This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:
· Discontent with conference contender
· Drouin vs. Seth Jones
· Answers to trade deadline questions
· Interview with Syracuse’s Jake Dotchin
To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.
We need to talk...
Ben Bishop allowed 5 goals on 34 shots for the loss. He didn't stand on his head, and it would've taken one of those kind of nights for him to make good on the slop in front of him tonight.
1:50 STL Oshie (15), (Steen)
4:47 STL Jaskin (8), (Steen)(PP)
8:03 TB Johnson (20), (Kucherov, Stralman)(PP)
12:15 STL Steen (19), (Backes)
14:11 STL Backes (19), (Oshie, Pietrangelo)
15:23 STL Stastny (11), (Berglund, Cole)
17:28 TB Connolly (11), (Filppula)
6:31 TB Stamkos (29), (Killorn, Stralman)
18:55 STL Tarasenko (29), (unassisted)(EN)
Let's talk again about effort, because apparently it didn't sink in after the First Period of the Kings game. Let's talk about getting whipped 6-3 on the scoreboard and giving up 44 shots on goal in the game. Let's talk about a team, defensively, putting up about as much resistance as a straw house before the big bad wolf. What would the Lightning call that particular defensive system? The Pamplona Lock? The Turnstyle Trap? I'm not one of these guys who jumps up and down screaming that the defense needs to be a bunch of maulers and that the Lightning need 6 Scott Stevens' out their mashing the bones of their opponents into paste. But, my goodness, how about the defense TRYING win puck battles? How about forwards TRYING to pick up late men cutting into the circles and slot? The team looked allergic to competition tonight, with a complete reticence to even attempt to win 50/50 pucks. This wasn't about getting outmuscled. This was about not even being willing to make the attempt.
It's time for core players to be core players in Tampa Bay, and I'm looking at two guys right now. Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman both wore some pretty big goat horns in this game, and I expect so much better from the two guys who should be the franchise cornerstones.
Stamkos made one of the more horrific turnovers you'll see trying to carry the puck through the high slot of his own zone with the game still very much in play with his team trailing just 2-1. The captain can't make that mistake. Can't do it. And, he can't compound the mistake by allowing himself the luxury of dragging his way through the rest of the period. The effort level was uneven, and when you wear the "C" and you're supposed to be arguably the best player in the league you can't do that. And, as much as I hate to say it, uneven effort's been a theme for Stamkos this season, which is why he hasn't even been the most valuable forward in the Lightning locker room, let alone the best player in the NHL. It's time for Steven Stamkos to play like the player he is. Stow the excuses about the broken leg. If he wants to give in to excuses or drag around feeling sorry for himself or playing tentative, hand in the "C". He's better than what he's showing, and I think he misses Marty St. Louis pushing him, quite frankly. Time to be more of a self-starter and time to be the player the team can follow through the gates of hell.
Equally uneven has been the play of Victor Hedman. The other day I thought he did an amazing job setting the tone against the Ducks by setting up the opening goal. Those types of offensive efforts have been sporadic at best, though, and Hedman's play in his own end have steadily been sliding into dumpster fire territory. Tonight he played like a 6'6" marshmellow. There's no way to put lipstick on it, and the bummy effort he made on Tarasenko's EN goal was absolutely embarrassing. That's just a complete lack of pride, right there. Can't have it. You've got so many young defensemen on this team: Sustr, Barberio, Nesterov, Witkowski. I expect Andrej Sustr to struggle and have moments where he's playing tentative or lacking confidence. You accept that with a guy who has played just under 100 games. Victor Hedman's sitting on 370 games and is probably the best player, athletically, on the Tampa Bay Lightning. There's no excuse. Time to be more of a self-starter and time to be the player this defensive corps can follow through the gates of hell.
Both these guys have it in them, but they've had the luxury to this point of not having to be the alpha dogs because of the depth of talent the Lightning have on the roster. And, yes, I get that Steven Stamkos is sitting on 29 goals and both these guys have good numbers. Great. That doesn't equal championships, though. For the Lightning to reach their full potential and hang banners, they're going to have to push themselves and their teammates to do more and to apply the same level of effort every minute of every practice and every game. The standards for these two guys have to be higher. They're two of the three cornerstones along with Bishop. Efforts like tonight aren't going to cut it down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs. The apprenticeship time is over. Time to pay the cost and play like a boss.
Luke Witkowski was +1 with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 18:38. The coaching staff fed him some more ice time, and he showed himself to be responsible and willing to engage physically. God bless him for it, too. Someone on the defensive corps had to.
