All is right with the world...
Ben Bishop stopped all 18 shots he faced for the win before giving way to Kristers Gudlevskis, who allowed 1 goal on 18 shots the rest of the way. My going theory on the backup job the first two months of the regular season is this: the Lightning would be perfectly comfortable signing Ray Emery, but they'd really prefer to give Gudlevskis the gig. A solid performance like that is very helpful to Gudlevskis' cause.
12:29 TB Kucherov (1), (Peca, Namestnikov)
1:45 TB Condra (1), (Boyle, Erne)
10:59 TB Peca (1), (Callahan, Namestnikov)
12:26 TB Kucherov (2), (Drouin, Stamkos)
9:05 FLA Trocheck (1), (Pirri, Jokinen)(PP)
The Lightning may only be 1-1-1 through 3 games of the preseason, but I think the organization has to be pretty elated with everything so far, on balance. Emery and Gudlevskis have both played pretty well in their half game auditions and Wilcox showed potential. The younger guys you would hope will step up in Tampa Bay this coming season (Drouin, Namestnikov, Brown, etc.) have all played pretty well. Condra's seemingly fitting in seamlessly in that lower line equation. Key performers who will be counted on to step up for Syracuse this year like Peca are playing well and the wave of young defensemen who will probably start making their way to Tampa the second half of the year like Koekkoek, DeAngelo, Blujus, and Dotchin have all been pretty solid. Other than Sustr's performance in the second preseason game, I'd say the Lightning have checked off a lot on their to-do list thus far.
Mike Angelidis had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot and was 40% on 10 draws in 11:46.
Anthony DeAngelo had 2 penalty minutes in 18:26.
Slater Koekkoek was +3 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 18:21. He'll be in Tampa Bay by the playoff stretch of the season at the latest, in my opinion.
Joel Vermin had 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 13:48.
Jake Dotchin was +3 with 2 shots in 18:46.
Peca had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 in 14:09. He also had 3 shots and was perfect on the 2 draws he took. It's an interesting question we've had among the Bolt Prospects staff when it comes to Peca: just how good will he be? I think our minimum expectation, based on his body of work at Quinnipiac, is that he'll be an AHL star (call it the Cory Conacher level), but will he go beyond it to become a smallish NHL star (the Tyler Johnson level)? Only time will tell, but he's had a strong start to this season, which is great to see.
Yanni Gourde had 1 hit in 11:43.
Adam Erne had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 13:25.
Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 3 hits in 19:41. Team high in shots. Wish I could inject that gene in one or two other Lightning players every season.
Strong 55 minutes of hockey marred by late game collapse.
Ray Emery stopped all 10 shots he faced before giving way to Adam Wilcox midway through regulation. Wilcox played well for 25 minutes before eventually allowing 3 goals for the OT loss. He stopped 14 of 17 overall on the night. Emery's performance lays down a strong initial claim to the role of Bishop's backup heading into the regular season with Vasilevskiy shelved the first couple of months of the campaign.
2:58 TB Condra (1), (Angelidis, DeAngelo)
1:01 TB Drouin (1), (Killorn, Hedman)
15:18 NSH Bass (1), (Bourque, Jones)
17:28 NSH Arvidsson (1), (Fiala)
3:50 NSH Ekholm (1), (Forsberg, Ellis)(PP)
Brayden Point was the game's second star.
Unfortunately, the last 9 minutes or so of hockey kind of overshadowed 55 minutes of hockey where the Lightning accomplished most of what they set out to do tonight. They got good performances from the backup goaltenders. They got Drouin on track early in preseason. They got some good performances from the young players, especially the young defensemen. I think the staff will be happy with the night, on balance, but you want to finish it off and get the result, of course.
Anthony DeAngelo had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 21:03. They let their young thoroughbreds out for a good long run tonight.
Mike Angelidis had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit and 3 blocked shots in 11:37. He was also 67% on draws. Productive in his ice time, but that IT was limited because the Lightning know what they have there and the role he's going to be put into. Not a lot of mystery with Angelidis.
Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 hit and 5 blocked shots in 18:17.
Point was -1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 16:03. He was also a very nice 71% on draws. The guy has just gotten universal praise by everyone who has seen him in the last half a year or so.
