Captain Steven Stamkkos addresses injury concerns


"Obviously because I’m not scoring, people will think that you are injured. But that’s not the case, I feel great,’’ Stamkos said. "Obviously everybody plays with bumps and bruises at this time of the year. And if I had a couple of goals no one would be asking me if I was injured. I’m not hurt.’’

From the Tampa Tribune: Steven Stamkos denies he’s playing hurt for struggling Bolts



"I know they’re going to work at shooting the puck more. That’s where their aggressiveness comes from, where they can assert themselves and take the steering wheel. It’s something they didn’t do [Tuesday] night and I think it cost them in a lot of situations. I think that’s probably their biggest focus… And just be a little more assertive. I think they’ll bounce back from the atmosphere and not being able to take control [in game 3]."

Lightning play-by-play man Rick Peckham in an interview with Sports Talk Florida



"It’s not my first time I’ve been scratched, so you watch what’s going on on the ice from up top and try to make sure you’re ready when your name’s called,"

Jonathan Drouin, who may be scratched again for game 2 this afternoon.

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on Tyler Johnson


"For a little pip-squeak who was never drafted, he turned himself into an unbelievable player."

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock on Lightning center Tyler Johnson. Babcock knew Johnson in Spokane, Washington, Johnson's hometown.

"Die by the Blade" on Vasya starting


We've seen the Sabres struggle against starters while punishing backups over the past few weeks - can they take advantage of the inexperienced 20-year old?

Die by the Blade in their game day preview for tonight's match with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for the Bolts.



[...] Wang still owns the Islanders, and in fact will remain the majority owner for the next two years. He has new minority partners who will transfer to majority owners (with Wang still having a stake). So, the entire roster was acquired or at least retained (Nielsen) under his control. But obviously there is the promise of additional revenue sources now.

Dominik from Lighthouse Hockey commenting / correcting the preview in comments

Nabby wants to face the Isles


"Absolutely,’’ he said when asked if he wants to play on Tuesday. "But the coaches will decide what they want to do. It’s not up to me, it’s up to them. And whatever the team needs, whatever (the coach) thinks is the right decision at that moment, that is what he is going to do.’’

In a game day update from Erik Erlendsson (which is worth a read for news on Victor Hedman, Ondrej Palat and more), Nabokov references his next opportunity to possibly face his former team -- early next week in Uniondale.

Asst. GM Julien BriseBois remarks on Richard Panik waiver claim


Although we didn't have confirmation ahead of time that Richard would be claimed, we knew that he would be an appealing player on the waiver wire. His age, skill set and contract made all the more appealing to some teams.

Julien BriseBois, in a remark during a live web chat at this afternoon

Stamkos comment on the Playoffs


"It's tough to get to these playoffs," Stamkos said. "We can't take that for granted. We had to put that in perspective a little bit for everyone in this room, ourselves included. We have to start acting like we're here and we're here for a reason."

Steven Stamkos, remarking on a team meeting after Friday's loss | Tampa Bay Times (paywall watch)

Jon Cooper's bold, gut prediction on Stamkos' return from his broken leg


"I don't think the question is going to be, 'Is he coming back to play this year for the Tampa Bay Lightning?' The question is, 'Is he going to be back (in February) to play for the Canadian Olympic team?' I'm the optimistic coach, but that's how it might turn out."

Originally published in the Tampa Bay Times, the bold predication on Stamkos is exceedingly optimistic. But is it realistic? Recovery time for broken tibia's can rage from 3 - 6 months... If Stamkos, who will not have played in 3 months, makes a return for the Olympics, odds are he'd be a reservist. The worst case scenario is Stamkos returning in May - which could provide a spark if the Bolts are in the playoffs at that time.