2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Picks

Mitchell Stephens

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
5.11
Weight: 
187
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2 (#33) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Saginaw (OHL)

Matthew Spencer

Basics

Position: 
Defense
Height: 
6.02
Weight: 
203
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2 (#44) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Peterborough (OHL)

Dennis Yan

Basics

Position: 
Left Wing
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
187
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 3 (#64) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Shawinigan (QMJHL)

Anthony Cirelli

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
165
Age: 
17
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 3 (#72) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Oshawa (OHL)

Jonne Tammela

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
5.11
Weight: 
185
Age: 
17
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 4 (#118) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
KalPa (FIN)

Mathieu Joseph

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
168
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 4 (#120) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Saint John (QMJHL)

Ryan Zuhlsdorf

Basics

Position: 
Defense
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
194
Age: 
17
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 5 (150) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Sioux City (USHL)

Kris Oldham

Basics

Position: 
Goaltender
Height: 
6.03
Weight: 
205
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 6 (#153) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Omaha (USHL)

Bokondji Imama

Basics

Position: 
Left Wing
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
214
Age: 
18
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 6 (#180) of the 2015 NHL Draft
Last Team: 
Saint John (QMJHL)

2015 Tampa Bay Lightning Player Signings

Ben Bishop

Basics

Position: 
Goaltender
Height: 
6.07
Weight: 
216
Age: 
28
Acquired: 
Acquired in a trade with Ottawa on April 3, 2013
Last Team: 
Tampa Bay (NHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
08/02/2014
Contract Type: 
One-way
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$5 950 000

Andrej Sustr

Basics

Position: 
Defense
Height: 
6.08
Weight: 
225
Age: 
24
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on March 21, 2013
Last Team: 
Tampa Bay (NHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
06/30/2015
Contract Type: 
One-way
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$1 450 000

Anthony DeAngelo

Basics

Position: 
Defense
Height: 
5.11
Weight: 
168
Age: 
19
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 (#19) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
12/02/2014
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$1 294 166

Erik Condra

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
5.11
Weight: 
181
Age: 
28
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2015
Last Team: 
Tampa Bay (NHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
07/01/2015
Contract Type: 
One-way
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$1 250 000

Adam Erne

Basics

Position: 
Left Wing
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
211
Age: 
20
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2 (#33) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
04/01/2014
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$894 166

Adam Wilcox

Basics

Position: 
Goaltender
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
183
Age: 
22
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay in Round 6 (#178) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
04/01/2015
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$808 750

Matthew Peca

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
5.09
Weight: 
172
Age: 
22
Acquired: 
2011 Draft (R7/#201)
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
04/01/2015
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$796 250

Brian Hart

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
6.03
Weight: 
215
Age: 
21
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay in Round 2 (#53) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
06/28/2015
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$703 333

Brayden Point

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
5.10
Weight: 
161
Age: 
19
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 3 (#79) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Moose Jaw (WHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
03/26/2015
Contract Type: 
Entry-level w/slide
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$692 500

Cameron Darcy

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
185
Age: 
21
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 7 (#185) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
04/09/2015
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$641 666

Matt Taormina

Basics

Position: 
Defense
Height: 
5.10
Weight: 
182
Age: 
28
Acquired: 
Signed as a free agent on July 9, 2012
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
07/01/2015
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$600 000

Jonathan Marchessault

Basics

Position: 
Left Wing
Height: 
5.09
Weight: 
163
Age: 
24
Acquired: 
Acquired in a trade with Columbus on March 5, 2014
Last Team: 
Tampa Bay (NHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
06/28/2015
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$600 000

Jeff Tambellini

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
5.11
Weight: 
192
Age: 
31
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on July 5, 2015
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
07/05/2015
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year

Mike Angelidis

Basics

Position: 
Center
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
210
Age: 
30
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on August 3, 2010
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
06/30/2015
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year

Mike Blunden

Basics

Position: 
Right Wing
Height: 
6.04
Weight: 
216
Age: 
28
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)

Contract

Signing Date: 
06/29/2015
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
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NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-26-14 Rangers at Lightning

Game Four redux, unfortunately.

Eastern Conference Finals
Game Six

NYR-7
TB-3

Series Tied 3-3

Ben Bishop allowed 5 goals on 26 shots for the loss before giving way to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed 1 goal on 7 shots the rest of the way. Bishop never looked completely comfortable in this game, but I can't really fault him on any of the 5 goals he allowed. The Rangers' first two goals had distinct puck luck elements to them off of soft point shots that hit traffic in front. The remaining 3 goals in the Third Period resulted from a complete defensive meltdown by the Lightning in front of Bishop, as they neglected to even attempt to play that side of the game down 2-1 coming out of the Second Intermission.

