Lightning Round: Tampa Bay abandons preseason game to Predators, 6-2
It was a less than triumphant return to the Amalie Arena for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Playing their first competitive game in their home barn since winning the Stanley Cup last summer, the Bolts were severely outnumbered by the Nashville Predators who dotted the Lightning net six times en route to a easy victory. The good news is that these games only count for the rating.
Anthony Cirelli and Fredrik Claesson scored the goals for Tampa Bay while Brian Elliott and Amir Miftakhov shared the time in the net. Elliott, who was to be Andrei Vasilevskiy’s replacement, allowed three goals on fourteen shots in his Lightning debut while Miftakhov, likely to start the season in Orlando, made fourteen saves on seventeen shots.
There were a few more familiar names in the Lightning roster as veterans like Steven Stamkos (19:19 ice time), Erik Cernak (19:39) and Cirelli (10:02) played important minutes. Cirelli left the game midway through the second period and did not return, but coach Cooper said keeping him out was more of a precaution than an indication of something serious. Meanwhile, there was a heavy dose of players looking for a spot on the roster as Taylor Raddysh, Simon Ryfors, Boris Katchouk and Alex Barré-Boulet all played more than fifteen minutes into the game.
While Coach Cooper probably didn’t care about the level of effort in the game (there have been quite a few turnovers and lost puck battles), it’s still a bit too early to be unduly upset with the outcome. . Still, the coach was not happy that players trying to make the squad didn’t step up their performances:
#tblightning Jon Cooper clearly didn’t see enough of the roster’s hopes in the first exhibition games: “People have to notice that there are places on our team to be had. At some point, someone has to jump and grab it. “
– Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) October 1, 2021
This is only the preseason and the Bolts have five exhibition games left before they drop the puck for real on October 12. If they still play like this at the end of next week, it might be recorded on the worry meter, but until then it’s just gamers shaking the rust out of their game.
Lightning / NHL News
It could be a big season for Mathieu Joseph as he should have a great chance to play in the middle of six minutes for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He ends his career in the Top 25 Under-25 (he will age next season) in fifth place on our 2021 list. [Raw Charge]
The Hockey News has ranked the top 100 CHL players to watch this season. Lightning hopefuls Roman Schmidt (# 42), Niko Huuhtanen (# 57) and Jack Finley (# 77) were all on the list. [The Hockey News/ Sports Illustrated]
The Lightning Partners With Blue Cross Blue Shield To End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Care. The initiative is called “Strike the Stigma” and will provide mental health services to 20 families over the next three years. [WFLA]
The Vancouver Canucks still have some very important young players out of camp as selection free agents Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson await their new contracts. It looks like Hughes, a promising young defenseman, is about to sign a 6-year, $ 7.75 AAV contract according to SportsNet’s Satiar Shah. [Twitter]
Pierre LeBrun continues to detail the new contracts for coaches and general managers. Yesterday, he reported that Toronto Maple Leafs head coach and former Lightning forward Sheldon Keefe had agreed to a two-year extension that will keep him behind the bench throughout the 2023-24 season. [Pension Plan Puppets]
The Lightning are heading (once again) to Carolina for their third preseason game of the season. The puck falls at 7:00 p.m. Check us out on Twitter for more details on the goaltender lines and fixtures for the game. It’s possible Andrei Vasilevskiy will make his preseason debut!