Quick Strikes: Depleted Lightning roster leaves New Jersey with a win

A cobbled together lineup got the job done against the Devils.

The Bolts

With a slew on injuries and on the second night of a road back to back, the Lightning managed to steal a 7-6 overtime win in a wild game against the Devils. Check out the full recap for all the details and highlights.

Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak were out on defense while Jan Rutta and Luke Schenn were in. Up front, with Pat Maroon out of the line-up, it was Alexander Volkov skating on a line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov (not a bad way to debut). Anthony Cirelli was in the line-up but not 100%. The same could be said for Brayden Point.

However, to paraphrase the late great Fred Rogers, “It’s not so much what we have in this life game that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.” What did the Lightning do with what they had? Provide lots of offense for both sides.

It’s a pretty big anniversary for Steven Stamkos. Eleven years ago he scored his first NHL goal (originally credited to Vincent Lecavalier).  Hard to think it’s been 11 years since it happened. [Raw Charge]

“I knew it hit my stick from the beginning, and Vinny knew that, too. I had a little bit of butterflies when they announced Vinny was the goal-scorer. But he did a great thing and went over to the ref and told them I tipped it, that they should review it and correct it….It was a tremendous thrill for me.”

With so many players nursing so many injuries a call-up was inevitable. Lightning fans meet Alexander Volkov (hockey player nickname - Volky). [Raw Charge]

His counting numbers are solid if not spectacular. In 152 games with the Crunch he’s posted 96 points (46 goals, 50 assists) with a 17.9% shooting percentage. Eight of his goals have come on the power play while two were shorthanded. He’s played on the top line, the bottom line, and all lines in between while also killing penalties and setting up shop on the second power play unit for Coach Ben Groulx.

It took a few videos, but the Lightning finally made Cedric Paquette laugh [Tampa Bay Lightning Twitter]

Following Tuesday night’s loss to the Rangers, Joe Smith listed ten nuggets of note about the team. Most of them aren’t exactly great, but there is a lot of information to digest. Coach Cooper doesn’t explicitly say he doesn’t mind losing some games as long as there is progress, but he doesn’t not say it either.  [The Athletic - subscription required]

“In saying that, if there are games that get sacrificed for the cause because we’ve got to make sure we’re playing the right way, sometimes that has to happen. I like the way the guys have played and they’ve been competing hard. We’ve cleaned up some stuff in our defensive zone. When you start there and move your way out. … we haven’t scored as much as we like, but the old adage is it’s not what you put in the net, it’s what you keep out. It’s something we’re trying to work on.”

Joe mentioned it, but Diana Nearhos points it out as well - Andrei Vasilevskiy had a really good game against the Rangers, maybe his best of the season. [Tampa Bay Times]

What Vasilevskiy did do was make numerous highlight-reel saves. At this point, it might take a lot to make his personal highlight reel. This game, though, he didn’t just have a one-off great save. He made them consistently.

The Prospects

For a first year member of the organization Bolts Pup is generating a lot of social media buzz [Bolts Pup Twitter]

The Crunch are enjoying a week off before starting November with a three-in-three this weekend. Hear what Coach Groulx thinks about the schedule on the Crunch’s Weekly Report. [Syracuse Crunch Youtube]

Recent draft pick Nolan Foote will be wearing a letter on his jersey for Team WHL in the upcoming CIBC Canada Russia Series. [WHL.ca]

Earlier this month, the 18-year-old Foote was named the 25th captain in Rockets franchise history and leads the team in scoring with 16 points (7G-9A) through 11 games this season. Foote has 154 points (75G-79A) in 180 WHL regular season games.

Future teammate and fellow prospect will also wear a letter for Team QMHL in the same tournament. And yes, that is Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx’s son that will also be on the leadership team.  [QMJHL Twitter]

The Game

The KHL is providing player tracking data. Pretty sure this will be common in the NHL one day soon as well. [KHL Twitter]

The sport of hockey lost an icon yesterday. Former Maples Leafs general manager and long time league executive Jim Gregory passed away at the age of 83. [Sportsnet.ca]

“Jim was one of the great gentlemen of hockey. He was a friend to so many within the game — the Leafs, the league, the Hall of Fame and beyond,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement. “His friendships and contributions to hockey were so deeply rooted. He was a living, breathing piece of hockey history. He will be greatly missed.”

J.T. Miller is adjusting well in Vancouver. The former Lightning forward is leading the Vancouver Canucks in points. [The Hockey News]

Possession-wise, Miller has been spectacular. At all strengths, Miller sits first on the Canucks with a 70.95 Corsi-for percentage and is tied for third among Vancouver forwards with a 76.92 goals-for percentage. Miller’s points-per-60 sits at 3.78, blowing his 2.56 rate from last season out of the water – albeit, in a smaller sample size.

USA Hockey is taking a tough stance on racial/derogatory slurs. [Blue Shirt Banter]

“We continue to get reports of disturbing incidents of racial and other derogatory slurs, behavior which is reprehensible and has absolutely no place in our game, especially around our children. For reasons I cannot explain or understand, the current penalty in place does not seem to be enough of a deterrent to stop this type of conduct.”

The always interesting 31 Thoughts by Elliotte Friedman is light on Lightning news, but does have some solid thoughts on who might be on the move around the league (it’s never to early to think about the trade deadline). At the end is a story involving Saku Koivu and Craig Rivet that is...well, it’s something. We’ll leave you with one out of context line. [Sportsnet.ca]

“It was the most disgusting thing; it was humongous how deep it was.”