Toledo Walleye 3 at Kalamazoo Wings 0
W Brian Hart, KAL, DNP
Season Totals: 7 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIMs, 3 SOG
G Nic Riopel, KAL, DNP
Season Totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0-0, 2.51 GAA, 0.918 SV%, 1 SO
The K-Wings scoreless drought reached 134:55 after consecutive games of 3-0 shutouts. Wednesday night the Toledo Walleye administered the lockdown. Bolts prospect Brian Hart, who played 7 games without registering a point, found himself serving popcorn. A puzzling start to the season for a prospect who had decent training camps. Kalamazoo continues its 3-game home stand with Cincinnati and Quad Cities on Friday and Saturday night.
Lightning continue absolute ownership of the Islanders.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 32 shots for the victory. He made a bevy of key, difficult saves at important times to allow the team in front of him to eventually build the game into a laugher. Vasilevskiy is now 3 decisions away from graduation from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects, by my count.
8:03 TB Stamkos (8), (Johnson, Namestnikov)(PP)
11:00 TB Kucherov (5), (Hedman, Stamkos)
2:50 TB Johnson (5), (Stamkos, Palat)(PP)
8:04 NYI Ladd (2), (Boychuk)
1:08 TB Boyle (4), (Paquette)
In boxing, the old saying goes "Styles make the fight". Sometimes, though, the "styles" or the matchups simply align to where one team just has absolute dominance over the other. Such is the case between Tampa Bay and the Islanders. Something about the styles and the matchups just gives the Lightning an absolute leg up on Brooklyn's team. The Lightning obviously have a skill and speed advantage between the two teams, but the familiarity between the two clubs out of the playoff series last year seems to have bred a contempt that leads the Lightning skill to bear down on the Islanders and bury them with added zest and zeal.
Making it worse for the Islanders is that they played a horribly undisciplined game. The Lightning spent half the game on the man advantage and made the Isles pay on two of them. By the end, it looked like the dispirited Isles had given up, and I honestly wonder how much longer the shabbily clad and quaffed Coach Capuano keeps his job after an effort like that. They were a hot, sad mess.
Brayden Point had 1 shot in 16:10 of a very quiet outing.
Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 14:46 of a very quiet outing.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.
SaiPa 2 vs. KalPa 3 (SO)
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 12 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 1-1-2, -7, 39 PIM
Saku Salminen took a minor and a misconduct for a hit from behind in SaiPa's 3-2 Shootout loss to KalPa. He played 5:58 in the loss.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Shawinigan Cataractes 3 @ Gatineau Olympiques 4
W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 15 GP, 14-7-21, +2, 24 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM
Defenseman Matthew Thorpe scored his first QMJHL goal in the final half-minute to give Gatineau a 4-3 upset win over the CHL’s second-ranked team. The Olympiques are second-last on the Q table.
This week’s “Yevgeni Artyukhin Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:
· The No. 76
· Second chances
· Point is on point
· Leave Hedman alone
· Crunch updates
· Interview with Yanni Gourde
· New prospect rankings
· Prospect of the Week
Dynamo Moscow 2 vs. St. Petersburg 3
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 10-22-32, +22, 4 PIM
Nikita Gusev had secondary assists at even strength and on the power play in SKA's 3-2 win over Dynamo Moscow. He played 14:05 in the win. Linemate Vadim Shipachyov had assists in triplicate in the match. Of SKA's 28 matches so far this season, they have only lost in regulation once. Once!
Granted, we're about a month into the Lightning's NHL campaign. But, like a fine wine, we decided to let our 2016-2017 Bolt Prospects Preliminary Rankings age a bit before presenting them to you. Overall, the first month of the year has been very kind to the Lightning prospect pipeline. The Lightning have three Bolt Prospects currently in Tampa this year who look on track for graduation this year while an improved Syracuse team is studded with young players who will get an opportunity to play on what could potentially be one of the better teams in the AHL. Meanwhile, in junior and the NCAA, the fruits of the 2015 and 2016 drafts, in particular, are off to a roaring start that leave us optimistic that the Lightning prospect depth chart is returning to a level of quality we haven't seen for the past couple of years.
Before we begin, a reminder of the eligibility rules for the Rankings. Only players under 24 years of age on the opening night of the Lightning season are eligible to be ranked. As a consequence, talented players like Nikita Gusev and Kristers Gudlevskis are no longer counted in the top twenty-five. These "overage prospects" are not to be ignored, though, and add yet another level of depth to the team's pipeline. Skaters with 41 or more NHL games in a single season or 82 or more career NHL games are considered graduated and no longer eligible to be ranked. Goaltenders with 30 or more NHL decisions in a single NHL season or 41 or more NHL career decisions are also considered graduated from prospect status and no longer eligible to be ranked. For those wondering, yes, a certain Russian goaltending prospect is very, very close to graduation as of this posting. Lastly, NCAA prospects are eligible to remain on the rankings for the duration of their college careers, even if they are over 24 years of age.
Terms and conditions apply. Employees and family of Bolt Prospects are not eligible. No purchase necessary. Re-read the least paragraph for full rankings rules.
With that out of the way, let's begin...
Ontario Hockey League
Niagara IceDogs 1 @ Peterborough Petes 3
W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 16 GP, 10-4-14, -7, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM
D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 9 GP, 1-3-4, -2, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM
W Jonne Tammela, PBO: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 1 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM
Jonne Tammela (pictured) made his long-awaited OHL debut and scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Matt Spencer was named third star for his efforts.
Owen Sound Attack 1 @ Erie Otters 5
W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 2-1-3, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 16 GP, 17-25-42, +29, 11 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM
Raddysh extended his point streak to 16 games and his streak of having at least three points in a game to four games. He has 14 points in that span.
Yanni Gourde’s move to the middle has provided a spark for the Syracuse Crunch’s offense.
Used primarily a winger over the course of his pro career, Gourde was asked to center a line with Mike Halmo and Cory Conacher last weekend. The forward registered the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Rochester on Friday, and had the primary assist on Halmo’s go-ahead goal in a 2-1 win over Utica on Saturday.
Although there are still some aspects of center he’s looking to improve, Gourde feels comfortable in the middle.
“It is a little bit tougher, especially taking draws, but I’m working on it and I’m trying to get better,” Gourde said. “But once the puck is dropped, hockey is hockey. I know what you have to do and I do it.”
Inexplicable mistakes rob Lightning of fruits of a decent effort.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the loss. Played very well in a goaltending duel, but lost on an inexcusable mistake by his best d-man.
3:10 FLA Marchessault (7), (Yandle, Barkov)(PP)
1:15 TB Palat (2), (unassisted)
15:32 FLA Smith (3), (unassisted)
19:24 FLA MacKenzie (1), (Yandle)(EN)
Bishop was the game's third star.
The Lightning played better than the scoreboard indicated tonight, as they really matched and exceeded the Panthers' intensity level and had one of their better forechecking nights of the year from about midway through the First Period on. Luongo held serve for the Panthers long enough for Victor Hedman to make the inexplicable mistake of allowing his pocket to be picked at the Lightning blueline allowing the winning goal to be scored against. It squanders an effort that, in my opinion, showed marked improvement from players like Palat and Johnson who have struggled to find their form early in this campaign.
Brayden Point had 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:15.
Slater Koekkoek had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:11 as his minutes suffered with the return of Nesterov in the 7 d-man lineup.