Andrei Vasilevskiy got his first shutout in a 1-0 Tampa Bay Lightning win over the Colorado Avalanche. Tampa and Colorado are both at the top of the league in terms of % Time Leading, and wouldn’t you know it, most of this game was tied until Nikita Kucherov’s power play blast opened and closed the scoring for the night. Full recap: [Raw Charge]
Both teams have high-end talent. The difference was the depth. The top line for the Avalanche of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen can play with any line in the league. But after that, they don’t have much to threaten the opposition. And that showed in this game.
[Early season small sample size caveat aside] A look at how much time teams have spent leading vs. trailing this season. Oh no Oilers what is you doing baby pic.twitter.com/rhcB80yRKl— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) October 24, 2018
*Insert dancing pumpkin gif*
Personal podcast colleague Matthew Henriques has a Youtube channel where he dives deep into all aspects of the game. He does a great job, otherwise I wouldn’t talk to him, haha. Check out his video on the Lightning’s power play.
I talked about it during the playoffs last year. We saw textbook Tampa PP on each try against Colorado so far today. https://t.co/0Nl35agi6i— Matthew Henriques (@MattJLHenriques) October 25, 2018
The Triplets are back on the second line, but are they going to be the same as 2015, or will we see something different from the trio of Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat. [The Hockey Writers]
The Triplets took a step back after the 2014-15 season most likely due to a long postseason run where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. This year, however, Cooper is giving the Triplets another chance after a weak offensive showing to the first two games of this season. This has arguably reinvigorated the Lightning offense and opened up opportunities for other players on the roster like Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde. Here is a breakdown of what each one of the Triplets provides to their line and how they can help the Lightning be successful once again.
And now for some stuff on some former Bolts...
BRIAN BOYLE IS IN CANCER REMISSION! HE’S BEATING THAT CRUEL BEAST AS IF HE WAS IN A BARE-KNUCKLE FIST FIGHT ON ICE!!! [NHL dot com]
“A test (BCR-ABL1) looks for the leukemia cells in your blood and when I was first diagnosed, it was at 75 percent,” Boyle said Wednesday. “At the end of last season, it was at .08 percent, and in July I was .04 percent. The results showed all zeros on Monday. It’s full molecular remission, and I feel really good. It was kind of the way the progression was happening the last few tests. When I told my wife, she was excited and got emotional.
Fellow tall person Ben Bishop had some slightly different news: he revealed his Halloween costume a few days ago and it’s still incredible.
Speaking of Halloween, on October 27th, the Syracuse Crunch will be hosting a Halloween Spooktacular game the night the Charlotte Checkers arrive to town. [Syracuse Crunch]
Fans are encouraged to wear their costumes to the game for the annual Halloween Spooktacular. Children in attendance will receive a drawstring bag, courtesy of NY529. During the first intermission, all fans dressed up are invited to participate in a costume contest on the ice for a Crunch prize pack.
Following the game, kids will have the opportunity to trick-or-treat on the ice for candy. Families are encouraged to make a donation to Change for Change to participate in trick-or-treating. Kids can enter the ice through the Section 101 corner immediately after the game.
Cory Conacher doesn’t feel entitled to be playing in the NHL, and he absolutely ready to be a leader for his new old team. [Syracuse]
“He’s a proud guy and he’s a competitor. And I know how much he wants to play in the NHL. It’s not easy for them to take the demotion and come back here,’’ said Syracuse coach Ben Groulx. “I think we have developed a great relationship since I’m here. We texted before when he got the news. As we all saw him Saturday, his head was here. He practiced hard today. So, he’s showing that he’s a leader.’’
Christophe Lalancette has been released by the Orlando Solar Bears.
The NWHL has a new playoff format for this year to accommodate for their unique five-team league. [The Ice Garden]
“Everyone’s a contender. [The Riveters] are in last place, we haven’t won any games, but we’re in the games,” Madison Packer told members of the media after Saturday’s game at the Prudential Center. “The nice thing about our league is ... it’s my understanding that everyone makes the playoffs.”
Is the Vegas Flu real? ESPN’s Emily Kaplan asks NHL players what they think of the Vegas experience one year in. [ESPN]
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks center: If I’m being serious, I think Vegas just played well; every game they had a chip on their shoulder. It was a tough building to play in, and they fed off that energy. Regardless, if other teams were having too much fun in Vegas or not, they were a really good team that was tough to play against.
Oskar Sundqvist hopes Tom Wilson learned his lesson following his punishment for his hit on the St. Louis Blues player. Sorry, Oskar, but Tom Wilson doesn’t sound like the kind of player who learns things and empathizes with people. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
Wilson appealed his 20-game suspension with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a very, very long hearing on October 18th. Bettman is expected to release his decision this week. Wilson has the option to appeal that decision with a neutral arbiter, who would have the final say.
Borowiecki, who was not penalized on the play in question, caught Vaakanainen with the elbow in a scrum by the Senators’ crease at 3:05 of the first period.
Boston beat Ottawa 4-1.
Under the terms of the league’ collective bargaining agreement, Borowiecki will forfeit US$6,451.61. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
A Brief History on Hockey Rinks [The Hockey Writers]
All across the world, the ice rink has become a home away from home for scores of hockey players and fans. From the sushi-serving confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to the frozen metal bleachers of your local arena, as well as the wide range of outdoor locations in between, ice rinks are a place where the game can be learned, viewed and cherished by folks of all ages and backgrounds.
Happy one month, Gritty! <3
Highlight of the Night: Sometimes goalies don’t get the respect they deserve.
But sometimes they get embararssed like this. So it’s pretty 50/50.