The Lightning returned to the ice last night and picked up a 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Islanders behind a stellar game from Andrei Vasilevskiy. Both goaltenders were excellent but Vasy won the day.
The Lightning opened a weekend back-to-back with a 1-0 road victory over the New York Islanders. The goalies stole the show tonight, keeping the game scoreless all the way to the shootout. Victor Hedman was the only player on either team to find the net, finally giving the Lightning the win in the first round of the shootout.
The game was even in terms of shots and expected goals for most of the night. Neither team ever established dominance and both had plenty of chances during regulation. But this game was all about Thomas Greiss and Andrei Vasilevskiy, with Vasy coming out ahead at the very end.
NHL Network put out a list of the top ten active players who’ve spent at least ten years with the same team. A weird idea for a list? Yes. But if they’re going to make a list, they should at least make a decent list. They didn’t. They left off Steven Stamkos who by any measure, deserves to be on that list. For kicks, I’ll cite WAR where he would rank 8th.
The Crunch also won last night but were more convincing than the Lightning putting up a 4-0 shutout over the Utica Comets.
Connor Ingram made 21 saves between the pipes for the Syracuse Crunch in a 4-0 shutout win over the Utica Comets tonight at the War Memorial Arena. Carter Verhaeghe paced the Crunch with a goal and two assists on the night, while Nolan Valleauand Andy Andreoff recorded a goal and an assist each. The win moves Syracuse to 26-13-2-1 on the season and 3-4 in the 12-game Galaxy Cup series against Utica.
Carter Verhaeghe scored last night improving on his already great season. Justin wrote yesterday about how good he’s been since joining Syracuse.
Verhaeghe’s scoring hasn’t slowed down despite the fact that he’s kind of bounced around the line-up a bit. So far this season he’s spent some time on Andy Andreoff’s line as well as with Gabriel Dumont. But he’s also lined up next to Brady Brassart and has recently taken a few shifts at center. After starting-and playing most of the season-on the top power play unit, he’s been shuffled to the second unit in recent games in order to balance out the scoring a bit.
No matter where he plays, he still puts up points.
The Solar Bears brought in an extra forward yesterday adding Manny Gialedakis to bolster their depth.
The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that the club has signed rookie forward Manny Gialedakis to a Standard Player Contract.
Gialedakis, 26, returns for his second stint with Orlando in his pro career, after joining the Solar Bears for one game last spring on an Amateur Try-Out. In 16 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season, Gialedakis has tallied three assists and 17 penalty minutes. He has also skated in two games for the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League, recording two penalty minutes.
Pittsburgh receives: Nick Bjugstad, Jared McCann
Florida receivers: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, 2nd round pick 2019, two 4th round picks 2019 (PIT and MIN)
It’s been long rumored that Derick Brassard was on the way out, and here he goes. Along with Riley Sheahan who hasn’t had the best of seasons and a couple of draft picks over to the Panthers.
The Penguins bring back Nick Bjugstad - a player they’ve wanted since he was picked in the 2010 draft just before their selection (they settled for their next choice, Beau Bennett). Bjugstad is a hulking player but one who has found a home on the right wing as of late, which makes his addition questionable as to what the Pens think about his future. Bjugstad is signed for this year and two more at $4.1 million cap hit.
The Panthers made more news when immediately after the trade, multiple reports surfaced that they are going to be aggressive in trying to acquire pending free agents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky away from the Columbus Blue Jackets. I had some thoughts on what that would mean for the Battle of Florida.
One of the most fun things about rooting for sports teams is rivalries. The state of Florida knows all about that. The collegiate rivalry between University of Florida and Florida State University draws eyeballs in multiple sports. Fans from both sides make the trip to the other’s campus several times each year. No matter how each team is performing, those games are always marquee matchups that the fans can look forward to every season.
That’s what we need for the Lightning and Panthers. The teams are close enough to drive between the arenas. A playoff series would see fans of both teams flood the opposition’s barn. But we can’t get that if their competitive windows don’t align. And during this stretch of success for the Lightning, that hasn’t happened.
Over at Mile High Hockey, Hardev wrote about buyers and sellers around the Western Conference as we approach the NHL trade deadline at the end of the month.
Edmoney shouldn’t be trying to sell futures and buy players for a playoff run. They still need to jump five teams at this point in the season in order to reach a wild card spot. Nevertheless, Keith Gretzky, Bob Nicholson, and the 80’s Oilers are determined to buy players at a time when players are in high demand (and therefore, their cost is higher) for a futile playoff “push.” But anything to sell box suites this summer, right?
Things seem to be deteriorating a bit in Columbus. Not only do two of their best players appear to be on the way out but head coach John Tortorella seems to be losing patience with his team. On Thursday, he benched Anthony Duclair after one 24 second shift.
“The meetings we had today about some of the things we needed to do, if you’re not ready to play you’re not going to play,” Tortorella told Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch.
Tyson Jost just can’t catch a break. Just as it looked like he was starting to find his game with the Colorado Eagles in the AHL, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told the media Jost has sustained an injury and will be on the shelf for a while.
Jost was expected to be called up for the game against Vancouver tomorrow - to the point that his equipment was in his usual locker at the Pepsi Center today - but now the timeline for his return to the NHL is in question.