Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Crunch's Richard Continues to Round Out Game


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard is still adding more facets to his game.

A playmaker in junior, the Syracuse Crunch center spent the past two years developing a more physical presence fit for a grinding line. In his third full pro season, Richard has become the team’s most reliable player for faceoffs and is refining his ability to be an agitator that takes the opposition off their game.

Richard’s versatility has earned him more playing time in all situations.

“He’s matured as a player, because he’s more well-rounded,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “I can use him in a number of different situations. I trust him out there and he works hard to get back as well. He’s earned his ice time and he’s certainly been a valuable player for us all year.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 49

This week's “Gretzky Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 49
· Every angle of the Drouin drama.
· Coach vs Player
· Forget #freedrouin. Free the skill.

Gudlevskis Eager to Start After Stint With Lightning


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Kristers Gudlevskis did his best to stay calm and stick to his game plan.

Sent back to the Syracuse Crunch after spending more than two weeks as the backup goaltender with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the 23-year-old was eager to return to the net last weekend. Gudlevskis made 35 saves in each game -- one of which went to overtime -- as the Crunch dropped a pair of games to the Toronto Marlies on Saturday and Sunday 3-2.

“At one point, if you don’t play that much, you become really hungry for those game,” Gudlevskis said. “You just wait for when you’re going to get in. At that point, it’s even better. You become really hungry to jump in games.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 48

This week's “Mike Vernace Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 48
· Biggest difference between last year and this (besides record)
· Hope fading, but still there
· World Juniors update
· #BPMailbag (Prospects who could be part of deadline deal … Keep Vasy or Bishop? … What’s ailing Drouin? … Point’s upside higher?)

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending December 16 is … Jonathan Marchessault, W, Tampa Bay (NHL).

Where would the 2015-2016 Tampa Bay Lightning be without Jonathan Marchessault?

To say injuries have affected the Lightning this year would be as understating as saying a school of rabid sharks with lasers affects where you can swim.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 47

This week's “Johnny Grahame Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 47
· The incredible irony in Toronto’s $tamkos hype
· The only situation where re-signing Stamkos works
· Stamkos a Sabre? Reading the tea leafs after trade news
· A theory that may just be reality. So long, Stamkos.
· Syracuse doing it’s job, but deserves more
· Interview with Cam Darcy

Correction: Grahame did not win a Cup as a backup goaltender with Carolina. He arrived after their Cup.

Darcy Making Most of Opportunity with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Cameron Darcy scored his first professional goal Saturday. Maybe.

The Syracuse Crunch forward’s shot from the slot went into a crowd in front of the Toronto net, ended up in the back of the net, and was initially waved off due to a hand pass. After a video review, Darcy was awarded the game-tying goal that sent the game to overtime, but the tape has since been sent to the American Hockey League for verification.

Darcy isn’t sweating his stats. Instead, with so many players called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the rookie center is focused on making the most of his opportunity to be a regular in the Crunch lineup.

“Every time I’m on the ice and every game I get in, I get a chance to prove who I am as a player and I try to show the coaching staff that I can play the game well and I can make a difference when I’m in there,” Darcy said after practice on Monday. “I just need to take advantage of every opportunity I’m put in and just roll with it.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 46

This week's “Martin Cibak Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 46
· The Lightning’s power play, as described by Veronica Corningstone
· New blood needed
· DeAngelo an option?
· Trend report for junior, NCAA, and European prospects
· Interview with Adam Erne
· #BPMailbag: Marchessault’s future with the club … Looking ahead to expansion draft … Pie or cake? … Bishop vs Vasilevskiy plan … Which Triplet goes? … Nesterov’s future … Thoughts on Cooper’s contract extension – strategic timing?

Erne Using New Perspective in Return to Crunch Lineup


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Erne looked to make the best of a bad situation.

The Syracuse Crunch forward missed six weeks after being injured during a game against Hartford on Oct. 23. Unable to play, Erne used the time to get a new perspective and study the game from afar.

After returning to the lineup last weekend, Erne is using the knowledge he gained to help him on the ice.

“I haven’t had too many injuries through hockey,” Erne said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a part of the game. When it does, you just have to make the best of it and work hard, and use it as an opportunity to get faster and even more ready for the remainder of the season.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending December 7 is … Nikita Gusev, W, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL).

The Goose is loose, but he’s staying in Russia.

Lightning 2012 seventh round pick Nikita “The Goose” Gusev is having another all-star year in the KHL this season, sparking talk that the diminutive playmaker could be joining his good friend Nikita Kucherov in Tampa as soon as next season.

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