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Lightning Round: How did the Lightning’s best players fair in EA Sports NHL23 Rankings?

There were some familiar names among the top 10

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t picked up a game controller of any sort since I broke the one against a wall in 2009. So, I’m not an expert when it comes to video games and these rankings mean pretty much nothing to me. I also realize that I’ve aged out of the demographic so what I think pretty much means nothing to the powers that be at EA Sports. Besides, video player rankings are always one of those things that gets people fired up for about 48 hours online.

It also seems that the players themselves, though they might deny it, keep an eye on these things and likely poke fun at each other in the locker room about it. Not all of the player rankings were released on Thursday, just the top ten by position along with some skills.

So, how did the Lightning’s top players fair? Overall, not too bad.

Top Ten Goaltenders

EA Sports

Well, I guess that solves the Vasy vs. Igor debate, right? Vasilevskiy is the highest rated Tampa Bay Lightning player in the game this year.

Top Ten Centers

Provided by EA Sports

I can’t really argue about this list. It’s nice to see The Captain represented. Hopefully, with a healthy season we’ll see Brayden Point back on this list next year. Stamkos also finished third in slapshot power and seventh in wrist shot power.

Top Ten Right Wings

EA Sports

Kuch is right there at the top. With a full 82-game season I believe he can take over the top spot next season. He also placed third in deking and ninth in wristshot power.

Top Ten Left Defense

EA Sports

We can take this as a win as well since Big Vic is tied with Roman Josi for the top rating. Not surprisingly, no one on the right side of the Lightning defense made the top ten and Cal Makar was the top-rated defenseman overall with a 94 rating. Hedman finished just ahead of Stamkos in slapshot power with a second overall rating of 94 (Alex Ovechkin was tops at 96).

If or when we get the ratings for the entire roster we will post them here. Go forth and argue in the comments.

Lightning / NHL News

2022 Top 25 Under 25 - #7 Jack Thompson [Raw Charge]

Another right-side defenseman cracks the top ten in our countdown. Can Thompson show the offensive potential that made him an intriguing draft pick now that he’s in the pros? We hope so.

The first line combinations of the season are out. Honestly, not much different then what I would have put together. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Vlad Namestnikov and Nick Paul switch spots or for Ross Colton to see some time in the middle of the ice. Coach Cooper has a lot of flexibility amongst his forwards and will likely put that to use.

As Lightning begin training camp practices, opportunities abound [Tampa Bay Times]

As Coach Cooper said, “we’ve still got a lot of regulars back there that played a ton of minutes in important games for us, and we’ve got some guys that are now going to have to step into bigger roles.”

Czech government tells NHL that Russian players unwanted in Prague [ESPN NHL]

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are scheduled to play Global Series games in Prague on October 7th and 8th. While not outright banning Russian players, the Czech Foreign Ministry has made it clear that they aren’t welcome. For the Sharks that means Alexander Barabanov and possibly Evgeny Svechikov might not play while Yakov Trenin and maybe Iaroslav Askarov could be left off the roster.

As of right now league officials are downplaying the announcement and Sharks GM Mike Grier stated, “We are a team. Either we all play, or we don’t play.”

Buffalo Sabres extend general manager Kevyn Adams [Die by the Blade]

While he hasn’t seen the on-ice success yet, Adams’ plan for rebuilding the Sabres has earned him a little bit of a longer leash. Despite the extension, the young players he’s brought into the organization have to start producing this season or he won’t see the end of his new contract.