Dotchin, Jake

NHL Game Night: 2-3-18 Lightning at Canucks

Lightning claim two road points in workmanlike fashion.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. He was his usual outstanding self tonight, putting up the forcefield to allow the Lightning to craft a 3 goal lead through 40 minutes that they ultimately nursed to the finish line.

First Period
1:26 TB Kunitz (8), (Stralman, Kucherov)
5:52 TB Hedman (7), (Stamkos, Kucherov)

Second Period
15:47 TB Gourde (18), (Sergachev, Peca)

Third Period
10:00 VAN Vanek (15), (Stecher, Boeser)
14:30 VAN Boeser (25), (Sutter)
16:26 TB Conacher, (unassisted)(PP)(PS)

Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy were the game's second and third stars.

The Lightning did exactly what you want to do in a road game against an inferior opponent: they jumped on them early to get out to the 2-0 lead, built it to 3-0 after 40 minutes with some opportunism and some good goaltending. And, once you've got a 3 goal lead through 40 minutes, that's typically a knockout. As proven again in this game, teams may pull to within a goal in that scenario (the so-called "false hope goal") but they rarely get closer.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot on goal in 12:51.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 15:10. With tonight's appearance, his 41st of the season, Dotchin has graduated from prospect status on the website.

Matthew Peca had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 17:53 of big ice time. He was also 65% on 20 draws, too.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-1-18 Lightning at Flames

Lightning bury Flames beneath an avalanche of soft goals.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 46 shots for the victory. He wasn't his sharpest through 40 minutes, although I can't call any of the goals he allowed overly soft. He did seem to get the rust off in the Third Period.

First Period
7:16 CGY Ferland (20), (Backlund, Hamilton)(PP)
13:34 TB Coburn (1), (Sustr, Peca)

Second Period
2:04 TB Killorn (6), (Gourde, Point)(PP)
3:38 CGY Backlund (10), (Tkachuk, Brodie)
5:25 CGY Monahan (23), (Gaudreau, Hamilton)
14:27 CGY Stajan (2), (Hathaway, Brodie)
14:49 TB Peca (2), (Killorn, Stralman)

Third Period
0:12 TB Killorn (7), (Gourde)
5:16 TB Conacher (4), (Peca, Killorn)
6:22 TB Stamkos (19), (Kunitz)
8:26 TB Conacher (5), (Callahan)

Alex Killorn, Matthew Peca, and Cory Conacher were the game's three stars.

I'm going to venture a guess that Jon Cooper will be happy with the result, but he won't like how wide open and wild this game ultimately was. In the end, the Lightning's victory was built on a soft goal surrendered off the rush to Peca at the end of the Second Period that gave them much better position for the comeback going into the final frame and then two absolutely putrid softies from horrible angles to Cory Conacher that ended up being the game winning goal and the last bit of dirt on the Flames' collective graves in this contest. Two summers ago the Flames weren't willing to pay the price Steve Yzerman was commanding for Ben Bishop. Not sure that decision aged well tonight.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:03.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 5 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:47.

Matthew Peca had 1 goal, 2 assists and was a gaudy +4 with 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 17:29. He was also 43% on 23 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-30-18 Lightning at Jets

Lightning look weary in first game out of the All Star break.

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Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 37 shots for the loss. He did his job tonight and gave his team a chance. The Lightning have to score more than one goal in support of their backup. Just have to.

First Period
19:31 TB Peca (1), (Point, Dotchin)

Second Period
3:30 WPG Laine (23), (Wheeler, Byfuglien)(PP)
8:35 WPG Connor (16), (Wheeler, Myers)

Third Period
14:35 WPG Little (11), (Perreault, Ehlers)

Matthew Peca was the game's third star.

Pretty evenly played First Period with the Lightning maybe getting a shade better scoring chances and getting the late 1-0 lead. However, a 5-on-3 goal for Winnipeg seemed to completely chance the complexion of the game. Winnipeg controlled the balance of the remainder of the game and never really looked back, eventually outshooting Tampa Bay 37-24 in total. Fatigue may have been a component of this, coming off the break and having to fly all the way to Winnipeg, so I'm not ready to sound any alarm bells over this outcome.

The biggest silver lining was, of course, the early return of Victor Hedman to the lineup in 25:00 of action. Knees must be made of rubber bands.