First Period
3:36 NYR Brassard (7), (Miller, Boyle)
15:30 NYR Yandle (2), (Brassard, Nash)
17:20 TB Callahan (1), (Stralman, Bishop)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
3:02 NYR Miller (1), (Brassard, Nash)
6:00 NYR Sheppard (1), (Moore, Glass)
7:14 NYR Brassard (8), (Miller, Nash)
7:50 TB Kucherov (8), (Johnson)
10:21 NYR Nash (5), (Yandle, Miller)(PP)
13:21 TB Kucherov (9), (Johnson, Nesterov)
18:19 NYR Brassard (9), (unassisted)(EN)

I'm just at a loss to explain what's transpired in both Game Four and Game Six of this series. I honestly can't fault the effort of the team in both games. As with Game Four, the Lightning had the majority of possession, shots, and chances through the first 40-45 minutes. Perhaps they didn't have the same quality of chances tonight as they did in Game Four, but still, they didn't necessarily deserve to be down 2-1 heading into the Third Period either. The Rangers rode a bit of puck luck and good goaltending to the advantage heading into the final frame. There, as in Game Four, the Lightning just absolutely left any pretense of playing defense in the locker room and just got burned to death because of it. They were so impatient to fly the zone to seek the equalizing goals they just absolutely went brain dead with turnovers and poor defensive zone coverage. Maybe it's better that Game Seven is on the road, because the team seems to have a healthy fear of those types of mistakes playing in the other team's barn that doesn't exist when they play at home lately.

I'll say this also: it's pretty clear if the Lightning are to win Game Seven it'll be a 5-on-7 victory, because the officiating tilted against the Lightning pretty hard tonight. For a team that had so much more possession, zone time, and the greater quantity of chances, the Lightning only got 2 power plays in the first 2 periods of the game, and none in a Second Period that they dominated. That just seems improbable bordering on impossible, and it's even more frustrating when you consider the phantom hooking call Nikita Kucherov got in the Second Period and the obviously embellished hooking call on Morrow that also came in the Second Period. When you contrast that against the pretty nasty slash Nikita Kucherov took away from the puck by Staal in this game (no call) and the pivotal non-call on a trip of Tyler Johnson that occurred early in the Third Period (again, no call), well...

I'll let you draw your own conclusions about which way the officiating will tilt in Game Seven. If I had my guess, it'll be an anything-goes affair where the refs will just about completely pocket their whistles and the Lightning will need a mixture of the defensive discipline they got in Game Five in MSG and the stellar goaltending they got against Detroit in their previous Game Seven in this playoff run. That's entirely possible, despite the media's breathless rush to proclaim the Lightning DOA based on the Rangers' all-time home Game Seven record. But, it requires the Lightning to buckle down mentally again like they did for Game Five. Honestly, they just need to realize they're still in a great spot. If you offered any team in the league the opportunity to play in Game Seven of their conference finals at the start of the year, they'd have taken it gladly and thanked you for the opportunity. That's all the Lightning need to take to heart after tonight. 7-3 aren't the numbers that matter. 3-3 and the chance to advance to the Stanley Cup finals with a single victory are. Things are never as bad as they appear, and a change of fortune and redemption are just a game away.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in 11:00 of ice time.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-24-15

2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup
Round Robin

Quebec Remparts 4 vs Oshawa Generals 5 (OT)

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 3 Hits
Memorial Cup totals: 2 GP: 1-1-2, E, 2 PIM
QMJHL playoff totals: 22 GP, 21-9-30, +18, 17 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Oshawa fought back from a late 4-3 deficit to tie the Remparts, then dominate overtime before claiming the win. After tweaking his knee in Quebec’s opener, Erne wasn’t his usual fast, gritty self on Sunday, but earned an assist after his hard wrist shot in the slot caromed off the end boards and right to linemate Dmytro Timoshov. The Gens got the game-tying goal from Tobias Lindberg, a Sens prospect chosen with the fourth rounder the Lightning sent to Ottawa as part of the Bishop-Conacher trade. Stephen Desrocher (undrafted) scored the overtime winner. Quebec (1-1) next plays on Tuesday in a rematch against Rimouski. Oshawa (2-0) has secured a spot in at least the semifinals.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-24-15 Lightning at Rangers

Tampa Bay whips New York at its own game.

