Much like the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Raw Charge staff is a bit weary. Long road trips with a lot of games to cover will do that. So let’s just get right to the news.
Lightning / NHL News:
Lightning beat Islanders, 4-1 [Raw Charge]
It was the kind of shift that you expect from this new third line with Ross Colton, Nick Paul, and Brandon Hagel. No one can replace the Gourde line, but they sure looked more like that group in this shift. They battled hard along the boards and forced a couple of turnovers too to keep the shift going. That culminated in a puck going back to the point for Sergachev. He quickly shot the puck looking for a rebound with both Colton and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare battling at the front. Colton was able to get free, gather the puck, and flick it into the back of the net. 3-1 Lightning.
There are signs, small ones, that the Lightning are getting back to their game a bit after a rough stretch. It also helps that the special teams are back to being special - three power play goals in the last two games.
Hedman scores milestone goal in win over Islanders [Tampa Bay Times]
With Ryan McDonagh out, it’s time for Big Vic to step up (once again). He did so in the win with his career-high 18th goal of the season.
Boston Pride roll to Isobel Cup Final [The Ice Garden]
The Pride’s power play generated three power play goals on the contest despite going just 4-for-71 in the regular season (5.6% success, by far the lowest in the PHF). They bested a Toronto Six penalty kill unit that allowed just four power play goals all year in 63 attempts- a 93.7% kill rate, tied for the best in the league.
Connecticut Whale advance to Isobel Cup Final [The Ice Garden]
That was it. All the scoring, all six goals in the game, came in the second period. Leveille finished with 31 saves and Abbie Ives finished with 24 stops. The Whale stifled and stymied the Whitecaps all afternoon long and especially in the third period when Minnesota was pressing for a goal.
Bergeron returns to play in his 1200th NHL game [Boston Hockey Now]
The 36-year-old became the 120th player in league history to hit that mark. Pretty darn impressive.
Mitch Marner is one of the best passers in the game [Pension Plan Puppets]
Marner hasn’t stopped being a player who is relied on and paid well primarily for his playmaking skills and his impact on shotshare overall. What you think of him is still all bound up in how much of Auston Matthews’ league-leading 1.3 ixG per 60 minutes at Even Strength you think is Mitch Marner’s creation. If the Leafs want to quiet some of the discontent around Marner, they’d likely be better off sticking to discussing the things he’s actually elite at, as we all saw in Sunday’s game against the Panthers.