Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Acadie-Bathurst Titan 0 @ Quebec Remparts 6
W Adam Erne, QUE: 2-1-3, +3, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 9/10 FO, 5 Hits, *First Star*
Season totals: 38 GP, 27-28-55, +20, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Quebec moved Adam Erne off a line with recent New York Ranger Anthony Duclair and onto a line with Ukrainian dynamo Dmytro Timashov, and the duo combined for six points Wednesday in a 6-0 win over the Titan. Canadian gold medalist Zach Fucale (Montreal second rounder) had a shutout (11/11) in his Remparts debut. He was traded from Halifax earlier this month.
Ontario Hockey League
Saginaw Spirit 5 @ Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 12
D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 1-3-4, +3, 0 PIM
With SSM: 3 GP, 1-4-5, +2, 4 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, E, 64 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 11-32-43, +2, 68 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
DeAngelo made his home debut for the Greyhounds, scoring once and adding three assists in a 12-5 romp of Saginaw. The Soo was up 5-1 after one period and 9-3 after two. Newly acquired forward Nick Ritchie (Ducks) had four goals for the Soo. This was the fourth time DeAngelo has scored four points in a game – his career high. He was 1+3 in October 2013 for the Sting against Saginaw, and 1+3 twice in January 2013 for Sarnia.
Western Hockey League
Kootenay Ice 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 4
C Brayden Point, MJ: 3-0-3, +2, 4 PIM, *First Star*
Season totals: 33 GP, 20-30-50, +10, 25 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Point (pictured, MJ Warriors photo) notched his second hat trick of the season Wednesday night, leading the Warriors to a 4-3 win over last year’s first overall pick, Sam Reinhart, and the Kootenay Ice. Point had two hat tricks last season on his way to 91 points.
Red Deer Rebels 5 @ Calgary Hitmen 4 (SO)
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 4-12-16, -2, 16 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Red Deer needed a shootout to get an extra point from rival Calgary. Ben Thomas, who remains in a top-4 role for the Hitmen, was scoreless. Avalanche first rounder Conner Bleakley had two goals for Red Deer.
Omsk 1 vs. Magnitogorsk 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 29/30, 1.00 GAA, .967 sv%
Season totals: 39 GP, 26-6-5, 4 SO, 1.78 GAA, .935 sv%
Danis Zaripov had 1 goal and 1 assist to help lead Magnitka to a 3-1 win over Omsk. Omsk got a helper from ex-Flyer Erik Gustafsson in the win.
Khanty-Mansiysk 2 vs. Novosibirsk 4
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-2-2, -2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 16-10-26, +3, 12 PIM
Nikita Gusev had a pair of power play helpers for Yugra in their 4-2 loss to Novosibirsk. He also had a minor for hooking in 17:10 in the loss. Ex-Isles pick David Ullstrom led the way for Novosibirsk with a pair of goals.
Lightning dare to put up a fight.
Ben Bishop allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.
9:23 TB Stamkos (24), (Palat, Kucherov)
16:42 BOS Marchand (12), (Soderberg, Krug)
10:55 TB Stamkos (25), (Palat, Nesterov)
15:24 BOS Pastrnak (3), (Lucic, Miller)
19:06 BOS Lucic (9), (Krejci, Seidenberg)
1:30 BOS Pastrnak (4), (Krug, Krejci)
14:18 TB Callahan (14), (Killorn, Barberio)
Steven Stamkos was the game's second star.
This was an almost impossible mission for the Lightning tonight. They went into this game against a fresh Bruins team having played the night before in Philly. They were down their All-Star center (Johnson) and their best defenseman (Hedman). And Boston has been a place where the Lightning historically just don't play well. And, even when they do, something weird does them in (as it did tonight).
