Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Superstitious Gudlevskis Making Most of Opportunities

By Jeremy Houghtaling

A few days after registering a shutout in his American Hockey League debut, Kristers Gudlevskis returned to the ice with a different look.

The mask emblazoned with blue stripes and the outline of a lightning bolt that he wore in his first three wins of the season was nowhere in sight as Gudlevskis dawned a more comfortable plain white helmet for Syracuse Crunch practice Tuesday.

Like his mask, Gudlevskis is back to a blank slate. His 22-save shutout over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is history, and it's time to move forward.

Prospect of the Week: October 29, 2013

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 October 29, 2013 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G (Syracuse Crunch, AHL, USA).

Latvians sure know how to make an entrance.

Lightning goaltending prospect Kristers Gudlevskis announced his presence in the AHL Saturday with a 22-save shutout against Bridgeport. His impressive debut earned him our Prospect of the Week award.

Defenseman Taormina a Valuable Asset for Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It’s tough for Matt Taormina to sit out.

The Syracuse Crunch defenseman, who battled an injury throughout the team’s run to the Calder Cup Finals last season, was not pleased that he had to be scratched from the lineup earlier this month.

"I probably could have waited another week or so (to return), because that's what the doctors had said," Taormina said. "But after the first game, and being around the guys in practice and stuff like that, I felt that I could get back at it earlier than they thought."

Seeing Taormina sit out was equally as difficult for Crunch coach Rob Zettler. Taormina has become an integral part of the blue line for Syracuse since his arrival last season, and the 27-year-old veteran's calm, patient demeanor comes in handy in all situations.

2013-2014 Preliminary Rankings

Written by Pete Choquette

Today we are releasing Bolt Prospects’ 2013-2014 Preliminary Rankings. Our rankings of the top 30 prospects in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization again reflect the bounty of what we consider to be the golden age of Lightning prospects. That depth is finally breaking through at the NHL level in the form of the seven rookies that made the Lightning's 2013-2014 opening night roster – six of which are included in our rankings. More impressively, none of those six prospects made the top three of our list, meaning the best is still to come. That's why it's no stretch to suggest the Lightning have the best prospect depth in the NHL today.

Prospect of the Week: October 24, 2013

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 October 24, 2013 is … Henri Ikonen, W (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL, Canada).

We didn’t plan on having a repeat winner just five weeks into the prospect season, but Henri Ikonen give us no choice.

The Lightning’s sixth round draft choice in this past summer’s NHL Entry Draft, Ikonen had eight points in two games last week. The energetic winger had a goal and three assists on Friday night in Kitchener then added two goals and two helpers the next night in Owen Sound. He has registered a point in every game this season, and has at least two points in his last six games. Three of those six games were 4-pointers.

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