Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
As backup goalie Evgeni Nabokov cleared waivers Monday, the Lightning started moving on without its veteran presence.
“It’s a somber feeling right now,” goalie Ben Bishop said after Monday’s practice at Amalie Arena....
Nabokov, 39, hasn’t yet announced whether he intends to retire or pursue other playing options now that he’s cleared waivers. He’s three games shy of reaching the 700-game milestone in the NHL.
“You dread things like that ever having to happen…” coach Jon Cooper said. “Sometimes the reality that this is a business comes out. It’s an extremely tough situation.”
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
“This isn’t a one-year investment. It’s long term with (Jonathan),” Cooper said. “It’s a different game than what he came from in junior. But he’s gotten better and better and better. It’s clear when you watch the games now. There’s more command of the puck. He doesn’t rush plays anymore. He knows he has a little more time.”
“The comfort level is way higher,” Drouin said. “Just confidence-wise, system-wise, I think I’m playing a little bit better.”
“It’s definitely not easy,” Stamkos said. “You’re that go-to guy in junior and you come in here and you’re not necessarily given anything right away. It’s tough to put up the same kind of numbers and have the same kind of expectations.”
On to the second half of Drouin’s first NHL season. He has shown star flashes, that stick work, a move or two that faked defenders out of their skates, some pretty assists to set up goals. There are moments with Drouin when we wonder “How’d he do that?” There are more moments when we ask when he’s going to do more.
Did you remember that Jonathan Drouin doesn’t turn 20 until March?
Everyone wants things to happen right away.
Life doesn’t usually work that way. No matter how fast you skate.
The future of Steven Stamkos has become a hot topic as he approaches unrestricted free agency in 2016.
And during the media session for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Friday, Tampa Bay Lightning forward gave one of his strongest indications to date that he's leaning towards staying with the team that drafted him in 2008.
"Yeah I think that's exactly what the plan is," Stamkos told reporters. "Obviously, July 1 you can announce a deal and something hopefully similar to what (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews did, sometime after July 1. It's a long ways away. I'm not really focused on that. We haven't really talked about that at all.
“I want to be the team with the puck, and when you have the puck, it’s hard to hit guys. I don’t see physical teams or teams taking runs at us as an issue at all. This league is not about running guys anymore. And the word heavy — that’s the word of the day in the NHL, heavy and light. Our guys play hard. I’m more worried about our special teams, honestly, then about playing heavy teams.’’
-Steve Yzerman, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune has more from Yzerman regarding the Bolts season.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced that defenseman Matt Carle will undergo surgery to repair torn adductor muscles in his lower abdomen on Tuesday. The procedure will be performed in Philadelphia by Dr. William Meyers. Carle is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Perception is a strange thing. Dallas forward Tyler Seguin has 26 goals and people say he’s been on fire. Same with Rangers’ winger Rick Nash. Tampa captain Steve Stamkos has 25 goals and people say “slow start.”
That’s the cross you bear when you’re 24 and you’ve had a 51 and 60-goal season. The bar is set considerably higher for Stamkos, who has four goals in his last three games, than anybody else in the NHL, save for maybe Alex Ovechkin who has had a “slow start” with his 22 goals, but is an eye-popping plus 10 under new coach Barry Trotz after being minus 35 last year for Adam Oates in Washington.
Stamkos has only had five multi-goal outings in the first 45 Tampa games, so people have questioned if his hands have gone a little cold. In one eight-game stretch from Dec. 11 through Dec. 27 he only scored in two games. But, the longest he’s gone without a goal is three games. Mere mortals would die for, uh, those troubles. Oiler winger Jordan Eberle, who has the best hands on that team, has had a five, seven and nine-game drought this season.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
While center Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman won't play tonight in Boston due to lower-body injuries suffered Monday night, the Lightning is encouraged to know that both key players aren't expected to be out for the long-term.
Coach Jon Cooper said this morning that Johnson and Hedman could return sometime before next weekend's All-Star break. Johnson is considered closer, at day-to-day, with Hedman a little behind, at "dayish," Cooper said.
"They were freak things," Cooper said. "They weren't dirty plays, they weren't anything like that. It was the grind of the season, getting caught in the wrong place, wrong time. It sucks."
continue for more on the Lightning...
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Riding high on a wave of momentum, the Lightning crashed back down into a reality check on Monday night.
Tampa Bay allowed five goals in the second period, three on the power play, en route to a 7-3 thumping by the Flyers in front of an announced crowd of 19,958 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Lightning had won three consecutive games and seven of eight coming in. Tampa Bay also saw its six-game winning streak against Philadelphia come to an end
The Lightning also lost top defenseman Victor Hedman and leading scorer Tyler Johnson to undisclosed lower-body injuries. Hedman did not return after the first period and Johnson left midway through the second period.
With Tampa Bay playing tonight in Boston, the Lightning likely will have to look to the minors to fill out their lineup.
“There is a chance that both guys may not play (tonight). There is a good chance of that,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.
continue for more on the game...
via Joe Smith tweets,
#tblightning announced Radko Gudas will be out four months following knee surgery
Cooper on Gudas; "To take a guy who is pretty heavy on the back end, plays with a lot of grit, especially off our team, it's a big hole"
added 1:16pm, more on the injury from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
via Bryan Burns of TampaBayLightning.com.
Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday in Tampa.
A determination following surgery will be made on how long Gudas will be out of the Lightning lineup.
Gudas, 24, returned to Tampa on Sunday prior to the Lightning’s 4-2 victory in Ottawa. He is schedule to receive further examination after missing training sessions Friday and Saturday and three-straight games.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
I wanted to quickly blog that defenseman Keith Ballard talked today for the first time since he sustained three facial fractures and a concussion Dec. 9 against the Islanders.
Ballard, 32, the Baudette native and former two-time Gophers national champ, is still experiencing symptoms and has done nothing other than taking walks since the injury. He admits that he’s not sure if he’ll ever play again. He said he’s going to let this play out before determining if he’ll return.
Ballard said during his last concussion that he’s worried about his future and wants to make sure he’s healthy in his post-hockey career as a husband and dad to two children.
He said that again today.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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