The Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans weren’t the only ones happy about clinching a playoff spot:
Consider this rumor finally dead (we hope):
Don Meehan on The Fan just squashed the long-standing rumour that Steven Stamkos turned down an ‘extraordinary’ offer (including endorsements, side deals, etc) from the Leafs.— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) March 19, 2018
The Syracuse Crunch had a perfect week last week, going 3-for-3 and earning six much-needed points. [Raw Charge]
The formula for all three games was similar: build an early lead, survive some bad penalties, and extend the lead for the win. Well, that was the case in two of the three games. Against Springfield, they forgot the “extend the lead” part and coughed up a two-goal lead instead. Still, they won in overtime and that’s all the really matters, right?
What’s different about this year’s playoff run for Syracuse? While last year’s was led by AHL veterans, this year’s is all Youth Movement. [Raw Charge]
These rookies may be young and inexperienced, but they’ve been involved in high level junior tournaments and playoffs in the junior level. They know what playing at a high level in their peer group is like. They know the pressure of playing for their country in the World Junior Championships. And they know how to win.
Speaking of the Youth Movement, news broke yesterday that 18 year old Alexei Lipanov will be joining the Crunch this week to practice. There’s certainly potential for him to suit up for a game or six, especially considering the state of the Crunch’s injured list. [Syracuse.com]
Forward Michael Bournival suffered what looked like a potentially troublesome lower body injury in Syracuse’s win over Laval on Saturday, and Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois had no update on him Monday morning. It also looks like defenseman Jamie McBain will be sidelined long-term. McBain has been out since March 2 and BriseBois termed him as week-to-week. He is not expected to be available this weekend. BriseBois said forward Dennis Yan and defenseman Reid McNeil and Erik Cernak remain day-to-day with injuries.
Highlights from the Crunch’s At Your Service dinner were posted on YouTube by the team, and there are certainly some gems hidden in the video. Among them: Forward Matthew Peca juggling rolls with a dexterity and perfection fans have come to expect from him, forward Kevin Lynch singing “Let It Go” with his young daughter, and front office member Vance Lederman getting a piggy back ride from one of the players (I think Cernak, but I could be wrong).
Goalie Connor Ingram should definitely not switch his career to professional bracket maker.
Women’s college hockey continues to garner positive attention. [USA Hockey]
This past weekend, the women’s college hockey world descended upon Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Women’s Frozen Four and the Patty Kazmaier Award Ceremony and Brunch. It was a chance to not only celebrate the continued success of women’s college hockey, it was chance to see the exciting future that is ahead for the sport.
In the troubled city of Flint, Michigan, their new youth hockey program has gotten off to a successful start. [Michigan Live]
The nine-week program teaches youngsters between the ages of 8 and 11 who live in Flint how to do everything from properly wearing equipment to skating and learning the fundamentals of the sport. It teaches them a sport they might not otherwise be exposed to.
The best part? It’s totally free. The players don’t pay a dime to participate. Phillips even arranged for MTA’s My Ride to provide rides to and from practices for players who couldn’t get there on their own.