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NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-25-18 Panthers at Lightning

Lightning blow the "worst lead in hockey."

FLA-3
TB-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:17 TB Erne (1), (Joseph, Miller)(PP)
10:15 TB Killorn (1), (Stamkos, Miller)

Third Period
2:16 FLA Dadonov (1), (Pysyk)
7:03 FLA Ekblad (1), (Sceviour, MacKenzie)(SH)
12:31 FLA Barkov (1), (Dadonov, Bjugstad)

Brayden Point was the game's second star.

Things looked to be going well with the Lightning up two goals going into the final frame in a game with a lot of front line players from both clubs. It's concerning to cough up that lead and to give up a shorty, especially given that special teams has been a bit of a smoldering disaster thus far in the preseason. Practices will fix that last problem, but you can see some ragged edges as the process moves along to the opener.

Coming into this game, I really felt like this roster was nearly complete with three players fighting for one roster spot with two players fighting for another spot. I believe Adam Erne, who keeps scoring goals, has made the team and that the Lightning are unlikely to carry both Cory Conacher and Danick Martel, who are somewhat similar players in at least a superficial way, on the roster. Given the Lightning had to take the step of claiming Martel off waivers, you'd presume he has a slight edge on the more tenured Conacher. Those two will fight over a single spot, if I'm right the Lightning won't carry both and will try to fish the other through waivers down to Syracuse.

That leaves the final spot on the roster, and I handicap that as a three player race between Erik Cernak, Mathieu Joseph, and Alexander Volkov. If the Lightning decide to carry eight defensemen, Cernak makes the team, period, full stop. A lot of that probably depends on the team's confidence in Sergachev's switch to the right side and their confidence that Slater Koekkoek is finally ready to be more of a contributor to the team (yes, I'm assuming the waiver-eligible Koekkoek will make the club). Most teams don't carry 8 defensemen, but the Lightning have been one of the few teams that regularly have and there is, of course, Jon Cooper's proclivity to dress seven defensemen. Whether he makes the team on opening night or not, expect Cernak to see significant time in Tampa Bay over the course of the season, as he's clearly separated himself as the number eight on the depth chart.

If they go to a more conventional seven defensemen on the roster, though, it comes down to Joseph and Volkov, each of which have the DNA to be contributing complimentary wingers. Joseph's speed and forechecking would be a big plus to the lower lines. Volkov is perhaps a more complete 200 foot player (but only slightly so, Joseph's no slouch) and has a blink-quick release. Either player would be a nice weapon on the roster, but I honestly think the Lightning's style and the overall trend of the league perhaps favors a Joseph promotion.

In my opinion. All speculative, but that seems to me to be the one remaining twist we might see in the final shaping of the roster.

Joseph had a helper and 2 hits in 15:15.

Koekkoek had a shot, a hit, and a blocked shot in 11:59.

Martel had a shot and a blocked shot in 12:23.

Mitchell Stephens had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:02. He was also 44% on 16 draws.

Anthony Cirelli was -1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:04. He was also 67% on 15 draws.

Adam Erne had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 14:24.

Cernak had 2 penalty minutes 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:18.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Bolt Prospects Litter USCHO Division I NCAA Hockey Poll

The first USCHO NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Poll for the 2018-19 season was released today containing the pre-season rankings of the Top 20 hockey teams in the country. Six Lightning NCAA prospects are represented on five of the Top-20 rosters. Four of those six prospects will make the leap from high school and USHL hockey to the collegiate ranks this season.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs headlines the list at #1, whose roster includes left-winger and Lightning 2018 6th round draft pick Cole Koepke. Defenseman Nick Perbix, drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft, will suit up for the #6 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies. Nipping at the heels of the Huskies at #7 is 2018 4th round pick Alex Green, who returns to the Cornell Big Red blueline for his sophomore campaign. The University of Denver Pioneers checks in at #9 on the pre-season rankings with center Cole Guttman, a Tampa Bay 2017 6th round pick, hoping to put an injury-marred 2017-18 season behind him. Finally, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers received a lucky #13 ranking by the USCHO with a pair of Bolt prospects sporting the Gopher lineup for the upcoming season. The elder statesman of Lightning NCAA prospects is defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf, a 5th round pick in 2015 by the Lightning, will return for his sophomore tour, alongside the reigning Minnesota Mr. Hockey and 2017 7th round selection center Sammy Walker, who making his collegiate debut.

