Gourde, Yanni

NHL Game Night: 10-30-17 Lightning at Panthers

Heyyyyyy, there goes a snowmaaaannnnn!

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 23 shots for the victory. Vasilevskiy sets a franchise record with 9 straight winning starts on a night when he was off his game. His first goal allowed was a short side softie that allowed Florida to avoid getting run out of their building early on. Fortunately, he got the sweet elixir known as goal support.

First Period
2:48 TB Point (6), (Coburn, Girardi)
4:55 TB Kucherov (13), (Stamkos)
10:31 FLA Ekblad (3), (Huberdeau, Barkov)
14:40 TB Stamkos (5), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)
19:07 FLA Barkov (4), (Dadonov)

Second Period
5:32 FLA Huberdeau (5), (Barkov, Dadonov)
7:17 TB Palat (Point, Gourde)
9:38 TB Gourde (2), (Sergachev, Palat)(PP)
15:41 TB Namestnikov (5), (Kucherov, Hedman)

Third Period
5:32 FLA McGinn (3), (Bjugstad, Vrbata)
9:02 TB Stamkos (6), (Dotchin, Namestnikov)
11:29 FLA Dadonov (6), (Huberdeau, Barkov)
19:41 TB Stralman (2), (unassisted)(EN)

Steven Stamkos and Vasilevskiy were the game's first and third stars. I think they broke into the stash in the Miami Dolphins offensive line coach's office on that Vasilevskiy selection, history making aside, but I digress.

I thought the Lightning could've very well crushed Florida in this game (even more so than hanging 8 goals on them) if Vasilevskiy plays his normal game. I think the soft goal threw Florida a lifeline and they always play Tampa Bay like it's their championship. And, honestly, the Governors Cup often is the most prestigious thing they have a chance to play for, sadly enough. I can only imagine the difficulty for Tampa Bay having to get up for a game against a motivated little brother in an empty building. It's got to be challenging. For that reason, I can't muster much in the way of concern trolling about the 5 goals allowed. Take the win. Rub it into Florida's face that they still stink on toast. Move on to better things.

Real talk, though, folks: the attendance tonight in Sunrise should be a league-wide scandal. Remember when I made fun of the attendance in Raleigh the other night? Sunrise said, "Hold my beer." If there were 3,000 people in that building I'd be surprised, and probably a third of those were Lightning fans. This is a joke. How does the NHL allow this to continue? I can't fathom how Bettman and his cronies can possibly believe this is better for the league than selling out an 18,000 seat barn in Quebec City every night. I mean, Jesus, the Lightning and Panthers nearly scored one goal for every man, woman, and child in attendance at tonight's game. It's pathetic. It's sad. It's indicative of a franchise that needs to mercifully get the Old Yeller treatment. Just move it already. It's not like anyone in Miami will notice.

Real talk #2, folks: I was subjected to the horror of the Panthers broadcast on Center Ice tonight and I'm fairly certain you could prop Potvin up in front of a banana for a microphone at public skate night at the practice rink and he wouldn't know the difference anymore. Not that I don't find the guy slurring Vasilevskiy's name a half dozen times in a night charming, but at a certain point it's time to send grandpa to the old folks home for his own good. At least Chief had brown liquor as an excuse. Not sure what Potvin's is.

With seven games to go in this second segment of the season, the Lightning now have eight more points to collect.

Yanni Gourde had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 goals and 3 blocked shots in 18:30. He's the heart and soul of the forecheck on his line at evens and he's become the nice little PK ace, too.

Gabriel Dumont was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 blocked shots in 14:43. He was also 47% on 17 draws. I'm still not sure I'd call him an NHL'er, but I'll co-sign how he thumped Barkov and then suckered McCoshen into a minor penalty in the Third Period. All it lacked was giving an air kiss to McCoshen as he skated off.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 16:41.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 13:44.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-28-17 Ducks at Lightning

Reality check.

