Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Darcy Making Most of Opportunity with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Cameron Darcy scored his first professional goal Saturday. Maybe.

The Syracuse Crunch forward’s shot from the slot went into a crowd in front of the Toronto net, ended up in the back of the net, and was initially waved off due to a hand pass. After a video review, Darcy was awarded the game-tying goal that sent the game to overtime, but the tape has since been sent to the American Hockey League for verification.

Darcy isn’t sweating his stats. Instead, with so many players called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the rookie center is focused on making the most of his opportunity to be a regular in the Crunch lineup.

“Every time I’m on the ice and every game I get in, I get a chance to prove who I am as a player and I try to show the coaching staff that I can play the game well and I can make a difference when I’m in there,” Darcy said after practice on Monday. “I just need to take advantage of every opportunity I’m put in and just roll with it.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 46

This week's “Martin Cibak Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 46
· The Lightning’s power play, as described by Veronica Corningstone
· New blood needed
· DeAngelo an option?
· Trend report for junior, NCAA, and European prospects
· Interview with Adam Erne
· #BPMailbag: Marchessault’s future with the club … Looking ahead to expansion draft … Pie or cake? … Bishop vs Vasilevskiy plan … Which Triplet goes? … Nesterov’s future … Thoughts on Cooper’s contract extension – strategic timing?

Erne Using New Perspective in Return to Crunch Lineup


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Erne looked to make the best of a bad situation.

The Syracuse Crunch forward missed six weeks after being injured during a game against Hartford on Oct. 23. Unable to play, Erne used the time to get a new perspective and study the game from afar.

After returning to the lineup last weekend, Erne is using the knowledge he gained to help him on the ice.

“I haven’t had too many injuries through hockey,” Erne said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a part of the game. When it does, you just have to make the best of it and work hard, and use it as an opportunity to get faster and even more ready for the remainder of the season.”

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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 the week ending December 7 is … Nikita Gusev, W, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL).

The Goose is loose, but he’s staying in Russia.

Lightning 2012 seventh round pick Nikita “The Goose” Gusev is having another all-star year in the KHL this season, sparking talk that the diminutive playmaker could be joining his good friend Nikita Kucherov in Tampa as soon as next season.

Bolt Prospect of the Week

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(s) of the Week for the week ending November 30 is … Matt Spencer, D, Peterborough Petes (OHL).

Second round picks are often prized trade pieces in the NHL, especially at the deadline. Teams feel they receive good value and the dealing clubs aren’t parting with first rounders. The Lightning have two second rounders in 2016, and if they keep them, don’t be surprised if at least one is spent on a defenseman.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 45

This week's “AHL Contract Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 45
· Appreciation for the AHL veteran role player
· Can healing players provide needed shake-up?
· Special teams nightmare
· Boucher vs Cooper
· #BPMailbag: Stamkos trade value, hypothetical destinations
· Interview with emerging Syracuse defenseman Dylan Blujus

Crunch's Defensive Depth Drives Blujus


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dylan Blujus sees the positives in the competition.

With the eight defenseman combining for more than 1,500 pro games, the Syracuse Crunch has been forced to make tough decisions on who to play each night. Blujus knows that the amount of depth on the Syracuse blue line means any player who struggles is likely to watch the next game from the stands.

In his second year pro, Blujus has worked to strengthen his play in his own zone and chip in on offense when he can to keep his spot in the lineup.

“It’s also good for the D because you have to have a good game every night, because there’s someone who’s going to take your ice time if you’re not playing good,” Blujus said. “It’s tough, but it’s good for us.”

#BPMailbag for November 26, 2015

For the second straight week I ran out of time on the Bolt Prospects Podcast to get to the #BPMailbag, so another text version it is.

As always, make up your own voice inflections and insert sarcasm when needed.

@heftyt
@BoltProspects What scenario keeps the cup window open longer: with or without Stamkos? #BPMailbag

Last week in the mailbag, in response to a request to predict the Lightning’s roster three years from now, I gave the following answer using only players currently in the organization.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 44

This week's “Roman Hamrlik Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 44
· The first Bolt prospect
· Hamrlik vs Hedman
· #TampaCuse to the rescue
· A reluctant shake-up
· Three regulars raising their games
· Player-by-player trend report for Syracuse
· Interview with Syracuse’s Daniel Walcott

Note: The #BPMailbag will be a text edition this week, posted to the site soon.

Walcott Embraces Utility Role With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

However he gets into the lineup, Daniel Walcott wants to make the most of his opportunity.

A natural defenseman, Walcott changed positions last weekend after multiple call-ups left the Syracuse Crunch short a few forwards. The 21-year-old rookie responded by registering his first professional point Friday.

With Syracuse boasting a deep blueline, Walcott is willing to help out on the ice wherever he can.

“I was pretty fortunate that they trusted me to be the extra forward instead of bringing in someone else,” Walcott said. “They could have easily done that, but they take care of their prospects. … I’ve been waiting a while to get back in a game here, so it felt good. I have to work hard and show that I can go wherever they need me.”

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