Game Results

Event tag that describes the results of a prospect's game

NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-25-15 Red Wings at Lightning

Soul searching time.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Five

DET-4
TB-0

Detroit Leads the Series 3-2

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss. The second goal was on him, after surrendering a lollipop of a rebound to Drew Miller after a long shot from the bad angle. That's an untimely goal, but I'm hard pressed to be too mad at Ben when he's gotten zero goal support. He can be better, but that's the same for the entire team at this juncture.

First Period
19:37 DET Sheahan (2), (Kronwall, Zetterberg)(PP)

Second Period
15:46 DET Miller (1), (Glendening, Ericsson)

Third Period
15:47 DET Datsyuk (3), (Ericsson, Helm)(PP)
18:22 DET DeKeyser (1), (Quincey, Andersson)(EN)

Contrary to what some are urging me to do, I'm not going to write a post mortem on a team that's only down 3-2 in a playoff series. There's still a lot of hockey left to be played in this series and the Lightning may still yet prevail, but a lot of issues have been exposed in the past three games, not all of which are within the team's control. The effort in the first 10 minutes of this game was exemplary, but unlike the regular season this team can't seem to buy a bounce lately. Combine that with a strong tactical approach by the Wings that often colors outside the lines of legality and some roster composition issues (self-inflicted), and you get this dark cloud of doom that now seems to be hanging over this team.

First, let me get this out of the way: the Detroit Red Wings are getting away with bloody murder from the officials. They're executing the old clutch and grab Devils playbook, and with the refs looking the other way, I can hardly fault them for it. NBCSN put together a "highlight" package at the Second Intermission of how Detroit is "defending" Tyler Johnson, and it mostly involves hitting him without the puck, tripping him without the puck, interfering with him, and just about every other underhanded trick in the book. Tyler Johnson couldn't have played in the NHL in the early 90's with the amount of clutching and grabbing that was going on, and if the league is going to allow a return to that brand of hockey, it's going to make it a lot harder for Tyler and some of the smaller Lightning forwards to make it in the league today. I would hope Yzerman takes that video to the league and makes enforcement of interference away from the puck a point of emphasis again, because it's absolutely had an impact on the last three games.

With that said, another reason Johnson and his linemates have struggled throughout this series is that the Lightning are essentially a one line team. Let's be honest about this. On paper, yes, there's a 40 goal scorer on another line and plenty of other talent that can chip in. None of those players have scored consistently all season long though, and the only line that has is the Palat/Johnson/Kucherov line. They're getting focused on right now, and other than the fourth line of Morrow/Boyle/Brown, no one else has showed much hope to step up. So you've got Steven Stamkos, who had 43 goals in the regular season, with 0, and he's helping to drag down Nikita Kucherov on another line (who isn't helping himself by playing a bit timid on the perimeter), who had 28 goals in the regular season and also is sitting on 0 in the playoff right now. That's 71 regular season goals doing squat right now.

Part of the issue that I think Jon Cooper and Steve Yzerman will have to do some soul searching about in the offseason, is that they've basically ignored the need to replace Martin St. Louis on Stamkos' wing. They need a pace-pushing playmaker with high hockey sense to help Stamkos play his best, a formula we know works from a half decade and two Richard Trophies of empirical evidence. The team has a logical candidate to fill that role in rookie Jonathan Drouin, but rather than let Drouin take his lumps during the regular season and groom him to be ready by this point of the season, they've used him sparingly. Because of that, you can't trust him to play 18-19 minutes with Stamkos right now and he's been a scratch for 4 of 5 games in this series. And, by now, I think it's fair to say it's been a mistake. Stamkos managed to score 43 goals with grinding types like Callahan and Killorn playing with him, but he hasn't looked like the same formidable player in the process, and it's been exposed in this playoff series so far. It's not rocket science, though. They know a formula that works and they already drafted the personnel needed to make this work. They just have to set it in motion now.

I'll also, again, mention the 0-for-3 power play. It looked a lot better in 2 of the 3 opportunities tonight, but it's been horribly inconsistent too. And, like Stamkos' line, it's not for a lack of knowing the correct formula to fix it. The Lightning need a righty PP QB manning the center point. Pop in any tape of when Adam Oates was running the PP here and you'll see what I mean. It's been a hole in this organization since Kurtis Foster packed his bags and until that hole is filled, the PP will never run at its highest potential.

With all that said, the Lightning still are very much alive in this series. It doesn't feel like it, but they are. Were I in the Lightning's shoes, I would simplify my approach for Game Six. Focus on getting the first goal. Make it a greasy one. If they can get that first goal, they give themselves a fighting chance. But, to get that first goal, they have to show a maturity and character beyond their young years. It's a gut check time. Time to grow up a little.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-24-15

Ontario Hockey League
Western Conference Finals

West-2 Erie Otters 5 @ West-1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2
Best-of-7 series tied, 1-1

D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 0-14-14, +14, 10 PIM
With SSM: 26 GP, 15-36-51, +33, 51 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 25-64-89, +34, 115 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

Sault Ste. Marie lost its first game of the playoffs and first in 13 games overall, falling 5-2 at home to Erie in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Anthony DeAngelo was scoreless for the third straight game. Connor McDavid had two goals for Erie and fellow likely top-4 pick Dylan Strome also had two. The Otters scored three goals on six shots in the third period, though one was an empty-netter. Game 3 is Sunday in Erie.

Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference Finals

East-2 Calgary Hitmen 4 @ East-1 Brandon Wheat Kings 9
Brandon leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 12 GP, 0-4-4, -3, 2 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Calgary erased a 2-0 deficit to tie top-seeded Brandon 2-2 early in the second period, then the Wheat Kings rattled off seven of the game’s next eight goals. Game 2 is Saturday in Brandon.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-24-15 Crunch at Penguins

Can't stop the bleeding.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game One

SYR- 1
WBS- 5

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Leads the Series 1-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss before giving way to Adam Wilcox, who allowed 1 goal on 15 shots the rest of the way. Coach Zettler is tasked with the impossible task of choosing between a streaky goaltender who appears to have gone completely cold and a rookie ATO who has never won a professional game for Game Two. Flip a coin.

First Period
WBS Uher, (1) (Kuhnhackl, Rowney), 16:52

Second Period
WBS Kapanen, (1) (Megna), 6:03
WBS Rowney, (1) (Goers, Uher), 6:34
WBS Kapanen, (2) (Goers, Megna), 7:43
SYR Peca, (1) (Angelidis, Vermin), 14:00

Third Period
WBS Syvret, (1) (Rowney, Sheary), 12:32

Syracuse entered the playoffs having won just 1 of their last 10 down the stretch, and they got dominated tonight. It's not just that they didn't get the goaltending, but they also got outshot 35-23 as well, which gives you an idea of run of play. There's a small silver lining with Matthew Peca getting his first pro playoff goal, but it's super, super small. The Pens pinned a -4 on Syracuse's offensive bell cow, Jonathan Marchessault, and if Marchessault's line can't win their shifts, then Syracuse likely has no prayer.

Honestly, I've got no helpful suggestions or tweaks that I can suggest at this juncture. I kept waiting for this team to gel with all the roster changes and ATO additions down the stretch, and it simply hasn't happened.

Game Two is tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-23-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Semifinals

QMJHL-4 Quebec Remparts 4 @ QMJHL-2 Moncton Wildcats 1
Quebec leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1/5 FO, 0 Hits
Playoff totals: 12 GP, 11-3-14, +4, 6 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 41-45-86, +21, 102 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

After more than a week of waiting, the Quebec Remparts were back in action Thursday night, defeating the Moncton Wildcats in Game 1 of their league semifinal series. The Wildcats played Game 7 of their quarterfinal match-up against Halifax on Tuesday. Quebec spotted Moncton a 1-0 lead after the first period before scoring four times to end the game. Game 2 is Saturday.

Ontario Hockey League
Western Conference Finals

West-2 Erie Otters 3 @ West-1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6
Sault Ste. Marie leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-0-0, +3, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 0-14-14, +15, 10 PIM
With SSM: 26 GP, 15-36-51, +33, 51 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 25-64-89, +34, 115 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

Sault Ste. Marie drew first blood in their highly anticipated match-up against second-seeded Erie with a 6-3 win Thursday. The Greyhounds skated out to a 3-0 lead before future Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid scored a natural hat trick to tie the game. The Soo responded with three more goals to claim the win. Lightning prospect Anthony DeAngelo was scoreless for the second straight game. It was the first time since early November that he went two games in a row without earning at least a point. Game 2 is Friday.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-23-15 Lightning at Red Wings

Miracle in Motown.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Four

TB-3
DET-2 (OT)

Series Tied 2-2

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the OT victory. The softie from distance he allowed in the Second Period appeared to be the soul crushing final nail in the game (and possibly the Lightning's season). But, that was before Tyler Johnson became a legend...

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
5:42 DET Nyquist (1), (Zetterberg, Abdelkader)
14:24 DET Andersson (1), (Sheahan, Jurco)

Third Period
14:34 TB Johnson (3), (Stralman)
15:51 TB Palat (1), (Johnson, Garrison)

Overtime
2:25 TB Johnson (4), (Hedman, Palat)

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

Make no mistake, the Lightning stole this game. With under six minutes to play in the Third Period, this team was getting fitted for a toe tag. They were done. They were absolutely dominated from the start of the Second Period on and it looked like tee times were just around the corner. And then, somehow, Tyler Johnson pylonized Darren Helm on the rush around the corner and made it 2-1, and then he found Ondrej Palat on the rush to make it 2-2, and then he finished off an Overtime 3-on-1 on the rush to complete perhaps the most impossible, miraculous moment in Lightning postseason history.

I'm still stunned it happened, and don't know exactly what happens from hereon out. I thought after Game Two that Petr Mrazek's veil of invincibility was put to bed, and that didn't work out so well. So, I'm not ready to kick dirt on the young netminder or the Red Wings' grave after that win. With that said, it has to have some sort of effect on your morale when you have a series darn near won and you wet the bed with under six minutes left to go in a game you lead 2-0 that you've absolutely dominated. Now the Lightning head home to start a 3-game series where they have home ice advantage with a lot of belief that they can do... well... just about anything after that victory.

On the downside, the power play again went 0-for-4 and we're still waiting for Steven Stamkos to light the lamp in this series. I'd say it was a complete swing and a miss for the franchise cornerstones tonight, but Victor Hedman's sweet assist on the Johnson OT winner was obviously huge. I'm beginning to think we may just need to accept the fact Hedman's not a natural PP QB running things in the offensive third from the point despite the fact he's absolutely dominant on the rush.

By the way, refs, don't think we didn't notice that pick on Drouin that wasn't called on Detroit's second goal and that phantom call on Ben Bishop for the unimaginable crime of standing in his crease while a Detroit player skated by and tripped over him. Bummy performance by the officials.

Nikita Nesterov had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:40. The coaching staff had to be more guarded with Nesterov's use on the road with the Wings having last change. So, we may see more of him in Game Five at home that we've seen in Game Three and Game Four.

One final post script: when you win a game like that, you kind of have to win the series now, don't you?

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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