Tampa Bay finishes their first unsuccessful 10-game segment of the year with just 10 points over those 10 games. They subtract 2 from their cache of insurance points and now have 11 insurance points going into the final three segments of the campaign.

Jake Dotchin had a helper, 2 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 18:04.

Peca had a ruthless finish in tight for his goal and was +1 with 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 13:10. He was also 67% on 12 draws against a very good Jets team in the faceoff circles and got some PK time at a key juncture in the Third Period.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-25-18 Lightning at Flyers

The Lightning's big dogs come to eat in Philly.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 37 shots for the victory. It stinks it's All-Star Break time and he has to perform in that 3-on-3 exhibition, because he's in the zone right now and streaking all of a sudden.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:25 TB Point (20), (Johnson)
9:56 TB Gourde (17), (Peca, Girardi)
17:29 TB Callahan (2), (unassisted)(SH)

Third Period
13:18 PHI Konecny (10), (Voracek, Giroux)(PP)
14:05 TB Namestnikov (17), (Kucherov, Stamkos)
17:11 TB Namestnikov (18), (Stamkos, Kucherov)

Vasilevskiy, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Ryan Callahan were the game's three stars.

After figuring out how to win without Victor Hedman over the past couple of games the Lightning returned to kind of a tried and true formula tonight to get the big road win. Like many times this season, the team absorbed the home sides best punch in the First Period thanks to stellar goaltending by Vasilevskiy. Vasiy holds them in the game, then the skill forwards torment the opposition the remainder of the tilt. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Fun fact: thanks to the 3 game winning streak the Lightning have a chance to clinch a successful 10-game segment of the season with a win in their next game. They have 10 points through the first 9 games of this segment.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 17:12.

Jake Dotchin was a hefty +4 with 1 shot, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 20:31.

Matthew Peca had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 12:28. He was good on the forecheck and dangerous a good swath of the night teaming up with Gourde before Yanni earned a promotion to the second line in the Third Period with Cooper reuniting the top group of Namestnikov, Stamkos, and Kucherov. The biggest stat of the night though was Peca going 87% on 15 draws against the best faceoff team in the league. They won't be able to send him down if he keeps that up.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-23-18 Lightning at Predators

Everything is good, all of a sudden.

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Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals* on 33 shots for the OT victory. Why the asterisk? Because he got hosed on an uncalled goaltender interference where a Preds forward launched himself into Domingue's shoulder as Subban's shot arrived, turning him around in the net. Despite this injustice, Domingue played well with several ten bell saves in a First Period where the Lightning could've easily allowed 4 or 5 goals were it not for the exploits of the Dominguenator.

First Period
6:24 TB Kunitz (7), (unassisted)
7:28 NSH Ellis (3), (Josi, Sissons)(PP)
9:11 NSH Arvidsson (14), (Aberg, Irwin)
10:48 TB Namestnikov (16), (Stamkos, Kunitz)

Second Period
19:10 NSH Subban (11), (Ekholm, Joahnsen)(PP)*

Third Period
17:48 TB Stamkos (18), (Koekkoek, Kunitz)

Overtime
1:45 TB Gourde (16), (Namestnikov)

Yanni Gourde was the game's first star.

Take away the first 10 minutes of this game, and the Lightning were the better team tonight and they deserved the two points. Even without Hedman, they came into this game against the reigning Western Conference champs and they took two points the hard way, even after the Predators got gifted that bogus lead goal* at the end of the Second Period. After suffering some embarrassing debacles the Lightning have seemingly started to figure out how to compete without their stud number one defenseman and they will be a much stronger team for the experience once he returns.

NFL: "We created this really confusing reception rule that the refs, media, and fans can't possibly comprehend and creates frustration that tarnishes our brand and makes us all look like fools. No one will ever top the ignominy of our rule."

NHL looks at the crease: "Hold my beer."

If the rationale behind allowing that goal really was something to do with the blue paint of the crease, it's a horrible rule and it needs to be rewritten. The goaltender should have the right to come out and challenge the shooter and cut down the angle on a long shot. Domingue established his position and he was leapt into and spun around before the puck arrived. Textbook goaltender interference (heck, probably should've been a 2 minute minor, to boot) and it's unfathomable how that goal was allowed to stand. If that's a goal then it's open season on goaltenders because nothing is interference. Just go hog wild and Darcy Tucker-style start running netminders to your heart's content.

Thankfully, the Lightning overcame.