Eastern Conference Finals
Game Five

TB-2
NYR-0

Tampa Bay Leads the Series 3-2

Ben Bishop stopped all 26 shots he faced behind a masterful defensive effort to get the shutout. He was challenged pretty hard by the talking heads in the media after allowing 10 goals total in the previous two games of the series, and he smothered what few chances the Rangers developed tonight. He was especially strong in the First Period as the Lightning played a classic road strategy where they successfully weathered the home club's early charge. In the end, U of Maine Justice reigned supreme, and were I a superstitious man I might be advocating having Nesterov hit Bishop in the tender bits during warm-ups before every game from here on out if that's the performance you end up getting out of it.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
13:29 TB Filppula (3), (Stamkos, Stralman)
18:22 TB Stamkos (7), (Palat, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

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

I am absolutely shocked at this result. Not so much that the Lightning won, mind you, but how they won was absolutely amazing. The Lightning essentially followed the Rangers' own recipe and baked up a sweet confection filled with defensive dominance. The Lightning typically do not play well without the puck. They are a possession team and they have looked lost for most of the past couple of years in games where the other team tilts the ice against them. Tonight, playing against an amped up Rangers team fresh off a 5-1 win on their home ice in MSG, they played a nearly flawless, defense-first road game where they comfortably absorbed the Rangers' pushes and eventually manufactured the goals they needed on a counter rush and late on the power play. At the heart of it all was a Herculean effort by the team's much-maligned penalty kill, which went 4-for-4 tonight and made the Rangers look positively non-threatening on their last 3 chances with the extra man. These are things I'm fairly certain the Lightning were not constructed for, and yet they executed that style with amazing efficiency. And, once they had that 2-goal lead, they put the lid on in the Third Period with a calmness they absolutely failed to muster in their Game Three victory that ended up getting pushed to Overtime.

So, I'll say this: If the Lightning continue to prove they can win games like this consistently when they don't have the lion's share of possession, I don't know how you can beat them in a 7-game series. They continue to shore up every major hole and weakness in their game little by little as these playoffs move along. Bad PK last year? Looked pretty good most of these playoffs. Non-existent power play all regular season? Now they're getting key goals at key times. Waiting on your franchise cornerstones (Stamkos and Hedman) to rise up and be the team's best players along with Bishop? Sure looked that way tonight. When you layer learning to play a strong defensive game without the puck and learning how to protect leads in tight games on top of that, they're on the verge of becoming positively terrifying to play against. And, imagine this: Vladislav Namestnikov, Jonathan Drouin, and Slater Koekkoek aren't even regular contributors to this team, yet. They'll be even more talented at this time next season. I won't throw the "dy" word out there quite yet, but you can see where this might be progressing. They haven't played their best hockey consistently yet, and yet they've still managed to put the veteran-laden President's Trophy winner on the ropes after disposing of the presumptive MVP netminder in the previous round and NHL royalty in the Red Wings in the opening series. It just shows how incredibly talented this team is.

Now, here's another test for the Lightning. Much like the Montreal series, you don't want this game to go to a Game Seven in their barn. You don't want to step foot in New York again until next season. Now: finish them. Put the offensive jump from Game Four together with the defensive play from Game Five and the finishing from Game Two and Game Three and put the Rangers away. Do so, and the team punches its ticket for the Stanley Cup Finals. To paraphrase Tyler Johnson, how cool is that?

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 1 hit in 8:02, with his ice time limited in a tight game on the road with the team not holding last change. I have to say, I'm pleased how he's tightened up his game in the defensive zone after looking a little loose in that department in the Montreal series. He could be a monster in another year or two once he gets a full regular season in to develop further at the NHL level.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-22-15

2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup
Round Robin

Quebec Remparts 4 vs Kelowna Rockets 3

W Adam Erne, QUE: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
QMJHL playoff totals: 22 GP, 21-9-30, +18, 17 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Tournament-host Quebec won the opening game of the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup, 4-3 over the WHL champs. Erne scored an empty net goal in the game, which turned out to be the winner after the Rockets scored a late goal. Erne, per reports, appeared to twist his knee awkwardly in the first period and spent a good part of the second period in the locker room before returning to the game. Quebec next plays OHL champ Oshawa on Sunday.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-22-15 Rangers at Lightning

Rangers manufacture a smack down of their own.