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Peter Budaj allowed 4 goals on 21 shots for the loss. It's a different team when Vasiy's in net. It just needs to be said and understood.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
10:13 ANH Rakell (4), (Montour, Getzlaf)(PP)
16:55 ANH Montour (4), (Getzlaf)(PP)
17:52 TB Kunitz (2), (Brown, Callahan)
19:59 ANH Lindholm (1), (Wagner, Rasmussen)

Third Period
8:59 ANH Rakell (5), (Getzlaf, Perry)

Part of tonight is just a reality check/correction. Part of tonight is not minding details like allowing a critical goal very late in a period. Part of tonight is a team being allowed by the refs to slow the Lightning down with a lot of clutching and grabbing. Either way, it's a quick wake up call for the Lightning, who now have eight games to try to collect another ten points in this ten game segment of the year.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot in 6:36.

Yanni Gourde was -1 with 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:39. Gourde was also 60% on 5 draws. His line was the best Lightning line on the night, particularly Brayden Point, and had the refs called the game a little tighter they surely would've generated a handful of power plays.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 1 shot and 3 blocked shots in 16:43.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:16.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-26-17 Red Wings at Lightning

Lightning take care of business to get second ten game segment of the year off right.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Vasilevskiy continues his personal winning streak, which is now up to 8 straight games.

First Period
14:18 DET Nielsen (3), (unassisted)(SH)
16:33 TB Kucherov (12), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
6:22 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (5), (Gourde, Palat)
18:11 DET Nielsen (4), (Nyquist, Abdelkader)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

Great to see the Lightning keep playing to their standards and not rest on their laurels after a wildly successful start to the season. Nine games left in this second segment of the year: ten points to gather.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 16:54. He found Point alone in front on the all-important insurance marker that turned into the game winner.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:03.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 4 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:51.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-24-17 Lightning at Hurricanes

Amazing opening segment of the year ends with some Vasilarceny.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. He's just rolling now. Everyone's going to point to the stats Stamkos and Kucherov are putting up, but the whole thing's built on the foundation of teams having to work twice as hard as the Lightning to get goals because of the quality of goaltending from 88.

First Period
19:25 TB Johnson (4), (Palat, Point)(PP)

Second Period
9:13 TB Sergachev (4), (Stamkos, Johnson)

Third Period
3:28 CAR Slavin (2), (Pesce, Jooris)
17:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Hedman, Dotchin)(EN)
18:39 TB Callahan (1), (Kunitz, Brown)(EN)
19:56 TB Kucherov (11), (Stamkos, Corburn)

Vasilevskiy and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and third stars.

This wasn't the Lightning's sharpest game. Their passing was off, and that contributed to a decisive possession advantage for Carolina. I'd attribute some of the flatness to the fact they were playing in front of a crowd of about twelve people, if the wide shot from the corner of the stands was any indication. Truly embarrassing when you put out a scene that makes Sunrise look bustling. I also thought the refs called a pretty slanted game, to be honest. One power play all game for Tampa Bay? Does anyone really believe the Canes played their game as pure as the driven snow? I don't. Sometimes you have to manufacture a win and that's what the Lightning did tonight. Good goaltending. Blocked a ton of shots. Strong penalty killing and cashed on the only PP they got. Took advantage at the end of periods to sneak a couple of goals. You don't want to make a steady diet of it, but good teams ride the details to wins even when they don't have their A game.

The Lightning close the first ten game segment of the year with an amazing 17 points, meaning they have 5 insurance points in the bank already. Enjoy it tonight... then flush it, because segment two starts tomorrow morning. It's a what-have-you-done-for-me lately business. Twelve in ten? Do it again.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 17:38 and was 25% on 8 draws. Hit two posts in succession just before Johnson opened the scoring on the PP in the First Period.

Jake Dotchin had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 17:36. The minutes creeping up is a good thing.

Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and was +1 with 5 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:23. He's just falling into points right now.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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