A few days after registering a shutout in his American Hockey League debut, Kristers Gudlevskis returned to the ice with a different look.
The mask emblazoned with blue stripes and the outline of a lightning bolt that he wore in his first three wins of the season was nowhere in sight as Gudlevskis dawned a more comfortable plain white helmet for Syracuse Crunch practice Tuesday.
Like his mask, Gudlevskis is back to a blank slate. His 22-save shutout over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is history, and it's time to move forward.
Lightning take their first bad loss of the season.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the loss.
1:36 NJ Henrique (4), (Elias)(SH)
10:54 NJ Jagr (3), (unassisted)
15:23 TB Stamkos (9), (Purcell, R. Malone)(PP)
When I say "bad loss", I mean a loss against a team you expect to have a good chance to get a point or two against. Yes, the Lightning played poorly getting beat 5-0 by Boston and they left at least a point on the ice with their late loss to Pittsburgh, but this was the first time they really allowed themselves to fall behind schedule by losing to a team they could've gotten points from. You hate losing games like this because it starts to put pressure on you to steal more points out of games against top flight opponents, and that's a dangerous spot to be in.
The energy level was pretty poor. The puck handling and passing were pretty clumsy. Just a soft effort where the team really didn't appear to be bearing down and focused on the task at hand. At best, that led to an anemic 17 shots on goal. At worst, that led to turnovers, and turnovers by Carle and St. Louis led to New Jersey's two goals. Two flat games in a row now (I partly blame the Panthers game hangover for this one), and they should consider themselves fortunate to have gotten 2 points out of the 2 games, to be honest.
Radko Gudas had 3 shots, 2 hit, and 2 blocked shots to go with 2 penalty minutes in 23:05. I really didn't like his game tonight, although the coaches rewarded him with some late PP time. Got caught out of position more than once, took one bad penalty, and I didn't like the incident at Brodeur's cage at the buzzer. That's pointless and stupid when you just beat the wrap from the Panthers game incident. Cooper's got to calm him down, because he's getting out of control again.
Tyler Johnson had 3 shots and was 41% on draws in 16:30. He was stopped on a breakaway and had another clean look from the RW circles later in the game where he missed the net.
Alex Killorn had 2 shots in 15:45. This, actually, might have been one of his better efforts. He got robbed on one chance by Brodeur.
Ondrej Palat had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 13:49. He made an amazing pass to spring Johnson on his breakaway and got stung blocking a shot on a pretty big Third Period PK.
Andrej Sustr was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 12:30. After a very good game against Florida, he might've been a little too big for his britches in his approach tonight. Not as much care with the puck in his own end and maybe a little out of control jumping into the play on the offensive end.
Richard Panik had a hit in 13:12. He had a couple of looks in a Third Period power play and he just didn't do anything with them. I worry about his confidence getting shot at some point.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie was -1 in 7:16. I'm going to ask an honest question and leave it right here. Two straight games where the team came out flat. Did anyone see Labrie trying to get in a scrap? I didn't. I question the logic of having a guy on the roster that's there for an obvious reason, dressing him, and then not seeing that role carried out. I saw Crombeen trying to get something going. Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen that from Labrie.
Ontario Hockey League
Kingston Frontenacs 2 @ Ottawa 67’s 1
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season totals: 13 GP, 7-16-23, +13, 6 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Ikonen broke his personal three-game scoreless streak with a goal and an assist as Kingston scored a road win over Ottawa, 2-1. Ikonen scored his seventh goal of the year just 33 seconds into Tuesday night’s game. He later assisted on Sam Watson’s power play marker in the third period to give the Fronts the lead for good.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for October 29, 2013 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G (Syracuse Crunch, AHL, USA).
Latvians sure know how to make an entrance.
Lightning goaltending prospect Kristers Gudlevskis announced his presence in the AHL Saturday with a 22-save shutout against Bridgeport. His impressive debut earned him our Prospect of the Week award.
Omsk 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 5
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 23/25, 2.00 GAA, .920 sv%
Season totals: 19 GP, 11-5-2, 2 SO, 2.22 GAA, .927 sv%
Danis Zaripov had 1 goal and 3 points and Sergei Mozyakin had a hat trick as Magnitogorsk squashed Omsk 5-2. Ex-Lightning draft pick Denis Kazionov was -1 with 3 shots in 18:21 in the loss for Avangard.
