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Crunch's McGinn Comes Back Strong After Missing Four Months

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tye McGinn knew he couldn’t sit around and sulk.

The Syracuse Crunch winger missed 53 games over the course of four-plus months as he rehabbed from shoulder surgery, but hardly took the time off. Instead, he put in the work to come back stronger than before.

McGinn and the Crunch have seen immediate dividends, as the veteran forward has points in eight of his last nine games since returning.

“I dedicated a lot of the four months of rehab to working hard,” McGinn said. “I wanted to be in top shape when I came back, and I did a lot of work with the trainers and felt really good coming back. I think our team is playing really well right now, and I’m just kind of working with everyone. The puck is just going in right now.”

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 93

This week’s “Daren Puppa Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 93
· TB’s first great goaltender
· How close are the Lightning to the edge of the cliff?
· Junior season over; playoffs loom
· Prospect thoughts based on rankings, 16-25

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 92

This week’s “Aaron Gavey Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 92
· TB strutting down street, flaunting massive amount of chest hair
· Playoffs!?
· Gourde, depth stepping up big
· How does Jo Drouin compare to other young stars?

Gourde, Erne Make Impact in Bolts' Push for Playoffs

As the Tampa Bay Lightning have gone through the 2016-17 regular season, their seemingly consistent string of injuries to key players has created the need for call-ups from the Syracuse Crunch at levels unseen in seasons past.

The term "TampaCuse" has been used to describe the shuttle of players between the clubs throughout the season more than normal this year.

During Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, the Lightning dressed five players who began the year with the Crunch in the American Hockey League – defenseman Jake Dotchin and forwards Adam Erne, Yanni Gourde, Matthew Peca, and Luke Witkowski.

While each of these players has contributed in an important way for the Lightning this season, Erne and Gourde are two prospects who have been particularly impressive of late.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 91

This week’s “Steven F. Stamkos Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 91
· Where were you when…
· Stamkos rankings
· Trade deadline’s impact on Lightning off the ice
· Defensemen, not defenseman, a summer project
· Syracuse gets deadline attention
· Interview with Dominik Masin
· Syracuse Coach Benoit Groulx talks Dom Masin development

Blog: Yzerman sleeping peacefully on bed of cash

There’s no truth to the rumor that Lightning GM Steve Yzerman got his first good night’s sleep in months last night by laying on a bed of cash – about $5 million worth of that thin green paper.

We like a good story, so we’re going with it. And really, he deserved to sleep on that cash after his latest jedi-like roster moves to keep the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning on course.

To review:

Tampa Bay acquired G Peter Budaj, D Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round draft pick and a 2017 conditional draft pick from Los Angeles for G Ben Bishop and a 2017 fifth-round draft pick.

Acquired F Byron Froese and a conditional 2017 second-round draft pick from Toronto for F Brian Boyle.

Traded C Valtteri Filppula and 2017 fourth- and seventh-round draft picks to Philadelphia for D Mark Streit, who was traded to Pittsburgh for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick.

Masin's Progression Earns Him More Ice Time With Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dominik Masin has made significant strides during his rookie season in Syracuse.

Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes Masin is one of the most improved players on the team, and has increased the defenseman’s responsibilities throughout the season.

Masin is continuing to earn more ice time in all situations as he develops with the Crunch.

“The improvement he’s made this year is huge,” Groulx said. “He’s made big steps forward. … At first when he came in, we would use him five minutes a game. Now he’s playing 18, 19, 20 minutes a game. He’s playing power play. He’s playing (on the penalty kill). That shows you how much he has improved.”

Lightning Power Play Live: February 27, 2017

I was fortunate enough to be on Lightning Radio’s Lightning Power Play Live on Monday, discussing the Bishop trade, Cernak, and the trade deadline in general. Give it a listen:

Click here to listen

Note: I’ll try to do a full podcast after the trade deadline comes and goes.

Point’s Play Helps Fuel Bolts’ Turnaround

By Steven DiOssi

Brayden Point started the season as a surprise addition to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s roster out of training camp, but throughout the year he’s consistently shown why he should be in the NHL.

Since returning from an injury he suffered on Dec. 28 that kept him out of the lineup for more than a month, the 20-year-old forward has accumulated seven points and is a plus-6 in nine games. He’s been held off the scoresheet just three times and has arguably been playing his best hockey of late, skating at center and putting together a four-game point streak from Feb. 10 to Feb. 19.

He began the season playing the wing position despite traditionally playing as a center throughout his career — primarily because that’s where he fit into the lineup when Steven Stamkos was healthy. However, he’s been centering Alex Killorn and Jonathan Drouin — players that complement his speed and creativity, while also helping ease his transition to the position at the NHL level.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 90

This is this week’s “Vladdy Namestnikov II Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 90 (and 65)
· Vladdy’s falling ceiling
· Greg Linnelli interview recap
· Drouinsanity driving the Lightning
· The Ben Bishop dilemma
· The Tyler Johnson dilemma
· Let’s start here: Jake Dotchin is an NHL defenseman
· Interview with Adam Erne

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