Volkov, Alexander

AHL Game Night: 11-14-18 Devils at Crunch

Five unanswered goals power Crunch above .500.

BNG-2
SYR-5

Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
7:08 BNG Quenneville (2), (Gignac, Lappin)(PP)
12:20 BNG Quenneville (3), (Studenic, Schmelzer)
15:34 SYR Barre-Boulet (3), (Verhaeghe, Valleau)(PP)

Second Period
2:10 SYR Andreoff (7), (Foote, Conacher)
15:19 SYR Gaunce (3), (Raddysh, Colton)(PP)
17:34 SYR Conacher (6), (Masin, Foote)

Third Period
19:03 SYR Volkov (4), (Labrie, Gaunce)(EN)

Cory Conacher, Pasquale, and Alexander Volkov were the game's three stars.

Cal Foote had his first multi-point game as a pro.

Syracuse climbs to 6-5-1 on the season and out of the basement in the North Division. They've done so by riding a five game unbeaten streak in which they've secured four wins.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-2-18 Senators at Crunch

Crunch hold tight in Third Period of wild, high-scoring affair.

BEL-4
SYR-5

Connor Ingram allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the victory.

First Period
7:42 SYR Yan (2), (Katchouk, Raddysh)(PP)
8:57 BEL Sturtz (1), (LaBate, Leier)
15:56 SYR Verhaeghe (2), (Barre-Boulet, Thomas)
19:16 BEL Tambellini (4), (Murray, Percy)(PP)

Second Period
0:48 SYR Volkov (1), (Katchouk)(PP)
4:38 SYR Andreoff (4), (Foote, Verhaeghe)(PP)
11:13 SYR Volkov (2), (Thomas, Raddysh)
16:38 BEL Tambellini (5), (Carey, Murray)(PP)
16:52 BEL Batherson (5), (Balcers, Sieloff)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Alexander Volkov, Ben Thomas, and Boris Katchouk were the game's three stars. Volkov, who was among the last cuts from the Lightning's camp, had been notably absent from the goalscoring ledger throughout the early parts of this AHL campaign. Good to see him open his 2018-2019 account tonight and good to see fellow prized prospect Boris Katchouk go get a couple of helpers to boot.

Hopefully this starts the climb back up the mountain for the Crunch. They've got at least two games in hand on the rest of the North Division, so if they can string some W's together, they can quickly climb to the middle of the divisional pack with teams like the Sens.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-29-18 Lightning at Panthers

Heck, even the preseason Governor's Cup is ours, too.

TB-3
FLA-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. The final tune up before live fire went well.

First Period
11:00 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Hoffman)
12:01 TB Conacher (1), (Martel)

Second Period
8:49 FLA Hoffman (1), (Barkov)(PP)

Third Period
6:31 TB Joseph (1), (unassisted)
13:11 TB Miller (1), (Sergachev, Stamkos)

J.T. Miller was the game's first star.

Torturing the Panthers is a pleasure in every season.

Now the Lightning will turn their attention to finalizing their roster. Adding more intrigue into the scenario are the impacts of injuries to Tyler Johnson and the recovering Ryan Callahan, which may allow a few more bubble players like Cory Conacher and/or Alexander Volkov to slip through to opening night. Regardless, it looks like Mathieu Joseph is in after scoring a key tying goal in tonight's encounter as the icing on the cake to his Orlando performance.

Joseph had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 15:07.

Danick Martel had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:21.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots and 2 blocked shots in 15:05 and he was 40% on 15 draws.

Volkov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 16:48.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-25-18 Panthers at Lightning

Lightning blow the "worst lead in hockey."

FLA-3
TB-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:17 TB Erne (1), (Joseph, Miller)(PP)
10:15 TB Killorn (1), (Stamkos, Miller)

Third Period
2:16 FLA Dadonov (1), (Pysyk)
7:03 FLA Ekblad (1), (Sceviour, MacKenzie)(SH)
12:31 FLA Barkov (1), (Dadonov, Bjugstad)

Brayden Point was the game's second star.

Things looked to be going well with the Lightning up two goals going into the final frame in a game with a lot of front line players from both clubs. It's concerning to cough up that lead and to give up a shorty, especially given that special teams has been a bit of a smoldering disaster thus far in the preseason. Practices will fix that last problem, but you can see some ragged edges as the process moves along to the opener.

Coming into this game, I really felt like this roster was nearly complete with three players fighting for one roster spot with two players fighting for another spot. I believe Adam Erne, who keeps scoring goals, has made the team and that the Lightning are unlikely to carry both Cory Conacher and Danick Martel, who are somewhat similar players in at least a superficial way, on the roster. Given the Lightning had to take the step of claiming Martel off waivers, you'd presume he has a slight edge on the more tenured Conacher. Those two will fight over a single spot, if I'm right the Lightning won't carry both and will try to fish the other through waivers down to Syracuse.

That leaves the final spot on the roster, and I handicap that as a three player race between Erik Cernak, Mathieu Joseph, and Alexander Volkov. If the Lightning decide to carry eight defensemen, Cernak makes the team, period, full stop. A lot of that probably depends on the team's confidence in Sergachev's switch to the right side and their confidence that Slater Koekkoek is finally ready to be more of a contributor to the team (yes, I'm assuming the waiver-eligible Koekkoek will make the club). Most teams don't carry 8 defensemen, but the Lightning have been one of the few teams that regularly have and there is, of course, Jon Cooper's proclivity to dress seven defensemen. Whether he makes the team on opening night or not, expect Cernak to see significant time in Tampa Bay over the course of the season, as he's clearly separated himself as the number eight on the depth chart.

If they go to a more conventional seven defensemen on the roster, though, it comes down to Joseph and Volkov, each of which have the DNA to be contributing complimentary wingers. Joseph's speed and forechecking would be a big plus to the lower lines. Volkov is perhaps a more complete 200 foot player (but only slightly so, Joseph's no slouch) and has a blink-quick release. Either player would be a nice weapon on the roster, but I honestly think the Lightning's style and the overall trend of the league perhaps favors a Joseph promotion.

In my opinion. All speculative, but that seems to me to be the one remaining twist we might see in the final shaping of the roster.

Joseph had a helper and 2 hits in 15:15.

Koekkoek had a shot, a hit, and a blocked shot in 11:59.

Martel had a shot and a blocked shot in 12:23.

Mitchell Stephens had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:02. He was also 44% on 16 draws.

Anthony Cirelli was -1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:04. He was also 67% on 15 draws.

Adam Erne had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 14:24.

Cernak had 2 penalty minutes 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:18.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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