Quick Strikes: The Lightning beat the Predators 5-1 behind two goals from Adam Erne

The Bolts get their first win of the preseason.

The Bolts

The Lightning secured their first win of the preseason last night. After losing back to back games to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bolts beat the Nashville Predators 5-1. Adam Erne scored twice with Boris Katchouk, Andy Andreoff, and Dominik Masin picking up the other goals. Masin’s was an empty netter.

Kevin Lynch suffered an injury early in the game. He fell awkwardly into the boards and needed to be helped off the ice. He didn’t return to the game.

After getting dominated twice against Carolina, a win was a welcome outcome. Even though the preseason is more about development and individual player performance, winning is always better than losing.

Mathieu Joseph didn’t score but continued to make an impact. Of all the players trying to make the team for the first time, he’s been the most noticeable so far this preseason.

Matt laid out how the depth on the blue line looks heading into the season. Most of the roster spots are claimed but he sees some opportunity for young players to take the next step this season.

It’s possible Tampa Bay looks to rest Girardi and Coburn during the season which provides Koekkoek with more ice time and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. If there is a drop off between Koekkoek and Girardi or Coburn, it would be a small one. He provides a more offensive presence than either of them and is still one of the better skating defensemen the team has.

Foote, Cernak, or Masin getting callups during the season for spot duty wouldn’t be a surprise either. Cernak and Foote appear to be the prime candidates for this, but Masin could still sneak in a few starts. This wouldn’t hamper Syracuse’s season and would provide some NHL experience for all three—not a bad approach with veterans filling in the bottom portion of the defensive corps.

The Prospects

Mathieu Joseph continued his running training camp journal at The Athletic. He’s been one of the breakout players so far and is putting pressure on the rest of the forwards competing for a fourth-line spot.

I learned how hard it was to score last year in (AHL) Syracuse. You’ve got to go to the net. Goals are mostly scored on power plays, going to the net, and being able to create on the rush, but it’s mostly in the paint. You’ve got to go to the net. When you’re driving the net, you’re taking guys with you and it creates opportunities there. You’re driving the net and being intense around the crease, hungry for the puck.

The Game

The Detroit Red Wings announced that Mike Green is dealing with an illness and will miss some time. The way their head coach Jeff Blashill described it sounded concerning so hopefully it turns out to be a minor issue and Green will recover quickly.

Lots of players went on waivers yesterday. Most of this list could be made-up names and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Almost certainly none of them will be claimed.

Hoo boy, look at these puppies. Just beautiful.

In my extremely biased opinion, Ryan Stimson is one of the best people writing about hockey. All of his articles are must-read for me. Today at The Athletic, he looked at ways to get more from an expected goals model.

It makes sense that transition plays often lead to transition plays the other way. We’ve all seen this play out in real-time, so this gave me a good feeling about attacking this idea in this fashion. Nearly 10 percent of point shots result in a transition play the other way in 20 seconds, which makes sense when we see these shots blocked, missed, or fanned on that leads to a turnover. So, when you take a point shot, you’re getting a little less than about half of the risk of a full-on transition play the other way with about 12% of the value (original xG of 2.2 divided by Rush xG of 18.2).

It looks like Ryan’s next article is going to be on one-timers. This table shows which players generate the most one-timers. Two Lightning players top the chart. Nikita Kucherov is first and Ondrej Palat is second. The Kucherov number isn’t surprising. Especially after he spent last year teeing up Steven Stamkos. Palat is more surprising and adds another layer to what makes him such a special player.