Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning were down two-thirds of their first line as well as their second-line center and two defenders, but still managed to squeak out a victory against the Edmonton Oilers, 3-1. Lightning depth has really shone in these past few games, with the game-winning goal scored by none other than Patrick Maroon, former Oiler, and another goal scored by the newly monkey free Yanni Gourde. Brayden Point passed the puck to Cedric Paquette for the empty netter at the game’s end.
Matt recapped it here. [Raw Charge]
For as much as we here at Raw Charge groan at Luke Schenn being in the lineup, he probably had his best game of the season tonight. A lot of talk will be on his hits (which two put him out of position defensively), but the real talk should be on focused on how disciplined he was in his own end. His gap control was fantastic, his stick checking was smart, and he boxed out the Oilers from the front of the net very well compared to previous games this season.
My three stars of the night...— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) February 14, 2020
Also hat tip to Cameron Gaunce for playing at forward and picking up an assist. Played 9:13 filling in up front.
#tblightning beat Oilers 3-1 for ninth straight victory. Could get second 10-game streak on Saturday vs Philly. No Stamkos, Kucherov, Cirelli or Rutta and McDonagh. Obviously no McDavid for Edmonton. Vasilevskiy is 18-0-2 in last 20 starts. Incredible— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 14, 2020
But that wasn’t the story of the game — this was. Imagine being so bad at hockey that your role on the Edmonton Oilers is to do something like this:
Here is the full video of Zack Kassian kicking Erik Cernak after taking him down to the ice. Exactly one month (1/13/20) after his two game suspension on Tkachuk @NHLPlayerSafety pic.twitter.com/jBR4IRWK85— NHL Player Safety Mod (@NHLSafetyMod) February 14, 2020
The general consensus among non-Oilers-fan Twitterati is that applying a sharp blade to the center of someone’s chest, protector or not, is Not Good.
#tblightning Erik Cernak on Oilers Kassian kicking him in chest with skate: “I think he was a little bit mad. I asked him what was wrong with him? Because that’s not the right play, what to do on the ice. He didn’t say nothing. So I don’t know. Lucky it wasn’t higher.”— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 14, 2020
Zach Kassian: “The code!”— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) February 14, 2020
Also Zach Kassian: “The code?”
Now, according to The Code, does a Lightning player get to kick Kassian with their Ginsu blade boots? Is that how this works?— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 14, 2020
What do you guys reckon will happen? Kassian came off of a suspension exactly a month ago. Will Player Safety respond, despite no call on the ice?
What will Player Safety do about Kassian?
This poll is closed
Issue a fine
Give a suspension for three or fewer games
Give a suspension for four or more games
What SHOULD Player Safety do about Kassian?
Other Hockey News
The Hockey Writers highlighted a few interesting prospects in the TBL system: Lightning Prospects With High Impact Potential [The Hockey Writers]
The only reason for not bringing Barre-Boulet up to the playoff roster would be if the Bolts want to take another year to work on his strength. Still, his scoring in 2018-19 with the Syracuse Crunch, 34 goals and 34 assists led the American Hockey League. Signed as an unrestricted free agent, the Lightning can afford to be patient with him. His future is solid gold.
Pro Hockey Rumors delved into Tampa’s needs at the trade deadline. Trade Deadline Primer: Tampa Bay Lightning [Pro Hockey Rumors]
Defensive Depth: To be honest, this would even be a real need for the Lightning had Jan Rutta and Ryan McDonagh both not suffered injuries recently. The Lightning don’t even really need to add anything at the deadline after going 23-4-2 over the last two months. But if they want to go deep in the playoffs this year they might do well to add an expiring contract on the back end just to give them a security blanket in case of future injuries. You can bet the team is keeping an eye on a player like Sami Vatanen and waiting to see how the market shakes out at the deadline.
...And The Hockey News also broadcast a video podcast about the trade deadline. [THN]
The Lightning have a plus-42 goal differential since Dec. 23 (84-42).
And if anyone’s been following the Syracuse Crunch Miracle on Ice night, here’s more news. [Syracuse.com]
The Crunch will wear specialty jerseys that replicate the white jerseys worn by Team USA in the medal round game against the Soviet Union. The jerseys feature blue shoulders with white stars along with blue and red stripes on the arms and around the bottom of the sweater. Instead of “USA,” the jersey will have “SYR” in blue with a red outline diagonally across the chest.