The Crunch have three games back-to-back-to-back this weekend and they have three goaltenders. So the math works out pretty well. Budaj will most likely play in one of those games just to make sure all the kinks are worked out before he catches a flight (hopefully) back to the sun and fun of Tampa. It’s when he leaves that the numbers don’t quite work out for the Lightning and the Crunch. They’ll simply have too many healthy goaltenders.
This is Vasy’s first NHL season as the bone-fide starting goalie. Has it all been too much for the youngster? [Tampa Bay Times]
Vasilevskiy said Wednesday that fatigue has affected his play. He has given up 68 goals in his past 21 starts, an average of 3.23 per game, after allowing 64 in his first 33 (1.93). Though how the team has played in front of him has a big part in that different.
Vasilevskiy: “When you play 20-plus games, you think, ‘Oh I’m good, I can play 60+. But now when I’m on 50+, it’s like,— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) March 7, 2018
‘That’s tough.” https://t.co/AWyLYelbpw
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers won’t see each other for the rest of the regular season. Is there a chance we will see the Battle of Florida in the playoffs for the first time ever? [Sun Sentinal]
“Oh God, you know what, I’ll take anybody right now at this point,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “We’ve got to battle to get in. If it ever did happen, it’s a tough draw for anybody, but I think we love playing against those guys.”
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper has said McDonagh won’t be returning until the weekend at the absolute earliest. This means, if everything goes exactly according to plan, Ryan McDonagh could potentially make his return on Saturday afternoon as the Bolts take on another Atlantic Division rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
"The games aren't always pretty, but some pretty hot teams have come in here and the guys have found a way to come out on top and it says something about the group."— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 7, 2018
Practice day | Jon Cooper: pic.twitter.com/XrMP0KlD9Z
The Syracuse Crunch met 11-year-old Connor who is battling cancer right now and learned about the “Beads of Courage” program.
Some INCREDIBLE people in this story. @maureenshope @SyracuseCrunch @UpstateGolisano - all coming together to help kids like Connor realize the world is thinking about them. Have a team you think could get involved? Tweet me! pic.twitter.com/t4koV7Uod8— Sydney Chalifoux (@SydneyChalifoux) March 7, 2018
We’re excited to participate in the Carry A Bead Program with @beadsofcourage today.— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) March 7, 2018
This is the third consecutive year we’ve partnered with @maureenshope to help children coping with serious illnesses. #BeadStrong pic.twitter.com/nB4oJ8Y28i
Dennis Yan has slowly worked his way from being known as an ECHL guy to an AHLer, he just needs to keep the consistancy going. [Auburn Pub]
Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes Yan has the tools, but needs to use them each and every game. “I like the skills. I like the size. He’s got to bring it together every day,” Groulx said. “He’s not consistent at doing that. When he does that, he’s a very good player. When he does not, he’s a different player.”
The Lightning have added a shiney new prospect to their prospect roundup roster. [NHL dot com]
Signed on March 1, Alex Barré-Boulet leads the QMJHL in scoring with 109 points in 60 games. His previous career high in points was 89 in 2015-16 while playing for Drummondville. He also leads the Q in goals (51), assists (58), power-play goals (19), and game-winning goals (14).
A deeper dive into the Lightning’s top four prospects. [The Hockey Writers]
When Anthony Cirelli made his surprise NHL debut on Mar. 1, he did more than fill in for an injured Nikita Kucherov. Cirelli had one of the best debuts in Lightning history, putting up a goal and an assist in roughly eight minutes of ice time. During his time with the Lightning, he has looked more than capable against some of the top players in the league.
Reaction from national reporters tweeting about the shakeup seems to confirm whispers from within the building that Francis and Dundon were not necessarily on the same page. Dundon spoke repeatedly and at length about his admiration for Peters’ job as coach, but whenver the topic of Francis came up, while Dundon offered support for the job Francis has done it always seemed to be less than a full-throated endorsement.
The inside story of the 'Canes change is that the owner wants to deal directly with the coaches and the players...and have a figure head GM. Dundon wants to do it like Mark Cuban runs the NBA Mavericks.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 8, 2018
Quotes from Owner Tom Dundon [NHL dot com]
“Since I took control of the team, I’ve had a good chance to be around and assess the operations. There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions.
Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role.”
Amanda — the better — Kessel has ruined everything. [Pensburgh]
On Wednesday, Amanda Kessel, member of the United States women’s ice hockey team who won gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics held a Q&A on Twitter and was asked about her brother’s love of the all American delicacy.
Phil Kessel— Nick Burt (@nickburt13) June 12, 2017
Loves the game.
Loves a Toronto hot dog. pic.twitter.com/uHO3935QAm
The decision was announced by the league Wednesday, a day after Backes knocked Nielsen from Boston’s 6-5 overtime victory. Nielsen had already unloaded the puck when Backes drove his shoulder into the Red Wings forward, who fell to the ice, left the game and did not return.
Highlight of the Night: a 3-on-5 power play breakaway. You don’t see that everyday. [Reddit]