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The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 75

This week’s “Radko Gudas Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 75
· “Boring defensemen” is a legit compliment
· Backing away from the cliff
· The Lightning are only good when …
· Interview with Cory Conacher
· Syracuse goalie controversy and how it negatively affects Tampa Bay (think Desjardins vs Tokarski)
· Interview with Adam Wilcox
· #BPMailbag (Peca, Imama probabilities … Koekkoek in 3 years … Tyler Johnson waiting game … Marchessault freed … Market for Nesterov? … Carolina in Bishop race? … Vladdy as C or W? … Imama timeline … DeAngelo trade)

CHL Game Night: 11-2-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 2 @ Gatineau Olympiques 5

W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits, 11/23 FO
Season Totals: 15 GP, 5-6-11, -4, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Five different players scored for Gatineau in their win over Halifax Wednesday.

Quebec Remparts 2 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 12 GP, 12-5-17, +3, 20 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Shawinigan scored twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

Ontario Hockey League

Guelph Storm 4 @ Erie Otters 5 (OT)

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 12-19-31, +24, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh and DeBrincat combined for six points as Erie won in overtime Wednesday afternoon, 5-4. Raddysh, who was named the OHL October Player of the Month, set up DeBrincat for the game-winner.

Western Hockey League (late)

Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 1 (OT)

G Connor Ingram, KAM: OT Loss, 30 saves on 32 shots, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 14 GP, 7-6-1-0, 2.01 GAA, .936 sv%, 1 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram improved his league-leading save percentage to .936 in an overtime loss to Lethbridge. He was named second star.

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 2 (OT)

C Brett Howden, MJ: Did not play
Season Totals: 11 GP, 9-5-14, -2, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden missed his third consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. It is not believed to be long-term.

CHL Game Night: 11-1-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 6 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 15 GP, 4-5-9, -2, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 15 GP, 13-8-21, +9, 13 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph and Imama both scored Tuesday as the Dogs beat the Eagles, 6-1. Joseph’s 13th goal of the season puts him second in the league behind Charlottetown’s Filip Chlapik, who has 14. Lightning prospect Dennis Yan is tied for third at 12.

Western Hockey League (late)

Kamloops Blazers 5 @ Kelowna Rockets 1

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 20 saves on 21 shots
Season Totals: 13 GP, 7-6-0-0, 2.02 GAA, .935 sv%, 1 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram followed up his shutout on Friday with a 1-GAA win in Kelowna Tuesday. Ingram is second in the WHL in goals against average and leads in save percentage (tie).

Seattle Thunderbirds 4 @ Saskatoon Blades 3

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 14 GP: 0-7-7, +1, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Seattle skated out to a 3-0 lead before hanging on to beat the Blades in Saskatoon.

Prince Albert Raiders 1 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 3

C Brett Howden, MJ: Did not play
Season Totals: 11 GP, 9-5-14, -2, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden missed his second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. It is not believed to be long-term.

NHL Game Night: 11-1-16 Lightning at Islanders

Lightning break into November with a vengeance.

TB-6
NYI-1

Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. He made a handful of critical situational saves in the first 40 minutes to allow the Lightning to establish the monster lead and then stood on his head in garbage time to run up his save percentage. It was a really good night for Ben.

First Period
3:21 TB Kucherov (2), (Stamkos, Hedman)(PP)
12:18 TB Kucherov (3), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)
13:34 TB Stamkos (7), (Koekkoek, Kucherov)

Second Period
6:17 TB Boyle (2), (Callahan, Filppula)
9:30 TB Brown (1), (unassisted)(SH)
11:19 TB Filppula (4), (Kucherov, Koekkoek)
19:30 NYI Seidenberg (3), (DeHaan, Tavares)

Third Period
NO SCORING

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

That game was everything the Lightning desperately needed and more to complete the road trip and the first 10 game segment of the season. The Lightning put arguably their best skating lineup onto the ice, and put forth a better effort to apply back pressure in the neutral zone to control the balance of play nearly the entire first 40 minutes of the game before garbage time set in. They also were opportunistic, using the penalty on Calvin DeHaan for a head shot on Jonathan Drouin to get the early power play goal they needed to exorcise their First Period scoring demons and get the flood gates open. It didn't come without a price, because it's safe to assume Drouin immediately went under observation for a concussion, but the Lightning at least made the Isles pay a terrible price for the infraction.

