Kazan 2 vs. Bratislava 1 (SO)
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, SO Loss, 21/22, 0.92 GAA, .955 sv%
Season totals: 34 GP, 13-15-6, 2 SO, 3.00 GAA, .895 sv%
Two of four shooters converted on Jaroslav Janus in the penalty shot session in Kazan's 2-1 win over Slovan Bratislava. Former NHL'er Miroslav Satan had Slovan's lone goal during regulation. Ex-Rangers draft pick Jakub Petruzalek had a helper and scored both shootout goals for Kazan.
The BP Mailbag continues this week with more questions for my Alex Kharitonov-sized crystal ball (prospect followers from the Dudley era will understand that reference).
If you believe the rumors that Tommy Pyatt is being shopped, that’s how a roster spot opens up for Stamkos. I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see Pyatt waived if Tampa Bay is backed into a corner, but right now I’m of the opinion that Richard Panik would be the one to go down to Syracuse if someone is demoted. Panik’s averaging about 12 minutes of ice time for the year, but around 10 for the last five games and less than that if you spread it out over the last dozen games. He’s also been a frequent healthy scratch. Those are the signs, and they've been there for a while.
The way Jon DiSalvatore looks at it, he doesn’t have much time to waste.
The 32-year-old forward, after being the odd-man out due to a restriction on import players with Munich of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, wasn’t getting the ice time he had hoped for in his first European season.
DiSalvatore didn’t want to wait around, so he chose to return to North America.
"I just felt like the way things were being run out there, it felt like it was becoming a wasted year, a wasted opportunity," said DiSalvatore, a veteran of 10 American Hockey League seasons. "I don't feel like at this point in my career I have any years to waste."
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 5 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 2
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-2-2, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit, 6/10 FO
Season totals: 27 GP, 18-44-62, +25, 32 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Drouin, the reigning CHL Player of the Week and QMJHL Second Star (not sure how those two combine that way), had two more assists to add to his season’s point total, helping the Mooseheads to a 5-2 win over the Sea Dogs. Drouin had four penalty minutes, a matching 2-minute minor for roughing with a 2-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty tacked onto it. Halifax goalie Zac Fucale (Montreal) set a new league record for earning his 100th victory in his 145th game. As for Drouin, he was given the afore mentioned honors for accumulating 10 points (9 assists) in three games last week. As his agent, Allan Walsh, points out, he didn’t play the third period of two of those games as not to further run up the score.
Brampton 6 vs. St. Charles 3
Dan Milan, Brampton, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals - Brampton (CHL): 29 GP, 1-5-6, -3, 81 PIM
Season totals - Florida (ECHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 6 PIM
Dan Milan was +1 for the Beast in a 6-3 drubbing of the Chill at the Powerade Centre in Brampton. Josh McQuade's hat trick and 4 point night for the Beast earned him first star honors.
Khanty-Mansiysk 5 vs. Spartak Moscow 3
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansisysk, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 5-6-11, -6, 10 PIM
Nikita Gusev had a power play helper in 14:58 of ice time in Yugra's 5-3 win over Spartak. Ex-Lightning draft pick Radek Smolenak had 3 assists in the victory for Yugra. Spartak got a goal and an assist from ex-NHLer Slava Kozlov and 2 assists for ex-NHLer Oleg Kvasha in defeat.
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 January 20, 2014 is … Mark Barberio, D, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL – USA).
That word could be used for a multitude of things this week: Finally, a defenseman wins our Prospect of the Week award; finally, he’s cutting his hair; or finally, he scored his first NHL goal. Any way you look at it, it’s all about Lightning rookie defenseman Mark Barberio, who actually scored his first two NHL goals on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Barberio, the former AHL Eddie Shore Plaque winner for best defenseman, has had a rough rookie season for the Lightning. As an offense-first defenseman, he’s been learning how to play defense-first in the NHL and it hasn’t been always been going well. Sure, Barberio has looked like an NHLer in the offensive third, showing the passing and vision that helped him to 61 points as a second year professional with Norfolk and 42 points a year later with Syracuse as a Second Team All-Star. But there are three zones and in the other two he’s looked like a newborn deer trying to walk… on ice.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 9 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 1
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-3-4, +2, 5 SOG, 0 Hits, 10/17 FO, *First Star*
Season totals: 26 GP, 18-42-60, +24, 28 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
Drouin finished his 2-game weekend with eight points (1-7-8) and two First Stars. Yeah, he’s good. Halifax outscored their two opponents 17-2. The Titan fired their coach, too.
Ontario Hockey League
Niagara IceDogs 1 @ North Bay Battalion 5
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 3-12-15, -1, 38 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
Blujus is plus-13 in the last six games.
