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Lightning Round: An imperfect team learning to make it work

Cohesion has been a priority to start the season, and it’s coming along

Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Zach Bogosian #24, Corey Perry #10 and Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their 6-5 overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on November 28, 2022 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, that was fun, as most Sabres games are. [Raw Charge]

“On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning won a game that they probably shouldn’t have. Starting their three-game road trip against the Buffalo Sabres, the Bolts used three power play goals and a late two-goal rally to offset some early even strength struggles. Brandon Hagel scored the game-tying goal with 2:02 left in the game and Steve Stamkos won it 2:44 into overtime to give the Lightning the 6-5 victory.”

Quarter mark reviews from ESPN. The Lightning get a B- for being right on pace with point projections and an identity crisis to start the year. Things are going well now, though. [ESPN]

“Some things don’t change for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point all hit a point-per-game pace in the first month to drive Tampa Bay’s top-10 offense following its slow start. Depth scoring has been on display, too, from Brandon Hagel and Nicholas Paul, and the Lightning’s bottom-six forwards have been contributing.”

Hagel with Point and Kucherov has been a sigh of relief offensively that the team desperately needed, but Stamkos is still driving the boat at 5v5 from the second line. Erik Erlendsson has the numbers.

Yanni Yanni Yanni! Gourde Gourde Gourde!

Alex has an update on the Syracuse Crunch’s goaltending injuries, and the emergence of Darren Raddysh. It’s worth a listen!

American Jason Robertson is the front-runner for the Rocket Richard trophy this year, and maybe even the Hart as he leads the NHL in goals and second in points at the moment, battling McDavid for top spot. Nikita Kucherov has the assists crown at the moment. Robertson is the first star of the week in the NHL, and will probably be first star of the month, too. [NHL dot com]

“Robertson topped the NHL with six goals in four contests (6-2-8) to move into first place in the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race and guide the Central Division-leading Stars (12-6-4, 28 points) to a 1-1-2 week. He scored twice, including the tying goal with 25.8 seconds remaining in regulation, in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche Nov. 21. Robertson potted two more goals in a 6-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks Nov. 23. He then recorded 2-1-3, highlighted by two goals in the final 2:12 of regulation to force overtime, in a 5-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 25.”

Bill Zonnon has idolized PK Subban since he was 5 years old, now at 16 he’s turning heads in the QMJHL after getting drafted sixth overall in the QMJHL draft and earning rookie of the month to start the season. [NHL dot com]

“On the offensive side, his IQ is very high, and he has very good hands, a good release, also,” Rouyn-Noranda coach Brad Yetman said. “He definitely brings a lot to the table. He’s a good shooter and just as good as a passer.”

“Zonnon (6-foot-2, 179 pounds) said he’s surprised, but not surprised by his early season success after playing U.S. prep school hockey at Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York, where he had 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 75 games from 2020-22.”

Wayne Simmonds of the Leafs invited Isaiah Meyer-Crothers to Toronto for his 21st birthday, spending an evening with the former star and staying to take in the Leafs vs Red Wings game last night. An incredible gesture. If you have some tissues available, Isaiah and Wayne’s moms had a lovely conversation in the replies.

Tell me, do you bleed?

The Avalanche needed something, so they signed Alex Galchenyuk.

This was going into last night, but it was a fun random stat I wanted to share.