With the win, the Lightning finish the first 10 game segment with a winning 12 points that hit the minimum they need to comfortably be on playoff pace. 12 in 10, now do it again.

Brayden Point had 1 blocked shot in a very quiet 17:27 of ice time.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 helpers and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:12 of meaningful ice time. Your Honor, I rest my case. There's no doubt who should be playing between Koekkoek and Nesterov. None. Koekkoek is a stud. He's Hedman Lite. He's big, he moves like a thoroughbred, has solid offensive instincts, and he mixes in some physical edge. Nesterov is exactly none of those things right now. A blind man could make this lineup decision. Truly.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Conacher Staying Positive While Working Way Back to NHL


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Cory Conacher knew he was on the bubble.

After being one of the last players cut by the Tampa Bay Lightning during training camp, the forward has gotten off to a fast start with the Syracuse Crunch. Conacher earned his first call-up and played one game Saturday, but was returned to the Crunch Sunday.

Conacher is keeping a positive attitude as he continues to work towards another call-up.

“You don’t worry about too much. You just control what you can control,” Conacher said. “You just have to be ready for that next call. Whether it’s one game, a 10-game stint or the rest of the year, you’ve just got to be ready for whatever happens.”

ECHL Game Night: 10-30-16

Allen Americans 3 at Kalamazoo Wings 5

W Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIMs, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 5 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIMs, 1 SOG

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, DNP
Season Totals: 2 GP, 2-1-0-0, 3.00 GAA, 0.906 SV%, 1 SO

It was the tale of two Tylers in Kalamazoo Sunday afternoon, as the K-Wings went 3-for-4 on the power play and powered by the Americans in front of 2400+ fans at the Wings Event Center. Former Maple Leafs 1st rounder Tyler Biggs scored twice and added a third power play point and former Blues 4th rounder Tyler Shattock added two more goals. Lightning camper Joel Martin maintained his sub-2 GAA after allowing the most goals (3) in a game for the season. He's currently ranked 9th in the league in both GAA and SV%.

Kalamazoo hits the road next weekend, taking on the Beast in Brampton Friday night, and look to go into Wheeling Sunday afternoon and avenge Saturday night's snowman debacle. With no back-to-back next weekend, it will be interesting to watch and see if Nic Riopel gets a start.

CHL Game Night: 10-30-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 2 @ Moncton Wildcats 4

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 14 GP, 3-4-7, -4, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 14 GP, 12-8-20, +7, 11 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

One game after beating Moncton 10-3, the Sea Dogs fell to the Wildcats, 4-2. Because hockey. Joseph was leading the league in goals four games ago, but hasn’t scored since.

Victoriaville Tigres 6 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 7 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 4 Hits, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 11 GP, 12-5-17, +3, 20 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Yan is averaging more than a goal per game after Sunday’s 2-goal effort. Shawinigan overcame a 6-3 deficit to force overtime. Devils prospect Brandon Gignac scored in the extra session.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 2 @ Oshawa Generals 3 (OT)

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 12/24 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 12 GP, 9-12-21, +13, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

Cirelli earned the primary assist on Medric Mercier’s overtime winner. Cirelli has a 9-game point streak. Martin’s son, Jeremy Brodeur (undrafted), stopped 41 of 43 shots for Oshawa.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5 @ Guelph Storm 2

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season: 14 GP, 6-6-12, +2, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 44 GP, 13-28-41, -10 19 PIM

Katchouk followed up his overtime winner in London with a goal in Guelph Sunday. His sixth goal of the season came shorthanded.

Saginaw Spirit 5 @ Kitchener Rangers 6 (OT)

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 1-2-3, +3, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 13/26 FO
Season Totals: 10 GP, 4-7-11, +3, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

Stephens, who had two primary assists, forced overtime with a shorthanded goal in the third period. Despite the five-goal output, Saginaw fell in overtime on an Adam Mascherin (Panthers) goal.

NCAA Game Night: 10-30-16

Vermont Catamounts 3 @ No. 16 Northeastern Huskies 2

C Ross Colton, UVM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 6 GP, 1-1-2, E, 2 PIM

Vermont topped the No. 16 Huskies, 3-2, in Boston. The Catamounts had three votes in the last USCHO poll.