Khanty-Mansiysk 4 vs. Ufa 5
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Season totals: 11 GP, 7-3-1, 0 SO, 2.43 GAA, .916 sv%
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, DNP
Season totals: 17 GP, 2-2-4, -4, 2 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup in Ufa's 5-4 win over Yugra. Yugra forward Nikita Gusev was a scratch for the second straight game. Ex-Senators draft pick Igor Mirnov helped lead the way for Ufa with 2 goals.
Yaroslavl 2 vs. Bratislava 1
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 10 GP, 4-6-0, 0 SO, 3.20 GAA, .871 sv%
Jaroslav Janus sat backup the second straight game as Bratislava fell 2-1 to Yaroslavl. Ex-NHLer Vitaly Kolesnik made 30 saves for Lokomotiv for the win.
Florida Everblades 5 @ Ontario Reign 4 (OT)
FW Danick Gauthier, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 3-2-5, +4, 11 SOG, 15 PIM
G Kristers Gudlevskis, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, 32 S / 35 SA (.914 SV%)
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, E, 0 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, +7, 3 SOG, 9 PIM
FW Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 5 SOG, 2 PIM
D Dan Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 SOG, 2 PIM
FW Carl Nielsen, FLA (AHL Contract): 0-0-0, E, 0 SOG, 5 PIM (fighting)
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 4 SOG, 7 PIM
For the second time in three nights, Florida took and beat Ontario beyond regulation time, this time after Matthew Pistilli notched his second goal of the match early in overtime to push the visiting squad's season-opening win streak to five games. Sunday's victory came despite the Everblades squandered a three-goal lead it had built up nearly midway through the middle-frame. Jesse Deckert stopped 23 of 27 Reign shots to earn his third-consecutive win in the absence of Kristers Gudlevskis, who remains at present with AHL Syracuse. Fresh off picking up a helper the night before, 6'4", 225 pound Carl Nielsen engaged in his first fight of the season early in the match. Danick Gauthier, who managed to stay out of the sin bin for the first time this season, and Charles Landry barely registered on the stat sheet. Maxime Langelier-Parent was still inactive. Sitting atop the South Division perch, Florida (5-0-0, 10 PTS) finishes its current road trip Wednesday against Las Vegas (2-3-0, 4 PTS).
No. 5 Boston College Eagles 1 @ No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 6
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 31 saves on 32 shots, *First Star*
Season totals: 6 GP, 5-0-1, 1.64 GAA, .938 sv%, 1 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Adam Wilcox was named first star after stopping all but one of 32 shots to lead his top-ranked Gophers to a home win over BC. The two teams tied, 3-3, on Friday night. Wilcox made 62 saves over the course of the two games. He is tied for sixth in the country in GAA among goaltenders playing at least three games. He is tied for second in wins.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Gatineau Olympiques 2 @ Quebec Remparts 4
C/W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 14 GP, 7-9-16, +3, 27 PIM
2012-2013 Season: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM
Erne had his nine-game point streak snapped, but his Quebec Remparts continued their strong play of late with a 4-2 win over visiting Gatineau. Erne was 14/19 on faceoffs. Quebec is without a regulation loss in nine games.
Ontario Hockey League
Belleville Bulls 2 @ North Bay Battalion 3
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 4 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
North Bay got a goal from Swiss import Vincent Praplan (undrafted) to beat the visiting Bulls, 3-2.
Windsor Spitfires 5 @ Owen Sound Attack 4 (OT)
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 13 GP, 3-7-10, +10, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Windsor outshot the Attack 23-9 in the third period and 8-0 in overtime and outscored Owen Sound 3-1 in that time to come out a winner on Sunday. Koekkoek had his three-game point streak snapped. He has three assists in his last seven games. He is plus-10 on the season after finishing previous years with struggling Peterborough squad, minus-24, minus-7, and minus-29.
Lightning survive another wild/weird game.
Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 32 shots in regulation and OT before stopping 3 of 4 in the penalty shot session for the win. I thought he looked pretty shaky the first half of the game and got stronger as it wore on, even though he allowed the 2 in the Third Period.
0:41 TB St Louis (7), (Stamkos, R. Malone)
04:35 TB Stamkos (8), (Malone, Carle)
13:48 FLA Matthias (1), (Winchester, Goc)
9:58 TB Gudas (1), (Panik, Killorn)(PP)
5:39 FLA Bjugstad (1), (Upshall, Kulikov)
8:51 FLA Boyes (5), (unassisted)
TB- Filppula, Stamkos
Steven Stamkos was the game's first star.