Joel Vermin had 1 blocked shot in 13:55.
Henri Ikonen had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:35.
Mitchell Stephens was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 14:11. It says a lot that they gave him a touch more IT than some of the more established prospects who were in Syracuse last season. They obviously have high hopes for Stephens.
Dylan Blujus had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 19:30. Also hit a crossbar. Nice, well-rounded stat line. Good to see, with a nice chunk of minutes.
Adam Erne was -1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 14:40. Activity is good. Syracuse fans should be excited to get DeAngelo and Erne into the program this season.
Ben Bishop stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout win. That's some U of Maine Justice right there for the Panthers. I think he's been off a little mechanically the past couple of games, either due to being banged up or being fatigued, but he's a battler and he battled his way to getting the goose egg tonight.
6:10 TB Stamkos (41), (Johnson, Nesterov)(PP)
11:19 TB Stamkos (42), (Callahan)
1:03 TB Callahan (24), (Stamkos)
18:13 TB Johnson (27), (Drouin)
There's so much good wrapped in this game, it's hard to make sure you hit all the high notes. From an in-game standpoint, the Lightning had 4 regular defensemen out of the lineup going against what should've been a desperate Panthers squad, and they managed to shut them out. Kudos to the young defensemen, and kudos to Coach Zettler and the staff in Syracuse. It's been fantastic to watch the sharp progress this season by Nesterov and the steady progress of the likes of Witkowski, Koekkoek, Blujus, and Dotchin. It's a really hard act following a guy who is arguably an all-time great AHL coach like Jon Cooper, but Zettler has shown some developmental mojo with these young defensemen and it makes you excited to see what he can accomplish working with a prospect like Anthony DeAngelo.
The Lightning also got a power play goal for the fourth straight game and Steven Stamkos snapped out of his funk with a vintage PP goal and a laser beam from the right wing faceoff dot. Stamkos needs to be Stamkos if the Lightning are going to do anything in the playoffs, and if he were to find his PP mojo, that alone could win the Lightning a playoff series or two they might not otherwise deserve.
From a standings standpoint, the Lightning clinched home ice in the first round of the playoffs and tied Montreal in the standings with the Habs holding a game in hand. The Lightning have the ROW tiebreaker, so all the pressure is on Montreal right now. The Lightning get 4 days to rest and heal now while Montreal has to keep getting points if they want to maintain control of their own destiny in the division title pursuit. If they lose a game, the Lightning may be able to get Hedman, Sustr, and Killorn back on the ice for the final 2 games at home with the real prospect of earning a banner in the balance.
Oh, and the Lightning eliminate the Panthers from playoff contention. It's never a bad thing to kick dirt on their grave, is it?
Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 16:19. This wasn't quite the same effort for Slater as against Ottawa, IMO, but it was still a solid performance for the rookie. If I was a Syracuse fan, I'd be very excited to see him in the playoffs because he's going to go back to the Crunch with a ton of confidence.
Luke Witkowski had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 15:34. Quiet is good.
Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was +2 with 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 21:18. There was a lot of gushing about Nesterov tonight and rightfully so. He ate big minutes and he changes the complexion of the Lightning power play with his shoot first mentality and ability to get pucks through and on net. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think he's essentially running Barberio out of town for next season. They're similar players, but Nesterov's ceiling seems so much higher and he's already shown himself to be just as good, if not better, in his own third.
Vladislav Namestnikov played 11:36. He had one memorable rush where he slithered into the Panthers zone, but it was a quiet night for Namestnikov with Tyler Johnson returning and pushing him down off the line with Palat and Kucherov. Tonight was Namestnikov's 41st game of the season, so he graduated from prospect status on the website. Congratulations, Baby Faced Killer.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Gatineau Olympiques 1
C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, 12/21 FO, 0 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 19 GP, 13-15-28, -2, 20 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 14-28-42, -8, 34 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
Darcy was held scoreless but Sherbrooke was able to eke out a road win against the club at the bottom of the West Division thanks to netminder Evan Fitzpatrick, who stopped 34 of 35 shots in the match.