NHL Game Night: 10-30-16 Lightning at Rangers

The bottom falls out at MSG.

TB-1
NYR-6

Ben Bishop allowed 6 goals on 37 shots for the loss. I legitimately feel angry for Ben. It's rare your see a goaltender give up 6 goals in a night where not one is a softie, but the Lightning were that bad defensively tonight. Nothing about the effort in front of Ben was acceptable, and I would've taken him out after 40 minutes just to spare him from having to endure that mess.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:45 NYR Nash (4), (Holden)
6:42 NYR Grabner (3), (Skej, Hayes)
7:04 NYR Vesey (5), (Nash)
18:10 NYR Miller (3), (Hayes, Girardi)

Third Period
9:02 NYR Grabner (4), (Miller, McDonagh)
14:47 NYR Grabner (5), (Hayes, Miller)
16:36 TB Stamkos (6), (Kucherov, Stralman)(PP)

With a loss like this, you have to take a critical look back at everything that has occurred to this point for things to get this bad. You had a disjointed/strange training camp because of the World Cup of Hockey which robbed the team's regulars of a lot of cohesion. But, you overlooked it because you knew they had the talent on paper. You had the team falling into big holes early in games at the start of the year, but you overlooked it because they leveraged that talent to pull out points. You had the team playing loose defensively and giving up too many shots, but you overlooked it because they were getting enough quick strike goals against bottomfeeders like Toronto for it not to matter. You had a team with turnover issues in its own end not going to the traffic areas against New Jersey to get greasy goals when it needed to, but you overlooked it because they had possession and it seemed like a small adjustment. Tonight, the structure completely collapsed underneath the weight of all the bad habits that the team has accumulated over these first nine games, and you can't overlook it anymore. The number of breakaways and odd man rushes surrendered tonight were unacceptable. The lack of compete level for 50/50 pucks or back checking pressure was unacceptable. Giving up a hat trick goal on an odd man rush surrendered by a clean breakout triggered on a clean OFFENSIVE zone faceoff loss was completely unacceptable. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. The Lightning's talent isn't working hard enough AND they're not playing with the necessary cohesiveness and structure. The team desperately looks, to me, like it needs practice time that the road schedule simply has not afforded them. But, they need to find that time because they need to get back to basics in a mini-training camp. Strip it back down to the foundations and start over.

The loss means the Lightning have to win at the Islanders to close this road trip to hit 12 points for the first 10-game segment of the season. If not, they start the year in a hole to try to make the postseason which is a tremendous let down after a hot start in the win column.

Brayden Point was -3 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 15:28. He's in Tampa for the time being, but with Callahan and Kucherov returning tonight, he might eventually be earmarked for Syracuse. Bottom line, I could make a really good argument it's best in the long run for Point to be down with the Crunch playing center 20 minutes a game and giving the Lightning an option at that position moving forward over the next few seasons. In case you've missed it, Tyler Johnson was a shadow of himself last season due to his lingering injury recovery and this season he's been as elusive to find as the Sasquatch and the Lock Ness Monster. Long term cap considerations being what they are, it's fairly obvious to me Point would be a nice option to eventually replace Johnson, and the best way to optimize that option would be to get him fully trained to play the center position as a pro. He's only playing wing in Tampa because the coaching staff doesn't trust him with the defensive or faceoff responsibilities of playing center in the NHL yet. He needs to get that seasoning down in the AHL first. That's not a shot at Point at all. He's played well... well enough I would have much bigger long-term plans for the young man than pigeon holing him on the wing.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 10-30-16 Crunch at Penguins

Struggling Gudlevskis roughed up in hard-scrabble Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

SYR-1
WBS-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 29 shots for the loss. That's not what you want to see from a guy who might be earmarked to move up and be the backup in Tampa Bay later this year.

First Period
3:52 WBS Rowney (2), (Oleksy, Goers)
14:51 WBS Porter (3), (Gaunce, Gardiner)
18:37 WBS Porter (4), (Wilson, Gill)(PP)

Second Period
13:54 WBS Kostopoulos (1), (Guentzel, Prow)

Third Period
4:56 SYR Halmo (2), (Darcy, Koekkoek)
13:50 WBS Dea (2), (McGrath)
16:18 WBS Sundqvist (2), (Dea, Prow)(PP)

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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