Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Martin Fennelly of The Tampa Tribune,
The first shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, nine minutes into the game, got past him. Not really his fault. The fourth shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, eight seconds into the second period, that beat him, too. Not really his fault. The third one, on the 12th shot, the game-winner, he has to stop. Bad goal.
I’m not saying Ben Bishop lost Game 1 for the Lightning.
But he didn’t win it, either.
He had a lot of company in that regard as his team dropped Game 1 to the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2 at Amalie Arena.
Where was That Line, Johnson, Kucherov and Palat? Where was Steve Stamkos? Where was the power play? Where were the Lightning with all those chances?
But you can’t get around the fact that at one point in the third period, the Red Wings had taken 12 shots on Bishop, and three of them had gone in. That’s one out of four.
Reminds us of when John Tortorella lambasted keeper John Grahame after Grahame allowed four goals on 17 shots against Ottawa in an ’06 playoff game, saying he was tired of “the 25 percent rule.”
The bottom line is that the Red Wings gave up 46 shots, more than they did in any game this season, and took only 14, the fewest they’d taken all season — and they won.
added 8:28am, from Tom Jones of The Tampa Bay Times,
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
MCDONALD: What do you say to those critics who think the Lightning don't have enough players with postseason experience to make a deep run?
STAMKOS: Well, anything can happen when you get into the playoffs. That's the beauty of the sport and we've seen that over the years. Every team's goal is to get into the playoffs because they know you get a hot goaltender, you get a couple of bounces your way, your special teams get hot and anything can happen. I think, for a lot of us and the young nucleus that we have, a lot of these guys came up and played with each other in the American Hockey League, won a championship down there, so it's not like it's foreign territory for them. We have a great mix of youth and veteran guys, so this is probably the best team that I've played on in my career with regards to the depth we have, the skill set and speed. We saw it a couple of years ago when no one was thinking we would make it to the conference finals, one game from beating the Stanley Cup champions that year, so we kind of have that mentality heading in. We embrace flying under the radar a little bit.
via the NHL YouTube channel,
NHL Network Analyst Kevin Weekes learns the fascinating story behind Head Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- If Tampa Bay follows Chicago’s lead, Steven Stamkos will sign an eight-year extension in less than three months. On July 9, 2014, the summer before the final seasons of their deals, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed identical eight-year, $84 million extensions. Stamkos, who has one year remaining on his current deal, will use both contracts as benchmarks. It’s arguable that the center is even more valuable to his team than Toews and Kane are to the Blackhawks. From that perspective, Stamkos should earn at least $11 million per season, even with the cap correction because of the Canadian exchange rate.
- Ottawa will have some serious work to do this summer. Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Alex Chiasson will be restricted free agents. Of the group, Zibanejad, Stone, and Hoffman project to be top-six fixtures. All will require raises. The Senators have decent cap space, partly because of the smart money they invested in Kyle Turris. On Aug. 29, 2012, Ottawa re-upped Turris to a five-year, $17.5 million extension. It was an excellent move. Ottawa’s No. 1 center is playing like he’s worth double his $3.5 million average annual value. Even smarter than the extension: the price the Senators paid to acquire Turris from the Coyotes. On Dec. 17, 2011, Ottawa landed Turris for David Rundblad and a 2012 second-round pick.
many more hockey topics...
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
What to give the man who has everything? How about a VIP pass to the 2015 Masters golf tournament. That’s what former Senators head coach Rick Bowness, associate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was presented by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman. This, on the occasion of Bowness’s 2,000th game behind an NHL bench, on Feb. 7.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Bowness said Thursday. “This is a life-long dream. I’ve always wanted to take my boys to Augusta, St. Andrew’s and Pebble Beach. The other two are public. This was going to be the challenge.”
Yzerman got the tip on what Bowness might wish for, from Bowness’ wife, Judy. Bowness isn’t just going to championship Sunday at the Masters – he and his sons, Ryan and Rick Jr., will be taken to Augusta, Georgia in the private jet of Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and returned by jet to Tampa afterward.
Bowness said Yzerman acquired the VIP passes by making “a couple of calls.”
Not your usual coach-talk...
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is on set with Hockey Central at Noon to talk about the battle for the lead in the Eastern Conference.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning blueline was delivered another big blow Monday as veteran defenseman Jason Garrison will be out 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury, coach Jon Cooper said this morning.
Garrison, who suffered the injury early in Saturday's game, had gone back to Tampa to get re-evaluated Sunday. That means Garrison could miss the first round of the playoffs.
But that's not all.
Cooper said All-Star center Tyler Johnson is out tonight - and is day-to-day - with an upper body injury, defenseman Andrej Sustr is out 1-2 weeks with an upper body injury. The most amazing thing is that center Cedric Paquette, who looked to suffer a serious left leg injury Saturday, skated in today's practice and is a game-time decision.
Every team deals with injuries, but this is just awful timing for Tampa Bay, which enters tonight's showdown in Montreal just three points behind the Canadiens for the Atlantic Division lead.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Tampa Bay will be in the playoffs. The biggest question that remains is how far it can go once it gets there.
In one word: deep.
This team is noticeably better — and more playoff-ready — than the one that got swept in the first round by the Canadiens last April.
"It's night and day," coach Jon Cooper.
The difference starts in net. Had Ben Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist last year, not dislocated an elbow shortly before last year's playoffs, Tampa Bay might have had a different fate. Sure, Bishop doesn't have playoff experience, but with him and touted rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy as his backup, Cooper feels like he has two No. 1s.
There's also better depth. Tampa Bay, the league's highest-scoring team, can wear teams down by rolling four lines. The "Triplets" — Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov — form one of the most productive, dynamic lines in the league. Steven Stamkos has 40 goals. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said the Lighting's third line is like a first line. And fourth-line center Brian Boyle has 15 goals. Usually in the playoffs secondary scoring is vital, and few teams have more of it than Tampa Bay. Every forward is a threat and responsible defensively.
Paqueette was helped off the ice and no update yet on the injury.
added 5:13pm, Video of the injury is below...
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
We have no idea what it means down the road, including the playoff road. But Sunday might have been a big step for the Lightning. It might even go down in franchise lore.
The Night Stammer Brought Down The Bear.
The Lightning finally beat the big, bad Boston Bruins, 5-3. Do not try to adjust your sports column. That really happened Sunday night at Amalie Arena.
But how it happened, or began to happen, was the real story.
Bolts captain Steven Stamkos has 273 NHL goals. He has two NHL fights. But one of the fights came Sunday, when Stamkos squared off with Bruins king rat Brad Marchand in the first period.
Stamkos dropped the gloves, and his giddy, energized teammates nearly instantly scored a knockout, scoring twice inside of a minute as Stamkos was in the penalty box. No. 91 didn’t register on the score sheet, just in hearts and minds.
“I just felt at that moment, it was the right thing to do,” Stamkos said.
Watch the fight below...
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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