Victoriaville Tigres 4 @ Quebec Remparts 9
W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-2-2, +1, 7 PIM, 4 SOG, 3/5 FO, 0 Hit
Season totals: 44 GP, 28-35-63, +16, 74 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Quebec followed up Friday night's win with a solid thumping of visiting Victoriaville. Erne was in on the action with a couple helpers wrapped around a bout with defenseman Phil Pietroniro.
Ontario Hockey League
North Bay Battalion 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 (SO)
D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 1-0-1, +3, 7 PIM
With SSM: 9 GP, 3-12-15, +6, 17 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 13-40-53, +7, 81 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
DeAngelo's point streak hit eight games with a first period marker that put the powerhouse that his club is up by three and he engaged in a round of fisticuffs that might very well have made some of the denizens of his hometown proud. It bears repeating that the Soo still hasn’t lost since DeAngelo (and others) were acquired at the OHL trade deadline.
Windsor Spitfires 2 @ Plymouth Whalers 3 (SO)
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 15-17-32, -7, 83 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM
Windsor erased two deficits to push the game on into extra time only to fall in the skills competition. Scoreless in Windsor's last game, DiGiacinto provided a secondary dish that made for his fourth point in his last four games.
Ottawa 67's 4 @ Peterborough Petes 2
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 37 GP, 7-13-20, -19, 57 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Masin's seven-game point streak and Peterborough's brief run came to a grinding halt against the 67's.
Western Hockey League
Brandon Wheat Kings 6 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 0
C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 5 PIM
Season totals: 39 GP, 21-33-54, +9, 32 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Point was reduced to denting the score sheet being credited with a fight -- his second of the season -- and that about tells you all you need to know for how things were going for Moose Jaw on the ice Saturday night.
Edmonton Oil Kings 0 @ Calgary Hitmen 5
D Ben Thomas, CAL: Did not play
Season totals: 39 GP, 5-16-21, +6, 18 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Thomas sat this one out but Calgary rolled anyway en route its sixth straight victory. In the past three games, the Hitmen have put up an eye-popping 23 goals while allowing just a single goal against.
USA 2 vs. Russia 3
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 1-0-1, -1, 4 PIM, 6 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 2-1-3, -1, 4 PIM
Undrafted Sergei Tolchinski's Second Period goal turned out to be the winner as the experienced Russians defeated a youthful Team USA 3-2 to advance in the WJC's. Blues second rounder Ivan Barbashev also had a goal in the victory for the Russians. Anthony DeAngelo did his best to push the Americans through to the Semis with a power play goal and 6 shots on goal, but it wasn't enough. USA Hockey is left to ponder whether they'd have been better equipped to handle a team dotted with KHL-level players with one or two more experienced players like Adam Erne on the roster. DeAngelo also had a pair of minors for high sticking in the match.
Czech Republic 0 vs. Slovakia 3
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, -4, 2 PIM
Dominik Masin was on for all three goals against in Czech Republic's 3-0 loss to Slovakia. He also took a minor for hooking in the match. Undrafted Denis Godla stopped all 34 shots he faced for Slovakia for the shutout.
Canada 8 vs. Denmark 0
Brayden Point, Canada, 1-0-1, +4, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 2-1-3, +6, 2 PIM
Brayden Point help step into the void left by an injured Robby Fabbri and scored the 7th Canadian goal of their 8-0 rout of Denmark. Top 2015 prospect Connor McDavid had 1 goal and 3 points in the victory. Montreal 2nd rounder Zach Fucale had to stop just 14 for the shutout.
Canada 5 vs. USA 3
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM
Brayden Point, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
Anthony DeAngelo scored Team USA's first goal on the PP, but had a key turnover late in the game that led to an EN goal that turned out to be Canada's winner in their 5-3 victory in the last game of the round robin. Brayden Point watched the proceedings from the pine. Coyotes first rounder Max Domi led the way for Canada with 2 goals. Wings first rounder Dylan Larkin, obviously the revelation of the tournament, had 2 goals in defeat for the Americans.
Russia 1 vs. Czech Republic 4
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM
Dominik Masin had a helper on Czech Republic's early Third Period insurance goal in their 4-1 spanking of Russia. Undrafted Patrik Zdrahal had the goal and finished the contest with 2 goals to lead the Czechs. Blues 2nd rounder Ivan Barbashev had Russia's lone goal in defeat.