CHL Game Night: 9-23-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Victoriaville Tigres 0 @ Rimouski Oceanic 9

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Well now. Rimouski won their home-opener with three field goals over the visiting Tigres. Flames seventh rounder Dmitry Zavgorodniy had two goals and two assists to pace the Oceanic. Radim Salda was iffy to play this weekend while waiting on an international release.

CHL Game Night: 9-22-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4 @ Baie-Comeau Drakkar 6

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 10/14 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals: 2 GP, 2-1-3, +2, 5 PIM
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Fortier was an alternate captain Friday night, but was named the next captain of the Drakkar Saturday. He responded with two goals and a helper and was named first star. His goals tied the game and gave the Drakkar the lead for good. Not a bad night for the Lightning’s first selection (second round) in the 2018 draft.

Rimouski Oceanic 6 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 2

D Radim Salda, RIM: Did not play
17-18 Totals (SJ): 62 GP, 10-31-41, -37, 78 PIM

Radim Salda is listed on the Rimouski roster, and was assigned to the Oceanic by the Lightning earlier this week, but he did not appear in Saturday’s season opener. He didn’t practice with Rimouski prior to the Lightning’s camp, which is rather unusual for a Q player as Q camps open early. As of two days ago, Rimouski was waiting on Salda’s international release. The Czech native was traded by Saint John to Rimouski after last season. He was taken in the seventh round by the Lightning. Rimouski came in at No. 9 on the CHL’s pre-season Top-10 list.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-22-18 Predators at Lightning

Connor Ingram FTW.

NSH-2
TB-5

Ingram allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the victory.

First Period
3:09 NSH Jarnkrok (1), (Arvidsson, Turris)

Second Period
4:16 TB Miller (1), (Killorn, Joseph)
10:15 TB Volkov (1), (unassisted)
19:59 NSH Ellis (1), (Arvidsson, Turris)

Third Period
13:01 TB Yan (1), (Stralman, Coburn)
18:29 TB Verhaeghe (1), (Barre-Boulet, Coburn)(EN)
18:52 TB Paquette (1), (Joseph)(EN)

Dennis Yan, Ingram, and Mitchell Stephens were the game's three stars.

Kneel before the might and glory of a Brayden Coburn multi-point game.

Mathieu Joseph had a pair of helpers and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 13:55.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 19:04.

Yan had the game winner and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 14:21. All Dennis Yan does is score goals.

Boris Katchouk had 1 shot and 6 hits in 11:15.

Otto Somppi was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 13:48. Somppi was also 64% on 11 draws.

Carter Verhaeghe had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 16:01.

Alex Barre-Boulet had a helper and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 16:51.

Stephens was +1 with 2 shots in 13:03.

Alexander Volkov had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 16:02.

Erik Cernak was +1 with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 20:05.

Ross Colton had 2 hits in 13:02. He was also 22% on 9 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 9-21-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 1

C/W Gabriel Fortier, BC: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/24 FO
17-18 Totals: 66 GP, 26-33-59, -11, 59 PIM

Fortier, an alternate captain again this year, opened his season with a scoreless night in Chicoutimi, though he did drop the gloves with Gabriel Villeneuve to earn a fighting major. By all appearances, that was Fortier’s first QMJHL fight as he’s not listed on hockeyfights.com. Fortier led the Drakkar in faceoffs taken Friday.

Note: Radim Salda and Rimouski open their season Saturday in Quebec City.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-21-18 Lightning at Predators

Lightning youth shows up. Shows out.

TB-5
NSH-1

Louis Domingue allowed just 1 goal on 39 shots for the victory. Nice way to ease into the season.

First Period
7:18 TB Erne (1), (Volkov)
9:06 TB Erne (2), (Cirelli)
9:24 TB Katchouk (1), (Colton, Andreoff)

Second Period
8:34 NSH Josi (1), (Subban, Forsberg)(PP)
9:25 TB Andreoff (1), (Dumont)(SH)

Third Period
17:12 TB Masin (1), (unassisted)(EN)

Adam Erne and Andy Andreoff were the game's first and second stars.

After a pair of ultra flat games against Carolina to start the preseason, the Lightning youth roared to life tonight in the First Period against a veteran NHL'er-laden Predators lineup to get the 3-0 lead and never look back. Kudos to the Lightning after a performance so bad in Carolina, I didn't write a story about it (actually, a full and complete box score was never published with correct goaltender statistics, so there's that).

