-Alan has never been once to mince words, but even he pauses before describing something as “putrid,” I promise. However, the Lightning’s performance this past Sunday did the poor guy in.
Typically, my response to one bad game in October would be mostly to ignore it and that’s probably the right approach here. But that game was so awful, so atrocious, so spectacularly stinky, that it’s tough to write off. Sure, the team doesn’t need to be at their best right now. But they shouldn’t be THAT bad. Even a team’s worst showing shouldn’t drop them to that level. At least not a good team.
The one highpoint of the night was goalie Curtis McElhinney, who shined in such a way that even captain Steven Stamkos felt the need to give him his due.
“We rely on our goaltenders and they keep us in games and sometimes we find a way to win, but [last] night our goaltender was outstanding and I feel bad for him that he had that effort and we had the effort that we had.” #TBLvsCAR | Steven Stamkos: pic.twitter.com/WK6QMOBVIK— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 7, 2019
-Anthony Cirelli was mic’d up at Fan Fest, and the Lightning posted it yesterday.
-Tropicana Field got a bit of a random shoutout yesterday:
Random Trivia— Dan Marrazza (@DanMarrazza) October 7, 2019
Tropicana Field holds the NHL record (that’s right, NHL) for most people to ever attend a playoff game.
It housed the Lightning from 1993-96 and was called the Thunderdome, before the Rays existed.
28,183 saw Tampa Bay host the Flyers during the ‘96 playoffs. https://t.co/n2YjcGVjMI pic.twitter.com/PrhMJ9sJDW
-Syracuse Crunch fans got some great news yesterday: Injured forward Daniel Walcott looks almost ready to come back. Walcott has been battling various shoulder injuries since getting hurt during the Lightning’s 2018 preseason, and Crunch fans are eagerly awaiting his return to full health.
Walcott practiced in a regular jersey on Monday. There's a chance he could be available this weekend.— Syracuse Hockey (@syrhockey) October 7, 2019
Syracuse coach Ben Groulx was asked about Walcott’s first regular practice, and whether he might be ready for this weekend’s two-game set in Cleveland.
“It’s great news for us today. Daniel is wearing blue, and he had a good morning. So it’s good to see that,” Groulx said.
On a related note, there doesn’t seem to be any movement one way or another towards naming a new captain in Syracuse. Hmm...
The Solar Bears
-Tracey’s Solar Bears series continued yesterday, with her introducing us all to the 2019-20 Orlando Solar Bears (as it stood at the time of publication, anyway).
The Solar Bears will be looking to fill in some offense, as their top two scorers from last season—Mathieu Foget (trade) and Troy Bourke (Europe)—have moved on. Among those returning to the team are Chris LeBlanc, who put up 39 points in 61 games; Trevor Olson, who scored 16 goals in his first pro season; Brent Pedersen, who split time between Orlando and AHL Manitoba; and Dylan Fitze, who had 27 points in his rookie season.
-The Solar Bears did make some roster adjustments yesterday afternoon:
Forward Mathieu Foget has been traded to the Brampton Beast in exchange for future considerations.
Defenseman Kyle Thacker has been released from his tryout agreement.
-Michael Leighton was a Crunch player for about a month and a half a few seasons ago, but his illustrious career had many better milestones than just that short, unfortunate span. The goalie has decided to retire after 18 seasons of professional hockey.
Congratulations @TheAHL shutout king Michael Leighton on your career! Look at us relics this past season grinding in the Iron. Great memories battling against you on the ice as well as serving on @thephpa Exec together. Excited to see your next chapter! pic.twitter.com/E5S7tKXkC9— Mike McKenna (@MikeMcKenna56) October 7, 2019
Malkin suffered a soft tissue injury to his leg. Expected to be out at least a month.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 7, 2019
-Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is living the dream:
DYK? @MapleLeafs GM Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock talk hockey all day, every day.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 7, 2019
Listen to his Executive Suite podcast and subscribe here for more: https://t.co/0U57SF4WXJ pic.twitter.com/1wN7MLjiPh
-SportsNet put the focus on NHL referee Wes McCauley:
The players to watch list is Central Scouting’s compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe. The list is updated throughout the season while scouts travel to evaluate the players live.
-New Vegas Golden Knights color announcer Mike McKenna was on Puck Soup yesterday: