The Lightning face the Red Wings for the last time in the regular season and have the opportunity to sweep the series. Despite the loss on Tuesday, the Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history with 79 points through 57 games, five points better than the 74 points put up by the 2010-11 team (34-17-6) and the 2014-15 team (34-17-6) through 57 games.
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One rumor has Patrick Maroon on Yzerman’s shortlist of players to acquire at the deadline. Under normal circumstances, he would be a luxury acquisition to help give the team depth. However, due to a recent injury to Ondrej Palat, acquiring Maroon may become a necessity for the Lightning.
This Week in Lightning History features a Steve downie highlight and rookie milestones from Steven Stamkos. [NHL dot com]
February 12, 2012 - Downie strikes twice
Steve Downie set the Bolts record for fastest two goals by a single player. Downie scored on Penguins goalie Brent Johnson twice in 11 second to set the franchise record.
The Bolts’ penalty kill has bitten them a few too many times this season. What’s gone wrong? [Tampa Bay Times]
Sure, the Lightning is missing one of its best penalty killers in Ondrej Palat, a key two-way forward who is out 6-8 weeks with a lower body injury. But this isn’t about personnel, especially when you consider the penalty kill was supposed to be getting a boost this season with a healthy Ryan Callahan and the acquisition of shot-blocking specialist Dan Girardi.
"At the end of the day, we've got to capitalize on those 5-on-3s. Those are so big. When the other team kills them, it's such an emotional swing the other way. Our special teams wasn't where it needed to be, and we lose a game by one goal."#TBLvsBUF | Ryan Callahan: pic.twitter.com/XZufuUhs0O— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 14, 2018
It’s time to look ahead to which Tampa Bay Lightning prospects will be heading for a deep playoff run and who’s going to get an early summer. [Raw Charge]
Barring a big losing streak by the Steelheads (8th), or 67’s (7th), and a win streak in Peterborough, the Petes are destined to miss the playoffs [Don’t underestimate my Steelheads, Seldo. - Hardev]. Paquette is heading into his overage season with the Petes and hasn’t made the impact necessary to wow people. In my opinion after this season he’ll be back in the OHL unsigned unless Tampa waves it’s “No Paquettes” rule and allows more than one to sign him.
How much do you know about 2016 fourth-round pick Ross Colton? It’s probably not very much. Here’s a very interesting piece on him by the University of Vermont’s school newspaper. [The Vermont Cynic]
In his first-year year, Colton netted 12 goals and added 15 assists. This year, he has already surpassed his goal tally with 14, as well as six assists. “It’s a confidence thing. I came in last year being a freshman,” Colton said. “You don’t want to say too much, and overstep your boundaries.”
It took seven-rounds for the Syracuse Crunch or the Utica Comets in the shootout to break a 2-2 tie but Jamie McBain eventually did it! I am also linking the box score because it reveals some crazy shenanigans in the second period. [Syracuse Crunch] [Box Score via theAHL.com]
The Crunch scored on their first two shots of the game, but the Comets came back to force overtime and an eventual shootout. Crunch goaltender Eddie Pasquale stopped 33-of-35 shots and all seven skaters in the shootout victory to help advance Syracuse to 29-17-2-3 on the season. The team now sits at 4-5-0-0 in the 12-game season series against Utica.
The Crunch went undefeated this week and new face Eddie Pasquale was a big part of it. [NHL dot com]
Goaltender Eddie Pasquale earned his first two wins as a member of the Crunch in Week 19. He appeared in all three games, once in relief of Connor Ingram, and made his first two starts for the Crunch. He stopped 55 of the 59 shots he faced, a .932 save percentage.
Women’s hockey is growing in Florida and it’s starting with the kids. [Tampa Bay Times]
“It’s a dream of mine,” the fourth grader from South Tampa said of playing for Team USA. It is a newly-formed dream. Felicity is playing her first year of ice hockey and it was not until November that she met Team USA’s women’s Olympic hockey team that based its pre-Olympic training at the Florida Hospital Center Ice facility off Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel.
In a division where the third and fourth place teams are separated by 19 points, it’s hard to believe that there is a team in the Atlantic who is not in a playoff spot but will plan to be buyers at the trade deadline. But if it’s going to be anyone, of course it’s this one. An Atlantic trade deadline preview: [ESPN]
Deadline game plan: The Bruins and Oilers have been scouting each other, leading NBC Sports’ Joe Haggerty to believe that a trade could be brewing that would send Patrick Maroon to the B’s. Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s former GM, would certainly have some knowledge of the Bruins’ prospect pool. Maroon would come cheaper than the Rangers’ Rick Nash, whom the New York Post says is on the Bruins’ radar.
The United States’ game against Canada came down to the wire, but the dastardly northerners came away with a 2-1 victory. “Final shots are 45-23 for the Americans, final score 2-1. Canada wins group A.”
Spooner gets a hold of the puck in Canada’s zone and does her Natalie Spooner thing which involves heading all the way in, around the US net. She throws the puck out front to Haley Irwin, who puts it in. The call on the ice is goal but it’s reviewed for a kicking motion. Cassie Campbell-Pascall believes it’s a redirection. The ruling is a kick, so the score stays 2-1.
Highlight of the Night: Frederik Andersen steals a goal away from Boone Jenner in the third period of a close game.