I thought the Lightning really sleepwalked through most of the first two periods and were fortunate that the Panthers were loose with the odd man rush to start the game and the bad Markstrom rebound that staked them to the 2-0 lead. Things were at 3-1 and the Lightning were still looking a little lethargic when the whole bizarre Radko Gudas/Scottied Upshall incident happened.
For those who missed it. Gudas was spilled at the opposing blueline and down on his butt with his back to the Panthers bench when Upshall displayed his classlessness by shooting Gudas with water from the bench. Radko got up and broke the blade of his stick over the top of the boards (Upshall looked terrified) and next thing you know Gudas was tossed from the game, leaving the Lightning down to 5 d-men on the second half of a back-to-back. For the record, I think the officials overreacted. Kicking Gudas out implies Radko intended to injure Upshall. Upshall was sitting on the bench with nowhere to run to. If Gudas wanted to use his stick to injure Upshall, he most assuredly would have. Players bang their sticks into the boards and glass all the time, and whenever it is called (typically for trying to show up the refs) it's a 10 minute call but not a match penalty.
The weirdness then ratcheted up another notch, because I thought the whole incident actually woke the Lightning up and they started to play their best hockey early in the Third Period. But, they didn't get the payoff and Nick Bjugstad got a very nice tip in goal followed by Ondrej Palat making a horrible, uncharacteristic puckhandling gaffe in his own end that resulted in the tying goal. Fortunately, Lindback kept Florida out the rest of the way, and the Lightning continued to look pretty good in the shootout, partly thanks to the infusion of Valterri Filppula.
Honestly, I'd just as soon not play the Panthers because even though the Lightning are now 9-1-1 in their last 11 against the Panthers, something about the Panthers gets the Lightning out of their structure and into a weird emotional dynamic I don't like. I think there's a hangover after these games that bothers me. It's especially true when the team goes down to Sunrise, which is like playing a hockey game in a mausoleum it's so empty. Seriously, I get that moving franchises is typically a bad thing, but how is the 5 people that were in the stands today preferable to an energized fan base in Quebec City? It's such a night and day difference in support between Tampa Bay and South Florida, where they evidently stayed home to celebrate the Dolphins' loss to the Patriots that they got to watch on TV.
Gudas had 1 goal and 22 penalty minutes to go with 4 shots and 3 blocked shots in 12:32. Scottie Upshall is a dead man the next time these two teams play. I can't say it plainer than that. Upshall's a dead man. Gudas does't forget stuff like this (neither does Jon Cooper, btw).
Tyler Johnson was -2 with 2 hits in 18:07. He was also his standard 54% on draws. Markstrom nearly kicked the game winner right onto his stick late in the Third Period.
Alex Killorn had a helper and 1 hit in 17:04. He was very active on the forecheck again and very good handling the puck. I remain concerned he's not getting shots on goal lately.
Ondrej Palat was -2 with 1 hit in 15:44. His mistake on the Boyes goal was bad and he should feel bad.
Andrej Sustr was +1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 18:46. For everyone who was trying to tell me about the quality of Mark Pronger-io's game last night, please refer to Sustr's game tonight to see where the bar is set. He was fantastic at both ends of the rink. Good one on one and strong on the puck. Good passing it out of his third. Good keeping pucks in at the point on the attack using that big reach. Just, flat out, good.
Richard Panik had a helper and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 13:38. He was a non-factor after taking a First Period boarding call. It's like all the aggressiveness just bled right out of him.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 3 hits in 5:21. It did not escape notice that Cooper put Labrie and Crombeen out to start the Third Period, and that there were no takers from the Panthers side of the ice.
It’s tough for Matt Taormina to sit out.
The Syracuse Crunch defenseman, who battled an injury throughout the team’s run to the Calder Cup Finals last season, was not pleased that he had to be scratched from the lineup earlier this month.
"I probably could have waited another week or so (to return), because that's what the doctors had said," Taormina said. "But after the first game, and being around the guys in practice and stuff like that, I felt that I could get back at it earlier than they thought."
Seeing Taormina sit out was equally as difficult for Crunch coach Rob Zettler. Taormina has become an integral part of the blue line for Syracuse since his arrival last season, and the 27-year-old veteran's calm, patient demeanor comes in handy in all situations.