Features

Articles that are feature stories.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 14

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· Replacing Gudas – options inside and outside the organization
· Midseason surprises and disappointments
· Interview with Luke Witkowski
· BP Mailbag (Most expendable player … FA defensemen … Why are the Triplets successful? … Yandle to TB? … DeAngelo’s timeline)
· Prospects of the Week

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Prospect of the Week: 1-7-14

After a nice holiday break, 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 January 7, 2014 is … Cameron Darcy, Center, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL – Canada).

There are turnarounds, then there's what Lightning prospect Cam Darcy is doing.

Darcy’s story is well known – he was intent on getting a pro contract last fall, but the Lightning sent him back to juniors for an overage year so he could get stronger. The South Boston native didn’t produce anywhere close to the level that made him a second team all-star with Cape Breton last year and eventually the Eagles had to move on. Darcy was traded to Sherbrooke, where he suddenly found his game again.

Witkowski Focusing on Play Instead of Promotion


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Luke Witkowski isn't sitting idly by waiting for the phone to ring.

The Syracuse defenseman, one of the last players cut from Tampa Bay Lightning training camp who earned a short call-up in October but didn't play, isn't worried about when he will have the opportunity to make his NHL debut. Even with the Lightning's blueline being banged up, Witkowski is focused on his game and doing what he can to help the Crunch.

"I'm not really worried about that right now," Witkowski said of the possibility of a promotion.

Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler has seen progress in Witkowski's second professional season.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 13

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The emergence of Sustr and Barberio
· World Junior snub
· BP Mailbag (Early 2015 TB draft strategy … 2017 Stanley Cup Game 1 line rushes and D pairs … On the trade block … Kunyk’s place in the organization)
· Junior prospect’s turnaround

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Stop a Goalie Controversy Before it Starts

As far as Lightning prospect watching goes, outside of a Calder Cup it’s hard to top the past week.

Our top-rated prospect, Jonathan Drouin, was finally freed, taking the left wing spot on Tampa Bay’s top line next to Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan. Drouin was also promoted to the top power play unit, though “promoted” could be interpreted as a reply to an S.O.S. signal that didn’t include red lights.

Then there’s 19-year-old goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Our No. 2 prospect made his NHL debut with a stellar performance in Philadelphia, allowing an early, no-chance deflection goal. On Saturday, Vasilevskiy put on a cape and turned in one of the best goaltending performances in Lightning history, stopping 45 of 47 shots in an eventual 3-1 loss to the Islanders. Lightning skaters had the best seats in the house for Vasy’s show and did their fair share of watching.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 12

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· Analyzing Vasilevskiy's debut
· Taylor Hall trade rumors
· Interview with Syracuse captain Mike Angelidis
· BP Mailbag (More on TB goaltending future, KHL fallout, Artem Sergeev status update)
· TB prospect World Juniors preview

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Previous BP Podcast editions:

Angelidis Leading Syracuse's Charge Back to Postseason


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Mike Angelidis battled for space with a couple players on the blue line and bolted for the front of the net.

The puck rebounded off Utica netminder Joacim Eriksson, bounced right to Angelidis’ skate, and into the back of the net. The Crunch captain’s 10th goal of the season tied the game with a little more than two minutes left in regulation, and Syracuse went on to win its sixth-straight in overtime Saturday night.

It was the ultimate example of Angelidis’ play -- a clutch play, albeit not flashy, when the Crunch needed it the most. The 29-year-old’s ability to lead by example has put Syracuse in second place in the Northeast Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Prospect of the Week: 12-15-14

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 December 15, 2014 is … Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

Who are we to argue with the American Hockey League?

The league named Lightning goaltender prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy the CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday before we even had a chance to vote on our Prospect of the Week. The early bird gets the proverbial worm, so we’ll just go ahead and agree with the AHL on this one.

Not that we would’ve disagreed.

The BoltProspects Podcast, Volume 11

This week's edition of The BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· Vasilevskiy is making his move… how does this relate to the future goaltending depth chart?
· Freaking out about the freaking out
· Cameron Darcy drama
· Interview with Vlad Namestnikov
· BP Mailbag (Projecting Brian Hart … Connolly vs Drouin on the PP… Most improved in Syracuse… Jaro Janus coming back?)
· Weekly prospect review (What Gauthier has to do to earn another year)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Namestnikov Making Most of Return to Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Vlad Namestnikov took less than one minute to show up on the scoresheet in his return to Syracuse.

The center, assigned to the Crunch last week to get more ice time after initially making the Tampa Bay Lightning out of training camp, scored a power play goal 59 seconds into his first game back and finished with two goals and three assists in a pair of weekend wins for the Crunch.

Namestnikov understands the reasons for being sent back to the American Hockey League, and is continuing to work on improving his game to return to the Lightning.

“I’m trying to stay positive,” Namestnikov said. “If I keep working and keep improving, I think good things will happen.”

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