Bishop is the truth.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 38 points for the win. He absolutely stole the game for the Lightning, stopping multiple breakaways and robbing Boyd Gordon going post to post to stop a 2-on-1 chance late in the Third Period. As lousy as I thought the Lightning were in front of him, Bishop was that much more excellent.
7:37 TB Stamkos (12), (unassisted)
10:11 EDM Fedun (2), (Eberle, Hemsky)
19:07 TB Stamkos (13), (unassisted)
18:33 TB Johnson (4), (Panik, Gudas)
10:22 EDM Hall (4), (Eberle)(PP)
Bishop and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars. It's a short list of Lightning players you could say had a good game after those two.
Maybe it's a function of the long layoff, but I'm disappointed by the effort from the team tonight coming off their best all-around game of the season against St. Louis. I get that you're going to have clunkers over the course of the year and good teams find ways to win games like these. But, to go from their best game of the year to one of their worst shows a level of inconsistency that is very worrying. That's not a recipe for sustainable success, and you worry about a hangover from this game. When you make that many mistakes and exhibit that many bad habits and get away with them, without the negative consequences, they have a way of lingering for a game or two afterwards. It happened after the game in Sunrise and I worry about it happening here.
On the bright side, the Lightning check into the midpoint of this second 10-game segment of the season at 8 points. That's a good spot to be, 4 points back of the minimum 12 you want them to get out of every segment. So, 5 games to get at least 4 points is good position, but I'll tell you: they'd be hard pressed to win a dog show most nights playing as poorly as they did against the Oilers.
Radko Gudas had a helper and was +4 with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 22:42 to go with 2 PIMs. That's a hefty stat line, no doubt about it.
Mark Barberio had 1 blocked shot in 15:33. Probably his second best game of the season. He was very active offensively in the first and had some nice breakout passes throughout the game. The flip side is that he still is terrifyingly soft along the wall in 1-on-1 battles.
Tyler Johnson had the GWG, 2 shots, 1 hit, and was 45% on draws in 17:43. He's on pace for about 22 goals now, which is pretty darned good. That said, I'd like to see him shoot more.
Alex Killorn was +2 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 19:10. He hit the post trying to score on a gaping cage on a First Period PP.
Ondrej Palat had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:32. And, he had at least 2 really good defensive plays that I noted that cancelled out Edmonton scoring chances. He's on that short list of guys I'd say had a good game.
Richard Panik had a helper and was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:43. Skill. He's got it. He had a very quiet night and then all of a sudden he breaks an Edmonton defender down scientifically 1-on-1 and dishes to TJ for the game winning goal. Was it a good game for Panik? Maybe not, but they don't win tonight without that single individual effort.
Florida Everblades 5 @ Elmira Jackals 2
FW Danick Gauthier, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 6 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 15 SOG, 17 PIM
G Kristers Gudlevskis, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, 32 S / 35 SA (.914 SV%)
D Charles Landry, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +8, 5 SOG, 9 PIM
FW Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 5 SOG, 2 PIM
D Dan Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 4 SOG, 6 PIM
FW Carl Nielsen, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 7 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 6 SOG, 24 PIM
Matt Pistilli's goal and three assists and Jesse Deckert's twenty-four save night helped pace Florida to a home victory over visiting Elmira. The win gave Florida its eighth in the first nine games to start the season. With Danick Gauthier, Kristers Gudlevskis, and Charles Landry on recall with Syracuse as well as Dan Milan, Carl Nielsen and Maxime Langelier-Parent scratched, no member of the Lightning or Crunch organizations appeared in the match. Florida (8-0-1, 17 PTS) and Elmira (2-4-0, 6 PTS) will resume hostilities again on Friday night.
The Lightning organization goes as deep as the ECHL.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 26 shots (including a rare OT penalty shot) before stopping all 4 he faced in the penalty shot session for the shootout win. Since coming up from the Everblades for an injured Riku Helenius, Gudlevskis has put up a very respectable 3-0-0 record with 1 shutout, a 2.21 GAA, and a .914 sv%.
SYR Gauthier, (1) , 4:44
WBS Zolnierczyk, (6) (Sill, Despres), 12:39
SYR Nesterov, (2) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 14:31 (PP)
WBS Ebbett, (4) (Letourneau-Leblond, Harrington), 13:56
WBS Ebbett, (5) (D'Agostino, Dumoulin), 12:47
SYR Rankin, (4) (Cote, Gauthier), 15:38
SYR- Richard, Kucherov
Nikita Kucherov and Danick Gauthier were the game's first and third stars. Gauthier always amazes me with his ability to chip in despite always seemingly being on the fringe between the ECHL and AHL. This was Danick's second game up from the Coast and, as usual, he found a way to contribute. Depth is a wonderful thing.
Syracuse heads back to familiar territory Friday and Saturday to play Norfolk.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Ontario Hockey League
Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 5 @ North Bay Battalion 3
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-3-4, -3, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
Undrafted Sergei Tolchinsky had two goals and an assist for the Soo on Tuesday night. Tolchinsky was signed by Carolina following June’s draft.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for November 4, 2013 is … Nikita Kucherov, W (Syracuse Crunch, AHL, USA).
Someone should tell Syracuse Crunch rookie Nikita Kucherov it’s not supposed to be this easy. Players aren’t supposed to average two points-per-game in their first 10 professional games, but after Kucherov averaged three points-per-game last week in three games, that’s exactly what he’s doing with 20 points (11 goals) in 10 games.