Lightning Round: The quiet steadiness of Nick Perbix
The Lightning’s best rookie just doesn’t get rattled
A quick question for you. What part of Nick Perbix’s game stands out to you the most?
It’s kind of a hard question to answer, right? He doesn’t have the effortless skating of Victor Hedman, or the shifty moves of Mikhail Sergachev. His shot doesn’t boom off of the stick like Zack Bogosian, nor does he play with the physical edge that Erik Cernak brings to the game. To me, it’s the quiet effectiveness of his game that sets him apart. While nothing he does draws attention, everything he does seems to work.
Brian Engblom pointed out a trait he noticed in the 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks last night where Perbix recorded three assists. There is no hesitation in Perbix’s game. He doesn’t overthink a play. He makes the read and executes the play. For example the pass he made to Anthony Cirelli was absolutely sublime. Had he hesitated a second, this play probably doesn’t work.
His head is up the whole way and he’s selling Lukas Dostol on the shot. There isn’t a lot of space to thread the pass through, yet it’s right on the tape and in a position for Cirelli to make a move.
He now has 14 assists and 18 points on the season. That ties him with Drew Bannister for 7th all-time in points by a rookie Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen. It’s unlikely he catches Mikhail Sergachev’s 40 points, but he can make a run for second place. The points are nice, but the fact that he’s leading regular defensemen on the team with 27.49 scoring chances against per 60 minutes is even more impressive.
Perbix had a whirlwind season last year going from college, to the Olympics, to the AHL. He had a chance to make the Lightning roster this year, but the club went with experience to begin the season, but then he was called up 10 days into the season and since then hasn’t given the team a reason to send him back to Syracuse. In fact, they liked his play so much that they signed him to an extension.
The right side of the defense was a little bit of a question heading into the season with Zach Bogosian injured and Jan Rutta in Pittsburgh. Perbix has answered that question and provided the consistency that the Lightning didn’t see from Cal Foote. It won’t be surprising to see his minutes increase as the season heads to its conclusion.
Lightning / NHL News
Lightning beat Ducks, 6-1 [Raw Charge]
The Lightning took care of business on Tuesday night, scoring 4 times in the second period to blow open a close game.
Tampa Bay Lightning Trade Preview: Wants [Raw Charge]
Hardev looks at some of the players the Lightning might be thinking of bringing in at the deadline.
Greatest Tampa sports injustices [Tampa Bay Times]
With Ronde Barber going to the hall of fame, Jon Cooper never winning a Jack Adams has moved to the top of the list.
In celebration of Black History Night, we’re taking a look back at the first all-Black line in the @NHL and catching up with the guys who made it happen. pic.twitter.com/tN5sESXw44— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 22, 2023
Third Party Brokers, haggling over rates, and a rising trend in trades [The Athletic]
Otherwise known as “weaponizing cap space” this is a nice look at how teams jump in to help cap-strapped teams afford deals at the deadline. It’s a cost-effective way to pick up an extra draft pick or a lower-level prospect.
How concussion protocol failed Cale Makar [Daily Face-Off]
On February 7th Cale Makar took a shot to the head from Jeff Carter. Two weeks later he is now suffering from delayed concussion symptoms after another hit from Alexei Toropchenko in a game on February 18th. In both instances he cleared in-game concussion protocols. That seems less than ideal.
St. Louis Blues in the running for Timo Meier [TSN]
It seems the Blues are playing both sides of the trade game. After shuttling out a couple of over 30 players, it appears they may be interested in taking the most popular name off of the table in Timo Meier as they try to retool on the fly.
NHL Top Wingers [ESPN]
Nikita Kucherov checks in at the second spot behind David Pastrnak.
“Kucherov creates so much room for himself to make others better,” one veteran skater said.
The Lightning winger actually had more first-place votes (seven) than Pastrnak did. However, Kucherov was left off of two ballots completely by two current NHL players.
Helping players acquired at deadline fit in [NHL]
For a lot of players, getting traded at the deadline may be the first time they have switched organizations. Adjusting to a new city and a new hockey system can be tough for even the best players.