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Lightning Round: The quiet steadiness of Nick Perbix

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

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