Slater Koekkoek was +2 with a helper, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in a hefty 18:34 of ice time. It was a quiet 18:34, which is good, right up until Koekkoek swooped into the zone as the late man and made a heck of a long diagonal pass to Stamkos for the big one timer to equalize late in the Third Period. That's what everyone has to be hoping from with Koekkoek: the total package for all 200 feet.

Jake Dotchin had 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 17:03.

Matthew Peca had 2 hits and was 50% on 10 draws in 13:03.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-22-18 Lightning at Blackhawks

Just when they need it the most, Vasiy delivers the kittens.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy snapped out of a little mini-slump with a 40 save shutout victory. Like a giant awaking from a slumber, Vasilevskiy just got stronger and stronger as the game wore on. Look out, he may go on another hot streak now.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
17:14 TB Kunitz (6), (Dotchin, Point)(SH)

Third Period
18:26 TB Gourde (15), (unassisted)

Vasilevskiy and Chris Kunitz were the game's first and second stars.

The Lightning rebounded from a couple of debacles with a team win that flowed from the goaltending brilliance of young Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy didn't look completely solid in the First Period but the Lightning PK really picked up the slack with a key kill of a 5-on-3 that invoked and once again validated the old Espo Rule. From the Second Period on it was all Vasilevskiy until Kunitz got a break on an uncalled hand pass that eventually ended up as a shorthanded goal down in the Chicago zone. Gourde pounds home a late insurance goal on a one timer on the back of more Vasilevskiy brilliance and it's a gigantic win for a team that's been limping toward the All Star break.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 5 hits and 1 blocked shot in 21:23. Big minutes. Big Jake is now just 5 games from graduation from prospect status on the website.

Matthew Peca was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:03 and he was also 67% on 6 draws. He won the faceoff on the sequence that led to Gourde's insurance goal and then made a strong play along the wall to pressure the defender to help the puck squirt to Gourde for the one time goal. He showed good speed. Slick hands at times. Good start to this callup.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-20-18 Lightning at Wild

Everything is bad, all of a sudden.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots on the loss. He might like the third Minnesota goal that wedged in short side back... but then again he might like the defense in front of him to show up, too.

First Period
10:07 MIN Spurgeon (6), (Staal)(PP)
17:24 MIN Parise (1), (Suter, Staal)

Second Period
7:11 MIN Prosser (2), (Eriksson Ek, Rau)
15:35 TB Point (18), (Sergachev, Johnson)

Third Period
3:10 MIN Foligno (4), (Cullen, Ennis)
6:37 TB Point (19), (Johnson, Stamkos)(PP)
19:01 MIN Zucker (18), (Dubnyk)(EN)

This suddenly is taking on the feel of last season. Yes, Victor Hedman's injury has blown an undeniably large hole in the Lightning blueline, but that doesn't fully explain the recent futility. The same lack of intensity and attention to detail that marred the first 50 or so games of last season has crept back into Tampa Bay's game and their revamped leadership council has yet to be successful in pulling the club out of the funk. First goal: clean faceoff loss by Johnson. Back of the net. Second goal: blind, weak clear up the middle on a broken play by Koekkoek. Third goal: complete defensive zone coverage bust and the resulting shot gets in short side on Vasilevskiy. Fourth goal: Sergachev coasts behind his net on a 50/50 puck and is a bystander while Point whiffs trying to cut off the pass to yet another open Wild shooter in the slot. It's pathetic, and it's a virus that's effecting several different players, not just a handful of offenders. The defense isn't very good right now and Mikhail Sergachev is playing his worst hockey of the season at the moment. True. But, you know what? Vasilevskiy's not cloaking himself in glory either and, even more damning, the backchecking and defensive zone coverage by the forwards is completely and utterly unacceptable at the moment. Can't find the scoresheet and get the glory if you don't have the puck, boys. And you'll never have the puck if you don't work, and work smart, to get it back. This isn't difficult, conceptually.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 blocked shot in 10:00 of ice time. Pretty much got his ice time cut off after the First Period turnover under duress.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 4 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 16:23. He might've been in the upper half of the Lightning d-men tonight in quality, but that was an awfully low bar to clear. You could roller skate over it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-18-18 Golden Knights at Lightning

Hedman-less Lightning see Vegas manufacture a laugher.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 30 shots for the loss. He hasn't been making the big situational saves necessary to help the team climb into games lately like he was earlier in the season. Case in point: tonight Vegas' second goal on the knuckler that handcuffed him from the point. That's a save he's got to make for his team in that spot.