With all that going against them tonight, and with the Bruins on a 3 game winning streak, the Lightning lost a 1 goal game where the difference was a fluky goal. And, until late in the Second Period where the Lightning started to lose steam and that fluky goal happened, it's a game where the Lightning had the better of the play. Come the Third Period, with the Lightning skating with dead legs, Boston started to take the possession edge of the game and built up the 2 goal lead. At that point it would've been easy for the Lightning to pack it in, but then something happened that might make Lightning fans a little proud of the team.
Responding to seeing one of his teammates get boarded, Cedric Paquette had the audacity to shove mighty Zdeno Chara. Chara, naturally, sucker punched Paquette underneath the chin in the throat area dropping Cedric to the ice. It's an act which made Boston's NESN crew, led by the uber-classy Jack Edwards, pump up Chara's tires for being some kind of invincible warrior for bravely sucker punching a rookie. Yes, quite the feat of valor. I can see why they immediately ordered Chara's new medal. And, when said sucker-puncher was subsequently given a double minor for roughing, Edwards immediately started crying about the referees and generally carrying on about a rookie, Paquette, having the audacity to stand chest to chest with Chara. I mean, if you shove Zdeno Chara in the chest he has every right to sucker punch you in the chin and throat area, right. I mean, that's a totally symmetrical response, right? Wait, what? The refs said it wasn't!?
The game rolled on and there was another physical confrontation between J.T. Brown and David Krejci where Brown initiated dropping the gloves, upon which Edwards immediately excoriated Brown for thuggish behavior beyond the pale. You see, when Zdeno Chara sucker punches a guy in the throat, that makes Chara a world class gladiator worthy of being your son's role model ("Don't poke the bear! Grrrowl!"), but when another team's player drops the gloves first, partially in retaliation in a game that was getting a little physical/chippy, that makes them a thug. Hypocrisy, thy name is Jack Edwards! In any event, these two incidents gave the Lightning a jolt of adrenaline that helped them close the game to 1 goal and really make it interesting at the end. They picked up their hitting in the process and generally came together as a team in that moment, which is an emotionally galvanizing/team building instance in time that might've been lacking to this point of the season.
Note that in the process of that comeback bid, Edwards again showed what a colossal hypocrite and generally classless person he is by excoriating Paquette for throwing a completely clean and monstrously heavy open ice check in the neutral zone on a Bruins player. Citing that Paquette was somehow "standing over McQuaid" (he wasn't) Edwards began to attack Paquette as an unaccomplished player unworthy of the great honor of breathing the same air as a mighty Bruins player. Here's the thing, though:
You know what rookie Cedric Paquette accomplished tonight, Jack Edwards? He got your bummy rear end to talk about him for nearly an entire period of hockey and he got your best defenseman to chase him around for the entire final shift of a game where the Bruins were trying to protect a 1-goal lead. He furthermore so crawled under your team's skin that Brad Marchand was running his mouth about retribution in games later this season. In other words, he played his role to a tee. That'll keep him in the NHL because that's part of what makes for a valuable lower-line role player. Thanks for playing along, smart guy.
In the end, Jack Edwards, your mighty Bruins team only managed to beat a tired Lightning team on the tail end of a back-to-back with no Tyler Johnson and no Victor Hedman by a goal that Anton Stralman kicked into the back of his own net on a fluke play. Wow. Quite the accomplishment. Would you like your Stanley Cup celebratory champagne for that victory now, or maybe wait a couple of hours? I mean, surely Bettman will call off the season and hand you the silver chalice. At least, that's how you and the rest of the NESN crew acted at the end of the game.
The clown princes of the NHL sit in the press box in Boston, Massachusetts. This much I know for sure.
Paquette had 6 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 9:57, and made the entire city of Boston hate him. He's alright in my books. He took Boston's top defenseman off the ice for 4 minutes to give the Lightning a power play and defended a teammate on the first play, buried a Boston player with a great open ice hit on the second incident, and had Boston's best defenseman chasing him around the entire last shift of a 1-goal game when he should've been 100% focused on protecting a 1-goal lead. Now there's talk the Bruins may be chasing Cedric around the remaining 3 matchups this season? Gee, if I didn't know any better, I'd say he's playing the acerbic 4th liner role to perfection. That's how a guy like Paquette stays employed and stays paid in this league, last I checked.