Eastern Conference Finals
Game Four

NYR-5
TB-1

Series Tied 2-2

Ben Bishop allowed 5 goals on 24 shots for the loss. There was nothing super-soft in the five goals, but he did have a couple of rebound goals that went through him five-hole, and five-hole tends to be a spot where Bishop gets leaky when he's a little off. He actually looked sharper than in Game Three, to me, but he needs to be better nonetheless. It's an ugly, albeit deceptive, stat line.

First Period
17:18 NYR Nash (3), (Hayes, Hagelin)

Second Period
11:30 TB Stamkos (6), (Killorn, Filppula)
15:16 NYR Kreider (7), (Klein, Yandle)
17:04 NYR Yandle (1), (Klein, Nash)

Third Period
5:08 NYR St. Louis (1), (Brassard, Boyle)(PP)
11:33 NYR Nash (4), (Hayes, Yandle)(PP)

Alex Killorn was the game's third star.

This game, in many ways, was a mirror of the Lightning's win in Game Two in New York. They utterly dominated the Rangers for the first 45 minutes of the game, but New York got some good goaltending and some puck luck and eventually built a lead that they then took to blowout proportions with a couple of Third Period PP markers. The turning point of the game was a soft Brendan Morrow pass around the boards behind his own net with the score tied at 1-1 that became a cheap goal for the Rangers. They then got some puck luck on a point shot that bounced in off of Victor Hedman's leg, and things just went straight downhill from there for the Lightning. By the end, you had a Lightning bench that looked a little shell shocked because they, like a lot of Lightning fans, couldn't figure out how the heck they got clubbed by 4 goals in a game they absolutely dominated in shots, chances, and possession. That's the way hockey is sometimes, though.

It's very important right now for the Lightning to focus more on 2-2 (the series) instead of 5-1 (the Game Four score), which will be a test of their maturity. A Game Four hangover leading to a flat start in Game Five could well cost them the series. They need to take some solace in the fact they actually played pretty darned well through 45 minutes until garbage time set in and they need to recognize that they just need to bury their chances and continue to clean up the turnovers like Morrow's blunder. It's a three game series now and it wasn't unreasonable to expect this to be a six or seven game series when it started, so there should be no panic right now. It's a 2-2 series. Not a big deal. Not anything mind blowing. Not anything unexpected. Throw out this game's score as being partly as a function of buzzard's luck, tune out the northern media harping about Nash and St. Louis suddenly being let loose out of the barn, and just hunker down and win Game Five. That's what the approach, mentally, has got to be right now.

Lineup changes? I see a lot of people calling for Brendan Morrow's head and a lot of people calling for Cedric Paquette's head after he got pylonized dropping back on D on Nash's First Period goal. Here's the problem, though: I'm not sure you can trust what your second options (Namestnikov, Drouin, and/or Marchessault) will give you if they draw into the lineup, especially on the defensive end. My point being, I don't know that there are any really good options floating around out there, other than rolling the dice on Drouin's outstanding individual skill and speed.

Also, I must say, Kevin Hayes needs to get suspended for that dirty slash to Tyler Johnson's abdomen. Dirty, dirty play.

Nikita Nesterov had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 2 penalty minutes in 14:43. He had at least one glorious opportunity early in the game and has been better on the defensive end to boot.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-20-15 Rangers at Lightning

Track meet ends on a King-sized softie.

Eastern Conference Finals
Game Three

NYR-5
TB-6 (OT)

Tampa Bay Leads the Series 2-1

Ben Bishop allowed 5 goals on 28 shots for the OT victory. He looked tired and possibly a little hurt tonight. His positioning was off. Rebound control was poor. He was fighting it, but he's a battler and fortunately he got the goal support from the guys in front of him. Hopefully he can get some rest and treatment and get back in the groove for Game Four.

First Period
1:02 NYR Brassard (6), (Boyle, Stepan)(PP)
9:55 NYR Fast (2), (Kreider, McDonagh)
11:07 TB Stamkos (5), (Killorn)

Second Period
10:32 TB Palat (5), (Johnson, Stamkos)(PP)
13:17 TB Johnson (12), (Palat, Hedman)
17:18 TB Killorn (6), (Hedman)
17:47 NYR Fast (3), (Klein, Stepan)

Third Period
2:28 NYR McDonagh (3), (Hayes, Yandle)(PP)
14:05 TB Palat (6), (Nesterov, Kucherov)
18:04 NYR Boyle (3), (Miller, Yandle)

Overtime
3:33 TB Kucherov (7), (Nesterov)

The Lightning deserved to win tonight. Let's say that right from the jump. They may not have deserved to win Game One and may not have been 4 goals better in Game Two, but they had the run of play in their favor most of the night tonight and deserved the "W". They possessed the puck most of the night, they were extremely physical, and they produced tons of scoring chances. That's the glass half full. They absolutely deserved the result they got tonight.