USA 3 vs. Slovakia 0
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Wings first rounder Dylan Larkin again led the way for Team USA with 1 goal and 1 assist in their 3-0 blanking of Slovakia. Canucks second rounder Thatcher Demko stopped all 17 shots he faced for USA's second consecutive shutout. Aside: don't read too much into Anthony DeAngelo's offensive production in the tournament. He's not playing the same role in the WJC's he does in the OHL, playing more of a defensive role and only seeing time on USA's second PP unit.
Finland 1 vs. Canada 4
Brayden Point, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
Czech Republic 4 vs. Denmark 3 (OT)
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
It took an overtime marker by Bruins first rounder David Pastrnak for the Czech Republic to finally dispose of pesky Denmark 4-3. A pair of helpers by Jets first rounder Nikolaj Ehlers allowed the Danes to extend the game past regulation despite a steep shot disparity that reached 48 to 14 for the Czechs by the game's end. Note that Dominik Masin has been playing the net front role on the Czech power play in the tournament, setting screens and looking for deflections.
USA 6 vs. Germany 0
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Red Wings first rounder Dylan Larkin had 2 goals and 1 assist as Team USA smashed Germany 6-0. Rangers second rounder Brandon Halverson stopped a meager 14 shots for the shutout. The game also featured the first goal of the tournament for USA captain Jack Eichel, a sparkling wraparound in the Third Period of the game. Eichel is expected to go in the top two of the June draft.
Finland 1 vs. USA 2 (SO)
Anthony DeAngelo, USA, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Anthony DeAngelo had a secondary assist on Alex Tuch's power play goal in USA's 2-1 shootout win over defending champion Finland. DeAngelo played both right and left-side defense and saw time on USA's second PP and PK units in the contest. Chase de Leo scored the shootout winner for the Americans.
Canada 8 vs. Slovakia 0
Brayden Point, Canada, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM
13th forward Brayden Point had 1 goal and 1 assist to open up the tournament for Canada in their 8-0 smashing of Slovakia. Robby Fabbri had 2 goals and 4 points in the victory for the Canadians.
Sweden 5 vs. Czech Republic 2
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Dominik Masin was -1 in third pairing action in Czech Republic's 5-2 loss to Sweden. The Swedes got a pair of goals from Adrian Kempe in the victory.
Name: Anthony DeAngelo
Weight: 175 lbs
Club: Sarnia (OHL)
Wow, here's a definitive swing for the fences.
With DeAngelo, the talent is unquestionable. The Philadelphia native ripped up the OHL with 15 goals and 71 points in 51 games this season. Nobody questions that, on talent alone, DeAngelo was one of the 10-15 best players in this year's class. His skating and puckhandling skills allow him to dismantle opposing defenses and gain the offensive zone with ease when he chooses to carry it. He's also got excellent vision and passing ability, and runs a power play with ruthless efficiency and a heavy righty shot. Indeed, Red Line Report ranked DeAngelo the 7th best pure skater and 13th best pure goal scorer in this draft, the latter of which is surely worth a double take given that DeAngelo is a defenseman.
The negatives, athletically, center on DeAngelo's stature, which leads to his being overwhelmed down low in the defensive zone, and his tendency to surrender neutral zone turnovers at bad times while pushing the pace. As a consequence, he posted a cringe-worthy -34 rating this season with the Sting. And yet, as cringe-worthy as that is, it pales in comparison to the red flags that surround DeAngelo off the ice. DeAngelo hasn't exactly mastered the team concept, as evidenced by his verbal abuse of a teammate with slurs that led to a suspension by the OHL. This is a young man who has been branded by many as a me-first player who the Lightning are gambling they can reorient into a productive member of the organization. If they can, Red Line Report projects him as a tremendously skilled offensive d-man and power play quarterback with comparisons to a lite version of Paul Coffey. If they can't get DeAngelo to coexist within the team concept, he'll be a bust, and one you have to worry will drag down teammates with him. Hey coaches: this is why they pay you the big bucks.
Highly skilled offensive defenseman and power-play QB
Same kind of game as Paul Coffey but, you know, not Paul Coffey
Pete Choquette contributed to this article