Vladislav Namestnikov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 9:51. He got called up to replace the injured Paquette and promptly got nicked up in the First Period and was ultimately a non-factor in the game.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Quebec Remparts 6 @ Victoriaville Tigres 4
W Adam Erne, QUE: 2-1-3, +4, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, 8/10 FO, 0 Hits, *First Star*
Season totals: 48 GP, 34-37-71, +22, 87 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Erne earned his second-straight first star award with his second-straight two-goal game. The only blemish on his stat line was a very rare zero hits, but it was a road game and road teams don’t get friendly stat keepers. Erne is now within one point of his career high for points in a season, set two years ago in 68 games.
Ontario Hockey League
Kitchener Rangers 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 4
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, *Second Star*
Season totals: 47 GP, 16-18-34, -8, 91 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM
DiGiacinto scored for the first time in eight games, helping the Spits to a big home win over the Rangers.
Oshawa Generals 5 @ Peterborough Petes 2
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 7-16-23, -15, 64 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Conference-leading Oshawa broke a 2-2 tie midway through the game and never looked back.
HPK 0 vs. TPS 1 (SO)
Saku Salminen, HPK, DNP
Season totals: 32 GP, 3-4-7, E, 4 PIM
Undrafted 19 year old Russian netminder Alexander Georgiev stopped 37 and each shooter he faced in the penalty shot session to lift TPS to a 1-0 win over HPK. Ex-Preds pick Juuse Saros stopped all 17 shots he faced for the hard luck shootout loss.
Ontario Hockey League
Sarnia Sting 2 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5
D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 4-20-24, +10, 23 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 14-48-62, +11, 87 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
DeAngelo played his former team for the first time since being traded early last month and had two assists to extend his point streak to 12 games. Our reigning Bolt Prospect of the Week is averaging nearly two points per game for his new team.
Peterborough Petes 2 @ Kingston Frontenacs 3
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 41 GP, 7-16-23, -14, 64 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Kingston got a goal from 2015 projected high pick Lawson Crouse, then got another one from Connor McGlynn (undrafted) late in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win.
Western Hockey League
Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 6
C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 21-35-56, +5, 38 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Point set a season high for penalty minutes in a game when an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was tacked on to a holding-the-stick call in the second period.
Prince George Cougars 3 @ Calgary Hitmen 4 (SO)
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 5-19-24, +10, 20 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Calgary won its ninth straight game, but needed a shootout to do it. They outshot Brett Connolly’s old team 53-22, including 7-1 in overtime. Thomas’ assist came on the power play and gives him at least one point in seven of his last nine games. Thomas (pictured) has a three-game point streak.
Sparta Praha 2 vs. Kometa Brno 3
Jaroslav Janus, Sparta Praha, Loss, 28/31, 3.05 GAA, .903 sv%
Season totals (CZE): 1 GP, 0-1-0, 0 SO, 3.05 GAA, .903 sv%
Season totals (KHL): 25 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA, .891 sv%
Jaroslav Janus lost his Czech Extraliga debut in Sparta Praha's 3-2 loss to Kometa Brno. Ex-Coyotes first rounder Jakub Koreis had a helper in the victory for Brno. Ex-Leafs second rounder Karel Pilar had a helper in defeat for Praha.
Magnitogorsk 4 vs. Nizhnekamsk 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-8-6, 5 SO, 1.76 GAA, .938 sv%
It was a rare game off for Vasily Koshechkin in Magnitka's 4-3 win over Nizhnekamsk. Undrafted Jan Kovar scored the game winner for Magnitogorsk and ended the match with 1 goal and 4 points. Ex-Crunch forward Dan Sexton had a helper in defeat for Nizhnekamsk.
Khanty-Mansiysk 1 vs. Chelyabinsk 2 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals: 51 GP, 20-14-34, +1, 12 PIM
Nikita Gusev had a power play goal, his magic 20th of the season, in Yugra's 2-1 OT loss to Chelyabinsk. Gusev played 18:52 in the match. Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov had the OT winner and an assist in the victory for Traktor.
Jake Dotchin picked up where he left off.
The rookie defenseman, who netted his first professional goal two periods before blocking a shot that injured his ankle on Dec. 5, needed little time to knock off any rust when he returned to the Syracuse Crunch lineup late last month.
Dotchin realizes the ups and downs come with the territory.
“I remember blocking that shot. It wasn’t a goal, but it felt like one to the guys and to me,” Dotchin said. “The guys were patting me on the back and what-not. It was unfortunate that I was out for that long, but it’s something I’d go down and do that for the team again, for sure.”
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for February 11, 2015 is … Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL – Canada).
In Anthony DeAngelo’s first game with Sault Ste. Marie after being traded by Sarnia, the Lightning 2014 first rounder did not register a point. That was January 9.
In 11 games since that time, DeAngelo has hit the scoresheet every game, racking up 22 points over that timespan. The 5'10" New Jersey native had seven points (and a fight) in three games last week, earning him our Prospect of the Week award.