Mathieu Joseph was +2 with 2 penalty minutes and 5 shots in 16:49. He's having a pretty good preseason. Knocking on the door.

Slater Koekkoek was +5(!) with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 20:10 of duty. Dare we dream this is the year for Slater?

Cameron Gaunce had 3 shots in 21:11.

Boris Katchouk had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 14:48. Goals in back to back preseason tilts for Katchouk.

Taylor Raddysh had 1 hit in 16:08.

Kevin Lynch had 1:00 of ice time.

Matthew Spencer had 1 hit in 15:00.

Anthony Cirelli had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 19:12 and he was 56% on 18 draws.

Erne had 2 goals and was +2 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 15:31. Annual reminder that Adam Erne has the goods athletically, and just needs to stay healthy.

Dominik Masin had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 3 blocked shots in 15:43.

Alexander Volkov had a helper and was +2 with 1 hit in 17:18.

Erik Cernak had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 20:35.

Ross Colton had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 10:18. He was also 38% on 8 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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

Woof.

CAR-4
TB-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the loss.

First Period
4:06 CAR Cajkovsky (1), (McKegg)
13:05 Wallmark (1), (Bean, Svechnikov)(PP)

Second Period
19:09 CAR Zykov (1), (Brown, VanReimsdyk)

Third Period
4:38 TB Joseph (1), (Raddysh, Johnson)(PP)
7:11 CAR Svechnikov (1), (DiGiuseppe, Wallmark)(PP)

Mathieu Joseph was the game's third star.

It was the first preseason game, so we should put very little weight on this one. Still, you'd have hoped for a little better with a lot of your top back end players in the lineup, but the team just lacked possession in the preseason opener.

Joseph had a goal and was -1 in 15:17 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 15:17.

Alexei Lipanov had 1 shot and was 30% on 10 draws in 9:34. I kind of expect him to get a copy of the home game and to be returned to junior expeditiously, but we'll see.

Taylor Raddysh had a helper and was -1 in 11:49.

Jonne Tammela had 1 hit in 9:19.

Dominik Masin had 4 penalty minutes and 1 blocked shot in 15:59.

Alexander Volkov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 18:40 in premier minutes with the top liners.

Gabriel Fortier was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 13:16. I'd expect he also goes the same route back to junior sooner rather than later, although he got a good amount of minutes relative to more established prospects tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Yzerman Steps Aside; Bolts Promote Julien BriseBois as new GM

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning named Julien BriseBois to the position of Vice President, General Manager and Alternate Governor, Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik announced today. BriseBois, who becomes the seventh General Manager in Lightning history, replaces Steve Yzerman, who is stepping aside to become Senior Advisor to the General Manager. BriseBois had served as the team’s Assistant General Manager under Yzerman for the past eight years.

“I am pleased to introduce Julien BriseBois today as the new Vice President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Vinik said upon making the announcement. “Julien has been preparing himself for this role for much longer than the eight years he has served as our Assistant General Manager. He is smart, experienced, well-prepared and progressive, sharing the draft and develop philosophy with Steve that has worked so well for us. I am confident that he will maintain our standard of sustained excellence, hopefully guiding us to a Stanley Cup in the near future.

“As Steve transitions from the position of General Manager into his new role, I thank him, on behalf of everyone in the Lightning organization for all that he has done to lead our team to this point, laying the groundwork for our franchise to be one of the best in the NHL. We are pleased that he remains in the organization, helping contribute to our future success.”

Lightning Announce Prospect Tourney Roster

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced the 24-man roster that will represent the team at the 2018 Prospect Showcase, presented by Florida Blue, which will be held at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida from September 8-11. The Lightning squad is also scheduled to practice at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum on September 7 and September 8 before heading to Estero.

The Lightning team consists of some of the organization’s top prospects, including 2017 first-round pick Cal Foote and 2017-18 CHL Player of the Year Alex Barre-Boulet. Tampa Bay will have a total of six former second-round selections participating in the Prospect Showcase, including its top pick in 2018, Gabriel Fortier, who spent last season with Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Other notable players expected to attend are forwards Mitchell Stephens, Mathieu Joseph, Taylor Raddysh and Alexander Volkov, defensemen Erik Cernak and Oleg Sosunov, as well as goaltender Connor Ingram.

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