Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Crunch's Richard Provides Physicality, Playmaking Ability


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard is at his best when he is playing his game and taking his opponents off theirs.

The Crunch center has registered a point in nine out of his last 13 games to cement himself among Syracuse’s top scorers. But Crunch Head Coach Rob Zettler believes a big part of Richard’s success comes down to being tough to play against.

“He’s getting back to being a bit of a pain in the butt out there, which is when he’s good,” Zettler said. “He just seems more engaged physically, and more engaged in moving his feet down low and on the cycle plays offensively.”

Prospect of the Week: 3-24-15

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 24, 2015 is … Adam Wilcox, G, University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA – USA).

Playing goaltender for the University of Minnesota isn’t for the faint of heart. For everything positive – and Lightning prospect Adam Wilcox had plenty of positives in his first two years with the Gophers – the negatives are amplified to a level of criticism not seen in many hockey circles. Minnesota was the top-ranked team early in the year, then fell out of the rankings completely. As a result, Wilcox has trudged through a river of disparagement for inconsistent play and what amounts to not living up to the standard that he set himself.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 22

This week's edition of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 22
· Remembering Matthew Wuest
· Missing on Curran could be big loss for Syracuse D
· More NCAA free agents still out there
· Interview with Slater Koekkoek
· #BPMailbag (Which line is No. 1? … Can TB keep Triplets beyond 2017? … Trade Wilcox’s rights? … Vasy’s timeline to No. 1 … Brayden Point Excitement Meter … TB’s Russian factor … No passing in advance stats? … Most popular TB jerseys 3 years from now)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Prospect of the Week: 3-18-15


By Jeremy Houghtaling

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 18, 2015 is … Slater Koekkoek, D, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

Slater Koekkoek made a key adjustment, and now the points are starting to flow.

A mobile defenseman used to rushing the puck himself in junior hockey, the Syracuse Crunch rookie has learned to make a quick pass and then follow the play to look for offensive opportunities. Koekkoek’s transition has begun to pay dividends, as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2012 first-rounder recorded eight points and is a plus-6 in his last 10 games.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 21

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 21
· How will TB survive after injuries to 13, 18, 55?
· #BPMailbag (Was Syracuse set up to succeed? NCAA free agent watch; Lightning NHL, AHL free agents: who goes, who stays; Addition predictions for Syracuse; Bigger learning curve – Drouin to NHL or linemates to Drouin?)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Previous BP Podcast editions:

Prospect of the Week: 3-11-15

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 11, 2015 is … Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL – Canada).

Reading junior hockey game recaps over the last decade has taught me something – it’s always hard for a visiting player to make the game star list as a visitor. It either has to be a no-doubt performance or the home team’s media has to really like the player.

Lightning prospect Brayden Point frequently falls into both categories, resulting in a plethora of game stars.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 20

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 20
· Trade deadline review and how it affects TB moving forward
· Our midterm rankings, in depth
· Interview with Yanni Gourde
· #BPMailbag (How far can TB go? … Who’s in/Who’s out … Boring offseason ahead … Weasels riding woodpeckers)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Previous BP Podcast editions:

Prospect of the Week: 3-4-15

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 4, 2015 is … Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL – Canada).

Anthony DeAngelo is going to need some more mantle space.

The Lightning’s first round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is racking up the awards this year, and that’s not even counting another Bolt Prospect of the Week.

Already the Ontario Hockey League Player of the Week and Defenseman of the Month for February, the Canadian Hockey League announced Tuesday that he is also the CHL Player of the Week after scoring four goals and four assists for eight points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4 for the week ending March 1.

Speedy Gourde Develops Into a Top Offensive Threat


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Like many times before, Yanni Gourde turned on the jets.

The Syracuse Crunch forward accepted the relay pass from Vlad Namesntikov in stride at the blue line, stormed in alone on Utica goalie Pat Nagle, and netted the eventual game-winning power play goal in a 4-1 victory Saturday.

Gourde, riding a six game point streak, is using his speed to his advantage to be one of the Crunch's top scoring threats this season.

“(Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis) makes a great play to pass it up to him to give him a breakaway, but no defenseman is going to catch him there because of his speed,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He just needs to continue to use that. When he is successful, that’s what he does.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 19

This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 19
· Trade deadline do’s, don’ts, and shoulds
· Comparing Lightning D to 2014 Cup finalists’
· Interview with new/old Bolt prospect Carter Ashton
· Interview with AHL Player of the Week Vladdy Namestnikov
· #BPMailbag (Bryz an option? Drouin to AHL next year? How will young D do in the playoffs? Where to put all the centers? Koekkoek still on track? Prospects who could push for NHL time next fall)

Click here to listen

To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com. It’s scheduled to run Saturday at 2, 5, and 8 (EST).

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