw Charge]
“This is a well deserved first time selection for Loney, who currently leads the Thunder in goals (16), points (29), and power play goals (7), despite missing nearly three weeks due to a six game recall to Syracuse in early December.”
“On a night where he scored his 700th career NHL point, he managed to one up himself not once, but twice with his 701st and 702nd points in a 5pt and counting performance. Surprisingly, this was only his second hat trick, despite scoring 275 career goals.”
After getting torched by their head coach, the Calgary Flames stepped out of the fire and beat the Anaheim Ducks in a thriller of a hockey game. Dougie Hamilton scoring the game-winning 3-2 goal with 16 seconds left on the clock. [TSN]
“‘I was just jumping up and Ferly made a great pass and I realized I had a breakaway and tried to be patient, make a move and it just went in,’ said Hamilton, whose game-winning goal helped the Flames improve their record at home to 12-11-0.”
“On Saturday night in Denver, the Colorado Avalanche and their fans watched as Milan Hejduk’s number 23 was raised into the rafters above the ice. Hejduk himself was honored with surprise visits by his former linemates Alex Tanguay and Peter Forsberg, and the U13 team he coaches for his twin sons made an appearance as well.”
Alex Tanguay and Peter Forsberg carry the Stanley Cup out on the ice for Milan Hejduk's retirement ceremony. pic.twitter.com/tjptQmwMrl— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) January 7, 2018
Highlight of the Night: You will not see a shot that hard, from a release that quick go off both posts so quickly everyone thought it was a goal very often. Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks would end up losing the game in a shootout to the Toronto Maple Leafs.