First: Happy birthday to our captain, Steven Stamkos!
On Tuesday, Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning returned Michael Bournival back to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Playing in four games during his 15 days up with the club, Bournival averaged 9:21 minutes per game, had five shots, and did not record a point. No one has been called up to replace him, meaning the Lightning have an open roster spot for the time being. Trade? [NHL dot com]
#tblightning reassigned Michael Bournival to Syracuse. Wouldn't be surprised to see another Crunch forward called up, like an Adam Erne, etc.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 6, 2018
But the Lightning got fortunate, finding ways to outscore opponents even while leaning too heavily on No. 1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Stamkos said Tampa Bay got “exposed” by the Oilers and Connor McDavid in Monday’s 6-2 loss. The Lightning allowed seven odd-man rushes. It surrendered 30-plus shots for the 13th time in 14 games. McDavid had four goals, and could have had eight.
Alex Killorn has been heating up as of late. Here’s what he had to say about getting his groove back. [Tampa Bay Times]
After he went without a shot in three of the first four games on this road trip, Killorn sat down and watched some clips of his greatest goals. And what Killorn found was that, when he was at his best, he was scoring from around the hashmarks, using his 6-foot-1, 196 pound frame.
"We just have to be better at working together as a unit. We’ll go to the video. We’ll see what we have to do. We’ve been getting a couple wins here that maybe we haven’t deserved, so it’s a little bit of a reality check right now."#TBLvsEDM | Alex Killorn: pic.twitter.com/50JWqp10Pp— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2018
Don’t forget. 6pm.
Heads up, #Bolts fans! Our Vinny ceremony will begin at 6pm on Saturday before #LAKvsTBL, with puck drop at 7:50pm.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 6, 2018
All fans in attendance will receive a #VL4 mini-locker courtesy of @deximaging.
4️⃣: https://t.co/2i2jdse12d pic.twitter.com/ZvsxGj4pV8
@ElSeldo is back with another prospect update. Taylor Raddysh is on a revenge tour, Otto Somppi is now basically royalty, and Cal Foote is stepping up. Get it? He’s stepping. Like a foot(e). Too on the nose? [Hardev “Maalan” Lad. - Acha] [Raw Charge]
Taylor Raddysh put two past his old team in a four-point weekend, Chris Paquette sat around Peterborough hoping for a trip to Syracuse when the Petes season mercifully ends, and Alexey Lipanov pined for the cold dark winters of Russia during the Wolves’ limp towards the end of the OHL season.
Many Petes are remembered for their contributions on the ice, while others stand out for their impact in the community. Then, there are those like @TBLightning prospect and @SyracuseCrunch defenceman Matt Spencer, who played a big role in both.— Peterborough Petes (@PetesOHLhockey) February 6, 2018
STORY>> https://t.co/XUJDinChxr pic.twitter.com/LurSXZqq4H
C Otto Somppi, Halifax Mooseheads
Drafted 206th overall (7th Round) in 2016
Somppi registered two assists and was named Third Star in Friday’s 3-1 win over Acadie-Bathurst and continues to cruise through his season with 62 points in 43 games to lead his club.
This is a story all about how Eddie Pasquale’s life got twist turned upside-down. Now I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, and tell you how how I became the Prince of Bel Syracuse. [Syracuse]
Goalie Eddie Pasquale’s work commute on Thursday required a long day of travel, a journey so exhausting that he couldn’t remember exactly how it unfolded. It started around 3:30 a.m. and consisted of plane trips from Bakersfield, Calif., to Phoenix to Charlotte to the final destination of Syracuse.
New Syracuse Crunch goalie takes cross-country trip to latest challengehttps://t.co/3qVpQpzEbO— Syracuse Hockey (@syrhockey) February 6, 2018
Reid McNeill has been suspended one game for his late cross-check on Utica Comets defenseman Jaime Sifers on Friday night. [Utica Observer-Dispatch]
McNeill was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline). He will miss Syracuse’s game Friday vs. Hartford. It is the second time this season a Crunch player has been suspended because of their actions while playing against the Comets. Crunch forward Alex Gallant was suspended two games as part of an incident late in the third period of the Jan. 19 meeting between the teams.
The Syracuse Crunch did not have a great post-All-Star week, dropping two games in a row to Utica. [Syracuse Crunch]
Syracuse lost their first two games after the All-Star Break in Week 18, falling twice to the Utica Comets in a home-and-home series. The Crunch sank to 26-17-2-2 and fell to fourth in the North Division for the first time since Dec. 2. They still have a 14-point cushion for the final playoff spot over the Belleville Senators.
Down in the ECHL, the Adirondack Thunder won more games than they lost. Unfortunately, that loss was a 8-3 smacking by Manchester. [Raw Charge]
However, Manchester was not done scoring goals. In a span of 2:53 LaVallee-Smotherman would complete the hat trick and Matt Schmalz scored his 15th to make it a 8-3 Monarch lead. Fielding was the unfortunate victim in net, staying in for the full game and stopping 40 of 48 shots.
Blake me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar! pic.twitter.com/utW0jQFlAg— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 3, 2018
The Pittsburgh Penguins gave Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury a video tribute during the first TV-timeout in the game between the Penguins and Golden Knights.
The Pittsburgh faithful cheered from start to finish, and it took several seconds of game play for the crowd to eventually settle down (sort of). [Pensburgh]
As per tradition, at the first television timeout the Pittsburgh Penguins were going to show a “thank you” video to honor a returning player who helped them win a Stanley Cup. Happens every time the first time a champ returns to the ‘Burgh.
On the night the Vegas Golden Knights came to town, it’s a special one, as goalie Marc-Andre Fleury the Pens #1 overall pick in 2003 was back in Pittsburgh for the first time as an opponent. The video was expected to be good, and it did not disappoint.
Three-time Stanley Cup Champion.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 7, 2018
Two-time Penguins MVP.
One incredible goaltender and human being.
Thank you for everything, Flower. pic.twitter.com/sXSFwmmUeP
In less uplifting news, Alex Burrows is a rat. [SB Nation]
Burrows was given a two-minute minor for cross checking for the incident. On closer look, the damage could have been much worse for Hall as Burrows’ knee came crashing down on Hall’s head multiple times.
Highlight of the Night: The old hockey adage is: “Take a hit to make a play” but Markus Granlund may want to ease it back a little bit.