Even at the age of 30, players in the NHL are still growing. For Alex Killorn, this is in terms of developing his voice and presence on the team where he’s spent his entire career. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been through a tough nine months, but Killorn has been one of the players who has stepped up his effort to be part the solution, rather than throw in the towel and coast to a trade elsewhere.
In the room, Killorn has found his voice and has become a real leader on the team. At practice Jon Cooper explained the change from last year to this year and how being a leader in the locker room has turned into confidence on the ice.
On Killorn: “His leadership this year has been exceptional. I think he’s really taken a step to the forefront to be a little bit more vocal with our team. I think that’s carried onto the ice. He’s just a more confident player.”— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 16, 2019
Practice day | Jon Cooper: pic.twitter.com/fcwCc1vPjI
On the ice, Killorn has seen his usage on the ice jump from the third line up to the top-line and has produced with 26 points in 31 games, fourth on the team behind only the Big Three of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman. This level of point scoring is not likely to last as Killorn has the team’s highest PDO (loosely defined as luck) with a high on ice shooting percentage and save percentage.
However, those points are still count and have been very valuable to a team that took a while before they got their feet moving. Even if Killorn slows down as the season goes down, he’s taken up the slack from his teammates, which will only help them round into form and support him.
Anthony Cirelli has also had an outstanding start to the season and he had some really nice things to say about Killer at practice.
Oh, and that Cirelli guy? He’s not that bad himself.
CIRELLI, CIRELLLLIIIIIIII!— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 18, 2019
- Here is the recap from Tampa Bay’s 4-3 OT win over the Ottawa Senators. Cirelli’s goal was enormous and Kucherov was bench for almost half the game. Lots to cover! [Raw Charge]
- Also from that game, Thomas Chabot played almost two full periods on his own, a feat that has only been bested once before in the NHL. [Sportsnet]
Thomas Chabot played 37:43 tonight. According to the @hockey_ref Play Index, only Dennis Wideman's 38:05 on Jan. 18, 2014 is higher in a regular-season game.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 18, 2019
- However, this wasn’t his first time playing an obscene amount of time on the ice. Check out Lauren’s thread from his time in the World Juniors (a best-on-best tournament where Canada has one of the best defense corps) Chabot played almost 44 minutes!
According to the IIHF game log, Thomas Chabot played 43:53 in the gold medal game of the 2017 World Juniors.— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 18, 2019
I'd say he's used to being run into the ground. https://t.co/LAX5r0yLjp
- Mitchell Stephens is on the Lightning yo-yo of call ups. Where he will land, no one knows! I hope it’s the NHL. He’s been great. [Raw Charge]
- On the Syracuse Crunch side of things, Gemel Smith is coming into his own and running the show. [Raw Charge]
- Justin mentioned the injury Luke Witkowski suffered to his right leg in a game against the Charlotte Checkers. He’s expected to be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks.
Update on Luke: out 4-6 weeks with lower body injury— Syracuse Hockey (@syrhockey) December 17, 2019
- On tuesday, Tony Deynzer, the equipment manager for the then ECHL Colorado Eagles (now in the AHL) has issued Akim Aliu an apology for his humiliation and use of blackface in a Halloween prank back in 2011. [ESPN]
“Listening to Akim was both emotional and inspirational and a very moving moment in my career,” Eagles owner Martin Lind said in a statement. “I let him know how sorry we were as an organization and how it in no way reflects our values. I was appreciative that Akim was willing to take my call and listen to what we had to say.”