On the flip side, there were a lot of mistakes in this game that the team still needs to clean up if they are going to take this series. They ultimately got off the hook tonight because of the horrific softie allowed by Lundqvist in Overtime, but on most nights they're not getting off the hook with the bevy of mistakes they made. The first goal was a PP goal on a very dubious roughing call on the first shift on Paquette. I call baloney on that, and we'll put it aside. The second goal was on a bad line change compounded by Matt Carle getting hurt in the neutral zone, thereby putting the Lightning in a situation where they had 1/2 of a defenseman on the ice. Not ideal. We'll see when/if Carle can return. Looked like maybe a concussion situation to me, but we'll see. Those 2 goals put the Lightning behind the 8-ball early and it was a critical goal by Stamkos on the rebound on a 2-on-1 that allowed the Lightning to stay in the game in a First Period that they otherwise dominated.

They built a 2 goal lead in the Second Period through superior play and really deserved to have a much easier way to the finish line in this one, but they let New York off the hook. The Lightning had a lapse in the shift directly after their 4th goal that allowed Fast to get a greasy goal, and that allowed the Rangers to hang around going into the Third Period. The team made some great strides in the Detroit and Montreal series protecting leads, but they blew a pair of 1 goal Third Period leads tonight. Johnson had a neutral zone turnover that led to a Sustr tripping call that yielded New York's 4th goal, and then they had an unforced icing and a bad loss on a defensive zone draw that led to New York's 5th goal. Again, a slew of little mistakes that marred a game that the team otherwise dominated. So, there's tons to clean up. Additionally, the Lightning PK that has been so fantastic all playoffs long has looked very vulnerable the past 2 games. A more disciplined Lightning team would be in a very advantageous position, because from here on out I suspect they'll be the better team at even strength as they get stronger over the course of the series. Don't give the Rangers power plays and allow them to manufacture goals and stick around in games and the series with the man advantage.

All that said, though, the genie looks to be fully out of the bottle offensively for the Lightning and Lundqvist has looked extremely mortal against the Lightning this year. The power play in on track and both the Stamkos and Johnson lines are creating a slew of chances. On the Stamkos line, in particular, Stamkos and Killorn have looked fearsome on the forecheck in this series with a mix of brutality and skill that forms a thunder/lightning contrast to the surgical precision and speed of the Johnson line. It's got to be in New York's head a bit, at this point, frankly. I firmly believe if the Lightning get to 3 goals in any given game in this series, there's an extremely high chance they'll win the game because it forces the Rangers to play the Lightning's style and not their own, and right now the Rangers don't look like they're holding the Lightning to 2 goals or less anytime soon. They almost stole a game playing more of a Lightning-style high scoring game tonight, but ultimately lost their opportunity and it may really be the first big nail in their coffin in this series.

Right now complacency is the big enemy for the Lightning, though. They HAVE to come out with the same intensity and physical approach in Game Four, while also cleaning up some of their mistakes. New York's like a fighter that's been stunned by a good haymaker. Their legs are a little weak, and they're looking a little wobbly, but they're not down and out yet. The Lightning have to put them on the canvas in Game Four. If they do so, they haven't lost 3 straight games all season long, so... well... you can do the math. If they don't, this is a 3 game series with the Rangers holding home ice, which is a much harder road for the Lightning to traverse.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 helpers and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 14:14. He got a little extra IT to help compensate for the loss of Carle, and give him credit, he made some good passes as a puck mover to get his forwards off and running on the rush for two key late goals. That makes up for the penalty he took in the Second Period when, thankfully, the PK let him off the hook at a danger time in the game with the Lightning down 2-1. It's a different game if they fall back behind by 2 early in the Second Period.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 29

This week's “Alex Selivanov Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 29
· Playoff lessons learned and not learned
· Shutting down the #FreeDrouin campaign
· Would the real Andrej Sustr please stand up?
· #BPMailbag (Draft predictions … Drouin in the AHL … Drouin vs Connolly … More Drouin ... Prospects on the hot seat … Palat for Selke any time soon? … Justin Courtnall’s future … Tim Tebow)

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-18-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Finals

QMJHL-4 Quebec Remparts 1 @ QMJHL-1 Rimouski Oceanic 2 (2OT)
Rimouski wins best-of-7 series, 4-3

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 1/8 FO, 0 Hits
Playoff totals: 22 GP, 21-9-30, +18, 17 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Rimouski won the President’s Cup as QMJHL champions with a 2-1 double-overtime win Monday night. The game was wide open and tense and both teams had dozens of chances to win the game in a scoreless third period and first overtime. The Nics finally took advantage of a penalty taken when a Rimouski player got behind the Quebec defense and was hauled down.

