Because the Tampa Bay Lightning played their last game without two defensemen, they have been given two emergency exemptions for tonight’s game (and the next one until those players are healthy) against the Anaheim Ducks. This means the Bolts can call up two defensemen from the AHL or Taxi Squad (which is the AHL for all intents and purposes) without those players having a cap hit for that day. Once the regulars on defense are back, the Lightning will give up each emergency exemption, so no cap loophole happening here.
As of right now, the Lightning have Andrej Sustr and Fredrik Claesson on the Taxi Squad ready to go tonight if Jan Rutta or Erik Cernak can’t. Zach Bogosian is out for a few more weeks so he’s not really an option. Winger-turned-defenseman-turned-winger Daniel Walcott is also available, but I think he’ll be there as a forward unless things go very wrong.
The @TBLightning have recalled defenseman Fredrik Claesson from the #SyrCrunch to the taxi squad.— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) January 20, 2022
The Lightning have also reassigned goaltender Amir Miftakhov from the Crunch to @OrlandoHockey.https://t.co/B5hXovSkhr
Personally, I would sit the injured players for just one more game and have them ready for Saturday, the second half of the back-to-back. That way, the team can put in some spares and keep everyone a little more fresh. Plus an extra day to heal wounds always helps.
Tonight will also be Corey Perry’s return to Anaheim for the first time since leaving the Ducks in 2019 after 14 seasons with the team. Perry did play 57 games for the Dallas Stars in 2019-20, but they didn’t get a chance to play in Anaheim before the pandemic. He obviously didn’t play them with Montreal in the North Division, so this meeting with Tampa Bay will be his first game back. It might also be his last game back, should he retire after helping the Lightning with the three-peat, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
With Corey Perry playing against @AnaheimDucks for first time on Friday, a bunch of teammates + coaches shared their favorite colorful stories of his Anaheim days - from ‘last call’ to final-minute heroics https://t.co/T1iBhVEbnd— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) January 20, 2022
If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ve heard of Wordle. A daily word game that’s taken over the social media website. Well, if you like Wordle, then you’ll love “Gordle,” a daily word quiz that contains only hockey player names. I got yesterday’s word: “GERBE” can you get today’s?
A Puck Soup listener has built a playable online version of Gordle: https://t.co/WNvt7QqAIQ— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) January 20, 2022
The folks over in Edmonton are certainly trying their best.
How do you play this game???? pic.twitter.com/6yN0mqmZ51— Ken Holland (@FakeOilersGM) January 21, 2022
Speaking of the Oilers, they lost to the Florida Panthers 6-0 in front of their home fans, extending a streak of only three wins in their last 16 games since the start of December. Only the Montreal Canadiens (two wins) have been worse. Woof, the Habs suck.
6-0....— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 21, 2022
Two jerseys just tossed on ice...
And a third one...
Finnish superstar Noora Räty — the best goalie in the world — is not going to the Olympics because of a years-long feud with Finland’s national team head coach, Pasi Mustonen. Story below.
Goaltender Noora Räty was left off Team Finland’s women’s Olympic team due to a personal dispute with head coach Pasi Mustonen. pic.twitter.com/sC9pW9TU3l— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) January 20, 2022
Context on Noora Räty being left off of Finland's Olympic team https://t.co/5bJ0xFBv1i— Stacey Abrams for Conn Smythe: A Hockey Podcast (@saucyrockets) January 20, 2022
And finally, here is Bob McKenzie’s mid-season 2022 NHL Draft rankings. Have a look at the names and find someone in the late first round you like, because the Bolts have their first round pick and then nothing until the fifth round this summer. 32nd overall is big center Adam Ingram, so I guess we like him. [TSN]
“Shane Wright’s game has been, to varying degrees, viewed as underwhelming, especially when weighed against the high expectations coming into the 2021-22 season. High expectations, one should add, that Wright created for himself by his outstanding play prior to this season.”