Erne, Adam

NHL Game Night: 10-13-18 Blue Jackets at Lightning

An imperfect snowman built by a resurgent power play.

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TB-8

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory. The team's PK, in particular, is not passing the eye test right now, but Vasilevskiy's been so sharp he's smoothing out the imperfections.

First Period
1:00 TB Hedman (1), (Johnson, Kucherov)
11:17 TB Paquette (1), (Gourde)
18:37 TB Gourde (1), (Sergachev, Johnson)(PP)

Second Period
8:14 CBJ Anderson (3), (Wennberg, Murray)
15:51 CBJ Bjorkstrand (1), (unassisted)
19:15 TB Point (1), (unassisted)

Third Period
1:40 TB Point (2), (Miller, Sergachev)(PP)
7:12 TB Killorn (1), (Stamkos, Miller)(PP)
13:02 TB Kucherov (1), (Palat, Coburn)
19:59 TB Miller (1), (Point, Stralman)(PP)

Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, and J.T. Miller were the game's three stars.

After a couple of less than inspired efforts, the Lightning looked like they knew something had to change going into a game against Columbus. You better play hard against a John Tortorella coached team because you know they will out of fear of going to the hospital for having a fine Italian loafer removed from their nether-regions if they don't. Jon Cooper pulled the right strings with reconstituted lines that included re-assembling the old Triplets line, and with a little luck and some strong work by Vasilevskiy when called upon the team built a big 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, the team reverted to sleep walking in the Second Period and were dominated by Columbus much of the frame. Thanks to Vasilevskiy, they were still clinging to a lead with under a minute before intermission when Brayden Point got a big breakthrough to re-establish a little breathing room. A Point power play goal after the intermission re-established the three goal cushion, and it was on to garbage time. In the end, the bulk of the Lightning's fireworks came from a power play that finally showed the needed urgency and ended up with four power play markers to show. Several Lightning players got some feel-good stats in this game, including Gourde, Point, Kucherov, and Miller all breaking the goal scoring tape on their 2018-2019 seasons.

Still plenty to work on as the team continues to strive toward a full sixty minute effort, but pinning a snowman on a team beats a punch in the face... or a backdoor 4-1 loss.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 13:06.

Anthony Cirelli was -1 with 3 hits and he was 33% on 12 draws in 13:53.

Adam Erne was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:23.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-11-18 Canucks at Lightning

Lightning see the script flipped on them from opening night.

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TB-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the loss. I've got no complaints about Vasiy's sharpness through two games.

First Period
16:36 TB Point (1), (Gourde, Coburn)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
11:07 VAN Pettersson (4), (Pouliot, Stecher)
12:17 VAN Boeser (1), (unassisted)
18:48 VAN Virtanen (2), (unassisted)(EN)
19:52 VAN Granlund (1), (Virtanen)(EN)

Mathieu Joseph was the game's third star.

The Lightning had a much better effort overall in this one relative to opening night as far as their possession game goes, but they paid the price for letting a team hang around. The urgency they showed at even strength early in the game subsided to some very complacent efforts on the power play and their failure to put the game away when they had chances to with the man advantage bit them. Vancouver gets a puck luck goal off a guy's leg and another goal off a Killorn turnover and a game that should've been a win evaporates into an ugly loss. It's a frustrating reversal of what happened against the Panthers.

Someone put an APB out for Stamkos and Kucherov. Stick their mugs on a milk carton. There's no excuse for players that talented to have done so little in the first two games of the season. Indeed, tonight I thought the bottom two lines were generally much better than the top two lines, and that's not a sustainable formula. Complacency is poison, and going through the motions, especially on the power play, is intolerable.

Joseph was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 1 hit in 13:53. He was all over the rink tonight and it feels like once he gets one point, the dam is going to break and he's going to get a handful pretty quickly thereafter.

Anthony Cirelli was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots, and 1 hit in 14:01. He was also 50% on 14 draws. His line with Joseph was the best Lightning line tonight and unfortunately, it wasn't reflected in the ending stat line.

Adam Erne was -1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:16. The fourth line was skating and hitting pretty well. Just couldn't get enough pucks into the blender in front of Nilsson to generate more scoring chances.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-6-18 Panthers at Lightning

Opening night Vasilarceny as the Lightning continue to torment PantherNation.

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TB-2 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 43 shots and 2 of 2 shooters in the penalty shot session for the SO victory. The Lightning could've easily been down 3 or 4 goals coming out of a particularly terrible looking opening frame were it not for how sharp Andrei was from the word "go".

First Period
5:58 FLA MacDonald (1), (Trocheck, Huburdeau)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:45 TB Cirelli (1), (McDonagh)(SH)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
FLA- NONE
TB- Miller, Kucherov

Vasilevskiy and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and second stars.

That was ugly as sin, but I'll take it. The Lightning looked rusty, out of sync, and just plain bad for the first 20 minutes of tonight's contest and were frankly lucky not to get blown out of their own barn. Vasilevskiy held them in it and they got progressively better over the course of the contest, but there were still far too many mental errors and old Lightning bugaboos for my taste. Turnovers. Players passing out of shooting opportunities in prime real estate around the slot and circles. Penalties in bad situations. It wasn't good. Chalk it up to the weirdness of opening night, but unless you're wearing #88, you shouldn't be happy with how you played tonight. They'll be no shortage of film for Jon Cooper to point to to teach them up after tonight's near debacle that thankfully wasn't.

If there was one silver lining, I think it was the team's response coming out of the First Intermission. I'm a little squeamish about the lack of changes to this roster and the potential for staleness that plagued this team two seasons ago when they missed the playoffs. I didn't get that complacency vibe from the team tonight. They knew they stepped in it in the First Period and they showed some resolve to try to correct their habits immediately. That's good to see from a team that now has to get back to the regular season grind of systematically trying to get 12 points every 10 game segment of the season. It's a grind that requires leadership and mental toughness, and they showed some of that tonight even though they didn't have their A (or even their C) game for a good portion of the night.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:50. Looked a hot runny mess in the First Period, like most of his teammates, and then got a lot better from there on out. Thought for sure he was going to score on one shift in the Second Period.

Anthony Cirelli had the big SH goal and 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:15 and was 57% on 14 draws. Played a good game and got rewarded for it with some puck luck on his goal.

Adam Erne had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:32. Mixed it up physically at times, but didn't have a ton of ice time to be more impactful with.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Lightning Set Opening Night Roster: Four Prospects Make Squad

Tampa Bay trimmed down their training camp roster to twenty-four on Sunday, and with forward Ryan Callahan expected to start the season on injured reserved, this should be the team's final cuts. Four Bolt prospects, all forwards, will start the 2018-19 campaign with the big club, including camp standouts Adam Erne and Mathieu Joseph. Joining those two include Anthony Cirelli and Danick Martel, the latter being a waiver wire claim during camp by the Lightning. Cirelli was an in-season call up from the Crunch during the 2017-18 season, and played 18 regular season games and 17 playoff games for the Lightning totaling seven goals and seven assists in those 25 contests. Erne has played 49 NHL games over the past two seasons for the Bolts, while Martel notched four games for the Flyers last season.

Forwards Alexander Volkov and Mitchell Stephens, along with defenseman Erik Cernak were the team's final three cuts, and all had very strong camps in their own rights. They were reassigned to the Syracuse Crunch and are expected to play pivotal roles for Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate.

The Lightning open the 2018-19 season at home on October 6 against the Florida Panthers.

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