Last night, in a match between our modestly awesome Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the top line of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point garnered a lot of praise for an excellent defensive play that led to an excellent goal. We have mentioned it in the QuickCap of the 4-2 win [over here], but let us look at it again:
This is so good from Kucherov. Effort level matches smarts; no need to haul ass down the ice with even #’s, pick up the trailer, close the passing lane and get your other two world class linemates out in transition. Deserves 2 assists @JoeSmithTB @Erik_Erlendsson pic.twitter.com/JnfmYf0jhv— Tom Lang (@_TomLang) February 7, 2020
Both Stamkos and Kucherov extend their respective scoring streaks to nine games, and that was the 25th of the season for Stamkos pic.twitter.com/oQzsWw3tS9— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) February 7, 2020
He consistently backchecks in every game. This isn't a new development for 86. Anyone who has paid attention since he was called up all those years ago knows. Some just choose to forget. https://t.co/S5mxRswrnq— Matthew Esteves (@mattestevesSBN) February 7, 2020
The Lightning are up 20-5 with the Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Steven Stamkos line out there at 5v5 in ~150 minutes in 2020— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 7, 2020
lol good luck
Friend of the site Eugene Helfrick of The Hockey Writers would like us all to consider an interesting possibility: should the Tampa Bay Lightning sell high on Alex Killorn while he’s having a career season? His rationale is this:
With an incoming cap-crunch, being able to move on from Killorn’s contract sooner rather than later could be a big win for the Lightning, especially if they can bring back a premium prospect or a first-round draft pick in the process. If given the option, the cap-crunched Lightning should seriously consider selling high on Killorn, but only in the 2020 offseason. The last thing this team should do is part ways with a red-hot veteran forward at the deadline who has proven playoff experience.
What do you guys think?
Should the Tampa Bay Lightning move Killorn’s contract this summer?
This poll is closed
Yes, the cap crunch is coming
No, he’s affordable and hitting his stride
Here’s a little more news.
Bless NHL.com for their use of +/- to identify bad defenders, but their suggestion that JBB should chase down Dylan DeMelo is an interesting one: Capitals, Lightning may seek defenseman prior to NHL Trade Deadline [NHL.com]
Erik Cernak and Braydon Coburn, each minus-3, are the only Lightning defensemen with a minus 5-on-5 shot attempts differential. This should not cause panic for Tampa Bay, but could present the opportunity to add another right-shot defenseman, such as Dylan DeMelo of the Ottawa Senators.
Neat tidbit that I hadn’t learned until I was now years old: Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov celebrates 500 games in NHL [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]
Though Kucherov has played fewer games than the other big names, he is scoring at a higher rate. His average 1.05 points per game is the best in franchise history, barely ahead of Stamkos’ 1.03.
At this point I think we would all be fine if Vasy won the playoff MVP instead of the Vezina: Lightning’s Vasilevskiy Chasing Vezina Trophy Repeat [The Hockey Writers]
Cooper must find that delicate balance of razor edge competitiveness and the proper amount of rest for his team down the stretch. Winning the Stanley Cup is the only thing the Lightning are missing to validate their recent legacy and Cooper is set to chase that goal wisely this season. Vasilevskiy echoed that sentiment after receiving the Vezina Trophy last year: “My main goal is still the Stanley Cup. Of course, the Vezina, it’s good too,” he said. “I’m very happy to get it. But my main goal is the Stanley Cup, for sure.”
And definitely worth a listen for an in-depth perspective on the system, we have Alex’s Syracuse Speaks: A Raw Charge podcast - episode 21 [Raw Charge]
This week, Alex is her usual permanently exhausted self who is spillin’ the tea on fan opinions regarding the Syracuse Crunch. Spoiler alert: They aren’t the most positive in the world. She also takes a look at the month ahead, including a peak at Syracuse’s Miracle on Ice night and their Pride Night.