Kingston Frontenacs 1 @ Guelph Storm 6
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 13-32-45, +11, 31 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Kingston went up against one of the best teams in the league and didn’t come out very well, losing 6-1.
Sudbury Wolves 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 3
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 43 GP, 11-26-37, +33, 30 PIM
2012-13 totals: 42 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Koekkoek had his first plus game in three contests, finishing plus-2 in a strong home win over the East’s second place team.
Vinik may not have known this, but when he bought the Lightning he got ownership of the Carolina Hurricanes, too.
Ben Bishop stopped 48 of 51 shots for the victory. Whereas yesterday Ben wasn't a difference maker, tonight he was the first, second, and third stars for the Lightning. He made the big saves and a little luck and opportunism did the rest.
6:09 TB Barberio (1), (Killorn, Palat)(PP)
7:32 TB Palat (10), (St Louis, Johnson)
15:07 TB Kucherov (8), (Pyatt, Malone)
0:24 TB Purcell (10), (Gudas, Carle)
1:46 CAR Semin (9), (E. Staal)(PP)
05:40 CAR E. Staal (11), (unassisted)
8:12 TB Barberio (2), (Brewer, Palat)
6:14 CAR Hainsey (4), (Liles, Tlusty)
Mark Barberio and Bishop were the game's first and second stars.
It was pretty clear in this one that the Lightning had zero left in the tank after the emotional game yesterday. They were already running on fumes having recently completed a string of games that had them traveling to the far corners of North America and back. Fortunately for the Lightning they got an excellent goaltending performance, Carolina didn't, and they got quite a lot of luck sprinkled in, too. A broken stick aided in the Lightning's first goal, the third and fifth goals had elements of fortuitous bounces in them, and the Lightning's fourth goal came off a misplay by Carolina's backup, Khudobin, after the Lightning chased the starter Peters (sorry, Tripp Tracy, you'll have to keep the Peters for Vezina balloon drop under wraps this time).
It's funny how some teams just have other team's numbers. For years the Lightning owned the Atlanta Thrashers just as for years the Ottawa Senators had the Lightning's. Recently, the Lightning have owned the Carolina Hurricanes, including a regular season concluding victory that knocked the Hurricanes out of playoff contention in one of those years. It's just one of those things. The Lightning have to really try to lose to Carolina, and as much as they did so tonight, they couldn't help but get 2 points. I'll take it, and the end result is that at the 50 game mark of the season the Lightning managed to collect 11 of the minimum 12 points they wanted out of segment 5 of the season. That means they retain 3 insurance points going into segment 6, which should see the return of Steven Stamkos around game 6 or 7 of the segment. So, they're very close to have surviving an injury that many thought would cripple the young club, which is a tribute to the players and coaching staff. Even more impressive, the victory today moves the Lightning into a tie again with Boston for the Atlantic Division lead, though the B's retain 2 games in hand. If they can stay even with Boston until A.) Stammer gets back in the lineup, and B.) Stammer gets the rust off, they've got a chance to go banner hunting. That's something to think about in March though. For now? They need to focus on getting at least 12 points out of the next 10 games.
Barberio had 2 goals and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes and 4 shots in 17:11. Stepping up into the PP spot vacated by the injured Victor Hedman, Barberio showed good awareness to spot that a Carolina defender had left to go to the bench after breaking their stick, leading him to jump up for a tap-in for his first NHL goal. He later benefited from some luck as a centering feed ricocheted to him in the high slot where he unleashed a low slapper that ramped up a Carolina defender's stick into the top corner for his second NHL goal. Congratulations to the young man. Yesterday, I think he had his best defensive game in the NHL and tonight he had his best offensive showing in the NHL. You hope it portends a big stretch run of the season.
J.P. Cote was -1 in 7:45. He got his pocket picked trying to move the puck at center ice, which led to Eric Staal's goal off a 2-on-1 that developed from it. Not good.
J.T. Brown had 3 shots and 1 hit in 13:05. With the Lightning trying to weather the storm in the second half of the game, Brown's line with Kucherov and Thompson was the only line that seemed to really have their legs and they strung together some key forechecking shifts, including one after Carolina's third goal where they did everything but light the lamp.
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:08. His goal came on another bit of luck with a deflected centering feed that bounded to him in the slot all alone for the quick release finish. If you're wondering, 8 goals in 27 games projects to 24 goals over 82. Not a bad rookie campaign, I should think.
Bratislava 2 vs. Novokuznetsk 3
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 33 GP, 13-15-5, 2 SO, 3.07 GAA, .893 sv%
Jaroslav Janus sat backup to Miroslav Kopriva in Slovan's 3-2 loss to Novokuznetsk. Ex-Lightning first rounder Vladimir Mihalik scored on the power play in the loss for for Slovan. It was Vladimir's second goal of the season.