Adam Erne finished with 21 goals in 22 playoff games and was second in playoff scoring to Halifax’s Nikolaj Ehlers (Jets). Despite not being on the winning side, Erne won the Guy Lafleur Trophy as the playoff MVP -- a huge honor.

Both teams will go to the Memorial Cup tournament in Quebec City, hosted by the Remparts, starting next week.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 5-18-15 Lightning at Rangers

Manufactured smack down.

Eastern Conference Finals
Game Two

TB-6
NYR-2

Series Tied 1-1

Ben Bishop remains my #1 story of the playoffs, allowing just 2 goals on 37 shots for the victory. With all due respect to Tyler Johnson, Bishop's carrying this team on his back right now. He's erasing copious amounts of defensive mistakes in front of him and giving the Lightning an opportunity to win every single night, like he did again here in Game Two. His stop with the left pad on Fast at 3-2 in the Third Period may not have only been a game saver, but a series saver, too.

First Period
5:38 TB Johnson (9), (Killorn)(SH)
8:50 NYR Kreider (6), (St. Louis, Boyle)(PP)
11:15 TB Johnson (10), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
8:17 TB Johnson (11), (Palat, Kucherov)
14:17 NYR Stepan (5), (St. Louis, Boyle)(PP)

Third Period
3:09 TB Killorn (4), (Hedman, Filppula)
6:28 TB Stamkos (4), (Coburn, Kucherov)(PP)
17:58 TB Killorn (5), (Garrison, Filppula)(PP)

Johnson, Alex Killorn, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars. Ben Bishop's my guy in this playoff run, but there's little doubt that if the Lightning go all the way Johnson will win the Conn Smyth. His hat trick tonight puts him 1 goal shy of the Lightning record for goals in a playoff season, and we're sitting at Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. Bishop, Johnson, and the Lightning PK have been the reason the Lightning have gotten this far, but the suddenly white hot PP may be what puts them over the top. They were 3/6 tonight and continue to flirt with 50% with the man advantage over the last 7-8 games. I don't know how the team loses a series with the power play clicking at this level, given they led the league in goals during the regular season with nothing resembling a PP from November on.

With all that said, this game was tighter than the score indicates. The Lightning matched the Rangers' effort level tonight, unlike Game One, and produced the chances they needed to win. But, they still made a large sackful of turnovers and mistakes that could've ended in catastrophe were it not for Bishop's ongoing excellence. Jon Cooper and his staff will look at the tape and have plenty to clean up, but I feel pretty safe in saying the Lightning just played their 2 worst games of the series and they only lost Game One 2-1 and they eventually blew out NY in Game Two 6-2. Game Three will be a lot more tight checking, so the Lightning need to refocus going home to Tampa in good position with everything reduced to a 5 game series with the Lightning holding home ice advantage.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 12:49. He had a goal on a 2-on-1 and took his eye off the puck trying to one time it into the open side. He didn't have the anxious moments on defense he had in the Montreal series, and having him in the lineup in a 7 D alignment provides the team an assertive pace pusher and scrambles the forward lines enough to make it harder for a team that likes to play matchup as much as the Rangers do.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-17-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Finals

QMJHL-1 Rimouski Oceanic 5 @ QMJHL-4 Quebec Remparts 4 (OT)
Best-of-7 series tied, 3-3

W Adam Erne, QUE: 2-0-2, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 3/5 FO, 3 Hits, *Second Star*
Playoff totals: 21 GP, 21-9-30, +18, 17 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Quebec had leads of 2-0 after one period of play and 4-2 after two periods, but couldn’t hang on to win the QMJHL championship after regulation. They had another chance in overtime, but Rimouski scored on their 40th shot of the game to force a Game 7 Monday in Rimouski. Quebec had just 18 shots on goal in Game 6. With four goals in his last two games, Erne is back to a goal-per-game pace in the playoffs. His second goal of the game gave the Remparts a 4-1 lead midway through the second period. Rimouski scored the game-tying goal with 1:01 left on the clock. Jan Kostalek (Jets) scored the game-winning goal.

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