On Wednesday evening the NHL continued to announce finalists for their annual awards. This time it was the Jack Adams Trophy, which is awarding to the best coach of the regular season and the Calder Trophy, a prize given to the best rookie. Both categories have been left without presence of the Tampa Bay Lightning players or coaches this year, but Bolts fans might notice a familiar face between finalists.
Tortorella has already won twice this award, including once with the Lightning after winning the Stanley Cup in 2004. This year his team have reached the qualifying round despite multiple injuries to their players and departure their biggest stars Artemi Panarin and Sergey Bobrovsky during the 2019 offseason.
Bruce Cassidy has lead his team to the well-deserved Presidential Trophy. By the time the regular season had been paused, the Boston Bruins had an eight points lead on the second Bolts. Their goalies, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, have also clinched the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the league (167).
The last finalist is Alain Vigneault, under his coaching the Philadelphia Flyers have made playoffs after missing it last year and made a big jump in the second half of the season, despite being in out of playoffs by the Christmas. Vigneault has already won this award in 2006-07 with the Vancouver Canucks and has been nominated five times as a finalists.
If Hughes and Makar have been a pretty obvious choices, the Canucks rookie led NHL rookies in points (53) and assists (45) and the Avalanche youngster led rookie defensemen in goals (12), the nomination of Dominik Kubalik wasn’t very clear as many analysts have been leaning into the direction of the New York Rangers rookie Adam Fox who was probably the best rookie of the season according to advances metrics.
The winners for both categories will be announced during the Conference finals.
Other News and Notes
Another day at the office for Matt who’s providing us with details and news from the Tampa Bay Lightning practices [Raw Charge]
However, given the COVID-19 pandemic that has rocked the United States, everything is severely altered. Before any of these players know it, they’ll be thrust into a playoff atmosphere and there won’t be any time to “wake up”. If they’re not ready, they’re toast. “It’s gonna be interesting,” said Ryan McDonagh when asked how the increase in intensity at practice will affect the team moving forward, “You don’t have many games to get ramped up [for the playoffs].”
This time it was Ondrej Palat who appeared on a Zoom conference.
Palat on the camp practices: "I felt good and I think the tempo and energy was pretty good, too... Every player has to compete hard and when we go and battle against each other, we have to make it hard on ourselves to simulate the game and get our energy back." pic.twitter.com/v2ka6txTWK— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 16, 2020
Geo looked at possibilities of some NCAA players jumping to the AHL [Raw Charge]
With the delays, or possibility of cancellation, of seasons at the NCAA level, it got me wondering what players might decide to do. There’s already been speculation that with the unknowns and possibly delayed start to the AHL season, that some veterans may decide to go to Europe or Russia to play professional hockey instead. So could NCAA players make the same kind of decision to leave school and play in the AHL? Players will have to weigh this option against the possibility of missing a year of development if NCAA hockey ends up canceled while professional hockey continues.
Mikhail Shalagin is coming back to Russia. A seventh round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has signed a one-year two-way contract with HC Spartak from the KHL. Last season he spent with the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL and scored 10 (7+3) points on 41 games.
Михаил Шалагин вернулся в «Спартак», заключив двусторонний контракт сроком на 1 сезон. После сезона 18/19 он решил отправиться за океан. В прошлом году 20-летний форвард подписал контракт с @TBLightning, но провёл сезон в @ECHL, набрав в 41 матче 10 (7+3) очков. pic.twitter.com/ByeNSoxsuu— Spartak Moscow (@spartak_hc) July 15, 2020
The Lightning officially confirmed schedule for exhibition game against the Florida Panthers and two round robin games against the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins, the time for the game against the Flyers is still to be announced.
Jack Han of the Coaches Site on why the Tampa Bay Lightning is one of the best defensive teams in the league
"Talent and structure are the two main ingredients, but the binding agent for both is their Tao: a way of playing which produces excellence."@JhanHky with a look at what makes @TBLightning one of the best defensive teams in the NHL.https://t.co/vGA0RbARsI— The Coaches Site (@TheCoachesSite) July 15, 2020
Oscar Lindblom, who missed the majority of the regular season due to recovering from Ewing’s sarcoma, opens up about his disease [Sports Illustrated]
It had been more than six months since Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and began a grueling chemotherapy regimen that would test his resolve in ways that he’d never faced on the ice. Then 30 games into his third NHL season, Lindblom was tied for the Flyers lead with 11 goals and skating 17:37 a night, an encouragingly strong start in a contract year that came to an abruptly jarring halt. “One day, I played hockey,” Lindblom says. “The next, I got cancer.” And yet, through all of the physical pain and mental fatigue that he would endure before he could ring the bell—not to mention a major surgery, a minor setback, and a global pandemic—Oskar never once grouched. “He left with the same smile that he had on when he walked in,” Simeral says.