First Period
0:56 LV Neal (19), (Engelland, Perron)
16:03 LV Schmidt (3), (McNabb, Haula)

Second Period
10:18 TB Palat (8), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
17:43 LV Perron (10), (Engelland, Theodore)

Third Period
0:18 LV Karlsson (24), (Marchessault)

Credit to Las Vegas, they manufactured an easy road win tonight in workmanlike fashion. The first goal of the game by Neal and the final goal of the game by Karlsson that salted it away both came in the opening minute of a period and both came off faceoff losses by Vladislav Namestnikov. So, they built two goals and that and one Vasiy might want back on the Schmidt goal turned this from a pretty even game (shots were 30-29, although the broader possession stats were uglier for Tampa Bay) into a laugher.

Slater Koekkoek was -2 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:31. Throw the minuses out, because they both came on the goals off the faceoff losses. I thought Slater played a decent game.

Jake Dotchin had 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 5 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 20:24. The big test is obviously Koekkoek's to take with Hedman out, but Dotchin's got a little something to prove with Hedman out, too, and I don't think he did anything to hurt his stock tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-11-18 Flames at Lightning

Costly loss casts a pall on the Lightning.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 24 shots for the loss in an uncharacteristic clunker for the young netminder.

First Period
0:29 CGY Ferland (19), (Monahan, Gaudreau)

Second Period
0:31 TB Point (17), (Johnson, Palat)
16:48 CGY Gaudreau (14), (Ferland, Hamilton)
18:43 CGY Bennett (8), (Brodie, Jankowski)(PP)

Third Period
2:19 CGY Jankowski (8), (Hathaway)
8:34 CGY Tkachuk (11), (Brouwer)

It was a game where I think the Lightning probably played better than the score indicates. Mike Smith really held Calgary into this game until the Flames got the two goals at the end of the Second Period against the run of play and things just snowballed against the Lightning from there. Ordinarily you'd just kind of shrug that one off considering it was against a Western Conference opponent and games like this happen.

But, at this hour, things are a little scary for the Lightning. After toughing out a leg injury in the Lightning's last game where Dotchin fell on his leg, Victor Hedman twisted his knee in the Second Period of this one and couldn't put weight on it as he left the action never to be seen again. The Lightning have a week off until their next game and the All-Star Break looming thereafter. The Lightning will almost certainly be hoping whatever Hedman has is minor and can be dealt with through the power of some rest and relaxation, because you simply don't replace a number one defenseman. You don't.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 22:55. Had a turnover on Calgary's first goal and struggled at times against pace in 5v5 play.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-9-18 Hurricanes at Lightning

Johnson and Lightning hold off 'Canes and shady refs.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the victory. Goal support. Mmmmmm mmmmm!

First Period
3:23 CAR McGinn (7), (Williams, Slavin)(PP)
10:02 TB Hedman (6), (Kucherov, Stamkos)
12:10 CAR Aho (14), (unassisted)
16:26 TB Johnson (14), (Stralman, Point)

Second Period
1:58 TB Johnson (15), (Dotchin, Point)
10:36 CAR Faulk (4), (Teravainen, Staal)(PP)

Third Period
9:27 TB Dotchin (3), (Point)
14:54 TB Johnson (16), (Hedman)
18:42 CAR Lindholm (12), (Faulk, Teravainen)

Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point, and Jake Dotchin were the game's three stars.

Not a great performance by the Lightning on their first game back from a long road trip, which is lamentable but fairly typical. Still, the team grinded it out and systematically manufactured the goals they needed, overcoming a video review that went against them and the second straight game where the referees did not award the Lightning a power play. Seriously, for a team as good as the Lightning is possession-wise to not draw a penalty in two straight games is extremely suspect. As in, it's a practical impossibility. Jon Cooper should go ahead and take the fine and say something (yes, spending money is easy when it's someone else's).

The rebirth of Tyler Johnson is complete since his move to wing on Point's line. He had an amazing December and the hat trick tonight puts the punctuation at the end of the sentence. Tyler Johnson is back.

Dotchin had a goal and an assist and was +4 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 19:43. So good to see him rebound strongly after sitting down after the turnover debacle in Ottawa.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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