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Lightning Round: has Nick Perbix done what Cal Foote couldn’t?

Someone had to step up on defense, and Perbix has.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Nick Perbix #48 congratulates Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning after he scored a third period goal to tie the game against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena during an NHL game on October 21, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Nick Perbix got his first career NHL point last night with an assist on defense partner Mikhail Sergachev’s goal. Partnered with Sergachev, Perbix has been in the Lightning’s top four for a couple games now and has been improving in every game he’s played.

There was always going to be an open spot as the #4 defender on this team. Cal Foote had first dibs at the spot but has once again shuffled himself back down the 6/7 position and was a scratch last night. Philippe Myers has also not stepped up in any way, leaving Perbix with this golden opportunity that he’s taking in stride.

A product of the NCAA, Perbix hasn’t spent much time in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, but as college hockey programs have been developing, seniors haven’t needed to catch up to the speed of the pro game as much as in the past. And for a big guy like Perbix who has the mobility and was a point per game with St. Cloud State, he’s been able to come in and take steps to improve his game while playing a regular NHL shift.

His first five games of the season haven’t been stellar by any means, but Perbix has more-or-less been above average on the Lightning in shot share or expected goals (these are relative stats), and last night was the second time he played a full game in the top four next to Sergachev.

As someone with good size, but also has an offensive mindset, Perbix has found himself useful in transition and in the offensive zone, whereas Foote has really struggled in those areas. For Foote, if his defensive game isn’t positive, there’s not much he can provide.

There’s still a long way to go for Perbix, and a lot can happen during this long season, but so far so good. And if he can keep creating scoring chances and laying hits like this one on Tkachuk, he’ll fit in just fine in Tampa.

Lightning Links

Here’s our recap from last night’s win over Anaheim. [Raw Charge]

Despite the Lightning having led for approximately 40 minutes in this game, they were ahead in shots 62-47 (57%), with expected goals a whopping 70% in their favor. The Lightning got to the front of the net with impunity and I think that made the Ducks losing the shots battle impossible to turn around.

Chicago traded a defender for a forward to Montreal. And then traded a forward for a defender with Philadelphia. Both of these trades are for AHLers, though I’m not sure what the point for either of them are. Maybe the front office was bored?

Maybe it was all for this, letting go of an AHL contracted player to Montreal for future considerations. Who knows.

The Arizona Coyotes can’t play in their college rink yet because it’s undergoing retrofitting so it’s not a complete joke they decided to play there (it still is). Unfortunately, they could only manage 20 of 24 games on the road to start the season, meaning they’re going to play a week of games shower curtains as locker rooms now before the retrofitting is done in December. As someone not from the south, do you feel bad for Arizona? Obviously I feel bad for their fans, I can’t believe those who are sticking around are doing so. But the team, do they get the benefit of the doubt here? Do you see this as an acceptable move for the league to allow?

Ottawa’s Josh Norris is out for the season. And with it their playoff hopes that never realistically existed.

A guy the Islanders kept as a scratch last year who put up some okay numbers is on waivers. I wonder if he’ll get claimed.

Some history in the ECHL! Coach Payne and Cincinnati won 2-1, for the record.

Spoiler: the “S” on the jersey stands for Salmon.

Is Chicago doing better? And beyond them, does the NHL finally have a Sexual Violence policy? This article answers the first question. As for the second, the answer is still no, they just make it up as they see is most convenient.

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