After five seasons in the AHL, Carter Verhaeghe finally got his shot in the top league in the world with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last night, his 28th game of the season, Verhaeghe scored his first career hat trick in a 9-2 thumping of the Vancouver Canucks at home.
After having been a throwaway in two trades throughout the early part of his career, Verhaeghe found a home with the Syracuse Crunch. In his third and final minor league season before his NHL debut, Verhaeghe led the AHL in scoring, putting up 34 goals and 82 points in 76 games.
This hat trick is only the fourth rookie hat trick in Tampa Bay Lightning history. The only three other Tampa Bay Lightning rookies to have scored a hat trick are still, in fact, Verhaeghe’s teammates. In 2009, Steven Stamkos scored three in February against Chicago, his first of nine! Tyler Johnson scored his first of five hat tricks in January 2014 against Colorado. And Cedric Paquette put up three on five shots on the Detroit Red Wings in January 2015.
Not only was it a hat trick for the rookie, but Verhaeghe did his damage in a variety of ways scoring at even strength, on the power play, and on the penalty kill. All he missed was a fight and an assist to complete the Golden Sombrero. Among rookies Verhaeghe is the sixth all-time in NHL history to get a hat trick with goals in all three phases. Other recognizable names in this category are Matthew Lombardi in 2013 and Mark Jankowski in 2018.
Technically the Lightning scored 10 goals in this game, as Mitchell Stephens put the puck in the net from a feed from Verhaeghe, but there was a pending review from Toronto on a shot that bounced off the post from the stick of Verhaeghe. Turned out, Verhaeghe had scored a minute before he assisted Stephens on another goal. The clock was wound back and Stephens was tripped of a goal, while Verhaeghe got his first of three.
Quick aside, the league really needs a new policy on dealing with the clock. They’ve had issues with having to roll back time after reviews as well as getting the clock stopping and starting accurate. How do you screw up time?
Anyway, onto the links.
- Justin wrote about the game, remarking in the Raw Charge newsroom, “Quick Cap is just going to be a series of goal videos.” [Raw Charge]
- With the win and Toronto’s loss to Edmonton on Monday, the Lightning are now second in the Atlantic Division. Now only seven points back of the Boston Bruins with two games in hand.
- Alan covered the Last 10 Games of the Bolts, breaking down the team’s hottest stretch of the season. [Raw Charge]
- Alex Barre-Boulet gets the call to the All-Star Game! That and more in Crunch Corner. [Raw Charge]
- New Nashville Predators have a new coach, hiring recently-fired John Hynes, who has previously coached for the league-worst New Jersey Devils for the first portion of this season. [On the Forecheck] [On the Forecheck]
Asked Predators forward Kyle Turris what his relationship was like with Peter Laviolette. His answer, after a pause: “It’s a business.”— Paul Skrbina (@PaulSkrbina) January 7, 2020