There are eight games left in the season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The approach for the rest of the season is pretty much the same as it has been for the last couple of weeks or so, work on fundamentals, stay healthy, and execute the game plan. Since there is nothing new to add in that department, here are a few random ways the number eight pops up in Lightning history.
On a Jersey
I’ll always associate it with a young Vincent Lecavalier who wore it during his first season with the Lightning since Cory Cross was wearing the number 4 when Vinny arrived. It’s bounced around a bit since then with Mark Barberio wearing it last in the 2014-15 season. Favorite name to wear it - Herb Raglan, who wore it for two games in 1992-93.
The number adorned the back of one Hall of Famer, Mark Recchi, who wore it for 62 games in 2008-09. The 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists) he recorded is the most a player has put up in a season wearing the number and tied with Todd Warriner for the most in a career while sporting it.
Eleven players have scored exactly eight goals in the Lightning career. Ross Colton is the only current member of the team that is sitting on that number and chances are he moves off of it sometime soon, after all it’s been a few games since the noted sniper has put one in the back of the net. The Elite Eight are: Matt Pettinger, Colton, Benoit Pouliot, Jonathan Marchessault, Richard Panik, Jussi Jokinen, Doug Crossman, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrej Meszaros, Kurtis Foster, and Nikita Nesterov.
There are four skaters with exactly eight games played under their belts. Alex Barré-Boulet will soon depart as he is scheduled to play his ninth game. That will leave just Zach Bogosian, Jock Callander, and Shayne Stevenson.
Nine players have scored their first NHL goal in their eighth game with the Lightning. ABB is the most recent, but his teammate Mitchell Stephens also scored in game numero ocho. Perhaps you’ll recognize Dr. Lexi Brown’s husband, J.T., as another one. Sami Helenius has a son named Samuel who is going to be drafted this summer. Maybe he can match his dad’s feat of scoring in the eighth game of his career. Brent Gretzky only scored one goal in the NHL. Do you want to guess which career game it came in? Hint, it’s the same one that KHL terror Evgeni Artyukhin, James Wright, and Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe scored in.
Remember how I said it was nine players? Well, Mr. Lecavalier also scored in his eighth career game, bringing this all back around.
Olaf Kolzig is the only goaltender to appear in exactly eight games for the Lightning. He went 2-4-1 during his brief tenure in 2008-09 before being traded to Toronto in the greatest salary shed deal in the history of the NHL. Well, one of them at least.
There are only ten players that have eight total career points while in a Lightning uniform. None of them are current (although Mitchell Stephens could soon join them as he has seven points over his two seasons so far). Brian Lee and Yves Racine are true givers as they have eight assists with no goals. The other eight players are Mike Hartman, Mattias Rittola, Brenden Morrow, Grant Ledyard, Matthew Barnaby, Michael Kostka, Donald Defresne, and Tim Wallach.
There are no goaltenders with exactly eight wins and only two that had eight losses: Mike McKenna and Louis Domingue. John Grahme did have eight career shutouts in a Bolts uniform. Andrei Vasilevskiy had eight shutouts in the 2017-18 season, which is a franchise record.
Captains and Coaches
This is the eighth season Steven Stamkos has been captain of the Lightning. I guess technically it’s the 7 1/2 since he took over for Marty St. Louis after the trade deadline in 2014, but for our purposes it’s the eighth. That makes him the longest serving captain in franchise history.
Jon Cooper is the eighth full-time coach in the history of the Lightning. His 54 playoffs wins is more than all of the other coaches combined. Granted only three other coaches in Lightning history made it to the post season, but still, it’s pretty impressive.
The Lightning have drafted eighth overall twice in their history. Their first picked at the eight spot was in 1994 when they selected Jason Wiemer who would go on to play 726 games in the NHL. In 2000, they would have the eighth pick again and use it on Nikita Alexeev. He would only play in 144 games for the Bolts before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Karl Stewart and a sixth round pick they would use to draft Luke Witkowski.
In the course of their existence they drafted 16 players in the eighth round (that used to be a thing). Of those players only two made it to the NHL and they were both drafted in 2002 - Ryan Craig and Darren Reid.
That got a little out of hand. Thanks for indulging. On to the links!
Boris Katchouk is on a heater, and the Crunch can’t stop scoring goals
Hardev recaps Syracuse’s last week of hockey and it’s chock full of goals. This offense has come a long way since the beginning of the season.
Highlight! Alex Barré scores his first goal
After a few games with a ton of close calls, the rookie finally finds the back of the net. Hopefully, it’s the first of many for the young forward.
NBC Out/ TNT in (Subscription required)
The NHL finally settled it’s “B” T.V. deal. Along with Disney/ESPN it will be TNT broadcasting games for the league over the next seven seasons. The league reportedly agreed to a 7-year, $225 million deal with Turner Sports. In exchange for all of that sweet T.V. money, Turner Sports will broadcast three Stanley Cup Finals and several regular season games throughout the season. They also will have the Winter Classic.
Coupled with the ESPN deal, the league will be pulling in roughly $645 million in T.V. revenue, more than double what they are getting right now. It doesn’t appear it will help boost the cap, but it will help offset some of the financial losses the league has sustained over the past year.
Veteran forward David Backes considering retirement
After 15 seasons in the NHL, the veteran winger is contemplating hanging up the skates after this season. It’s been a rough year for the former St. Louis Blue as he’s only seen action in 14 games and has cleared waivers twice.
There is no contemplation for Andrew Shaw. The two-time Stanley Cup winner announced that his career is over after ten seasons. The cumulative effect of multiple concussions throughout his career have finally caught up with him and he was advised to stop playing before things became worse.
There are going to be some openings behind the bench in the NHL this offseason (possibly including Montreal). Could Patrick Roy be eyeing a return to the league? It seems a distinct possibility as it was announced that he has a new agent.