Jonathan Drouin was -1 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 12:34. He had a really nice look on the PP in the First Period I was shocked he didn't finished and looked more engaged in that period than at any time in the Philly game.
Nikita Nesterov had a helper, his first NHL point, 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:53. Kind of a mixed bag. He looked dynamic offensively at times, particularly in the First Period, but was a little more iffy in the defensive end with some of his decisions. Fortunately some of his mistakes he helped cover for with hustle. All in all, probably a game you'd say was more positive than negative, for sure.
HPK 2 vs. JYP 1 (OT)
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 3-3-6, E, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was scoreless in 13:33 in HPK's 2-1 OT win over JYP. Ex-Lightning pick Eero Somervuori had a helper in the win.
So ends Evgeny Nabokov's NHL career?
Evgeny Nabokov allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for the loss before giving way to Ben Bishop, who allowed 3 on 12 shots the rest of the way. The fact Cooper didn't put Nabokov back in for the Third Period seems a bit telling, like perhaps this is the end of the road. Nabokov appeared to earn the start after playing reasonably well in his last outing, but he once again proved the Lightning just can't rely on him for even a mediocre start in back-to-back situations. Were it me, I'd highly consider calling up Kristers Gudlevskis to assume day-to-day practice duties as a waiver-exempt placeholder and then swap him with Andrei Vasilevskiy for planned starts, such as in upcoming back-to-backs. It could be a sad ending for Nabokov, who is probably one of the 4 or 5 best Russian goaltenders ever. The bottom dropped out quickly for him, though, a la Dwayne Roloson several years back.
6:12 PHI VandeVelde (3), (Schenn, Giroux)
10:26 TB Stamkos (23), (Johnson, Stralman)(PP)
16:15 PHI Umberger (7), (Read, Coburn)
1:45 PHI Voracek (17), (Streit, Giroux)(PP)
2:36 PHI Bellemare (4), (VandeVelde, Del Zotto)
7:02 PHI Streit (5), (Schenn, Simmonds)(PP)
8:37 PHI Schenn (10), (Streit, Voracek)(PP)
15:01 PHI Raffl (11), (Laughton, Simmonds)
15:23 TB Boyle (8), (Paquette, Stralman)
1:20 TB Callahan (13), (Drouin, Filppula)(PP)
Adding injury to insult, Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson left the game with lower body injuries, the former of which meant that Brian Boyle ended up having to take shifts on defense. Johnson's injury, which looked like a potential twisted knee, is particularly troubling. So, in addition to whatever happens (if anything) with the goaltending situation, you could see Vladislav Namestnikov called up to fill for Johnson and on defense, I'll guess Luke Witkowski would get the call and the coaching staff might try to slide one of their lefties playing the right side over to the left side.
This was a case where the Lightning got caught peeking ahead to Boston, didn't come out with their best effort, saw some soft goaltending, and allowed it to snowball out of control. Now they'll go into a place they seemingly never win with a depleted lineup after Bishop had to nearly play 2 periods of hockey in the back-to-back situation. So, a minor lapse of mental focus may snowball beyond a single hockey game, which is a lesson Cooper should stress to his team.
Cedric Paquette had a helper with 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:32, as he got to fill some of Johnson's minutes. He was also 40% on draws. To his credit, he was still throwing checks and playing hard in garbage time on the Third Period, which isn't unexpected given his well-respected effort level.
Jonathan Drouin had a helper and was -1 with 1 hit in 15:56. Zero shot attempts. None. The kid sneezes out assists, which is amazing for a guy who rarely even attempts to shoot the puck, and tells you how big a point producer he could be if he actually did.