Sunday, December 17, 2017
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An Evan Longoria trade continues to make no sense whatsoever

December 17th, 2017

The Tampa Bay area has one daily newspaper, and therefore only one print outlet that follows the team. That is the Tampa Bay Times, which acquired its rival and narrowed the beat writers deployed to one. Marc Topkin is the last man standing. He was been with the Times and has been documenting the Rays from the start: he was on the story before there ever was an expansion team. Twenty years later, you have to assume he has his finger on the pulse of Tampa Bay baseball. You have to assume he knows how the front office operates, and that to the extent they tip their hand to any journalist, they... Read More

Sunday NFL Games Schedule: Teams in the playoff hunt

December 17th, 2017

Everything you need to know about today’s games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t playing today, but plenty of other NFL teams are. None of them really matter for the Bucs, unless you’re really invested in their draft position—they certainly can’t reach the playoffs anymore. The Bucs, of course, play the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, with Jon Gruden in the commentary box. The Bucs have been repeatedly linked with Gruden as their next head coach, though there’s nothing more than vague rumors there. Dirk Koetter will certainly want to win that game, if only to protect his... Read More

The case for and against trading Tampa Bay Lightning’s Tyler Johnson this offseason

December 17th, 2017

Yzerman might be faced with a significant challenge before July 1, 2018. Let’s say it’s June 30, 2018. Tomorrow marks a significant day regarding the near future of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. July 1 is the day that Nikita Kucherov can sign his eight-year contract extension for X amount of dollars. July 1 is the day that Brayden Point can sign the first contract extension of his brief NHL career. July 1 is also the day that Tyler Johnson’s full no-trade clause kicks in for the next three seasons. Why is that significant? It might result in a few cap casualties for the Lightning.... Read More

I still hate Vinny Castilla: Which players do Rays fans love to hate?

December 17th, 2017

Some players just merit booing, whether they against or for your team… I remember going to a game in June 2004 when the Colorado Rockies were at Tropicana Field to take on the Devil Rays. Checking the attendance through Baseball Reference shows it was one of the lowest attended games of the year, but a moment occurred during the game that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. In the top of the second, Vinny Castilla came to the plate for Colorado and as his name was announced, the less than 10,000 strong at the Trop that night roared with thunderous booing. It was the loudest thing I... Read More

Quick Strikes: Mikhail Sergachev on pace to break NHL rookie GWG record

December 17th, 2017

And how’s it Drouin over in Montreal? The Bolts After a boring first period, the Tampa Bay Lightning jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Colorado Avalanche. The final score was 6-5 with Mikhail Sergachev earning the game-winning goal. Safe to say this game was a barn-burner. On Colorado’s Star Wars Night no less! [Raw Charge] “Victor Hedman played a complete game. He contributed offensively and defensively. He was all over the ice, consistently making his presence known. His pass to Kucherov started the flood of scoring (including a goal of his own). He saved a sure goal from the goal line.” Heddy’s... Read More

Daily Bucs Links: Dungy vs Gruden

December 17th, 2017

On the best coaches in Bucs history, and more. Chargers vs. Chiefs: Kareem Hunt’s would-be TD was ruled incomplete – SBNation.comThe NFL catch rule strikes again. NFL playoff picture 2017: How the Patriots can miss the postseason – SBNation.comThe Patriots will inevitably make the playoffs, but it’s fun to imagine the doomsday scenario that leaves them out. Chargers vs. Chiefs 2017 live results: Score updates and highlights from Saturday night football – SBNation.comThe Chiefs completed a season sweep of the Chargers on Saturday night, taking sole possession of the AFC West. Lions-Bears... Read More

Tampa Bay Lightning hang on to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 6-5

December 17th, 2017

The Bolts celebrate Brayden Point’s 100th NHL game with their seventh consecutive win. Also, Hedman is awesome. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche played a surprisingly close, high-scoring game that ultimately ended in a 6-5 victory for the Bolts. The Lightning walked away with two points, and hopefully something even more important: the reminder that no lead is safe and the game is not over until the clock runs out. The First Period The start of the game is all defense. The Lightning kill two penalties with the clinical precision we have come to expect from them. For me, the best... Read More

Buccaneers vs. Falcons injury report: Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Tevin Coleman ruled out

December 16th, 2017

The injury report for the Buccaneers and Falcons is out. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ruled out three starters for Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Flacons. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (biceps), linebacker Lavonte David (hamstring) and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) will not suit up for the game with various injuries. That’s a pretty hefty blow to the Bucs’ defense, which will be missing its two best players, including the only one capable of mounting any kind of consistent pass-rush threat this season. David has also been key in producing turnovers, the one thing that gave... Read More

How good is the Buccaneers’ head coaching opening?

December 16th, 2017

The answer depends on how much you believe in Jameis Winston. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may need a new coach this offseason. The likelihood of that happening seems to be increasing every week, as the Bucs keep on losing. But there will be many firings this offseason, as there are every year, and the Bucs don’t necessarily have the best opening—so if they need to find a replacement, who will they be able to get? If you like Jameis Winston, the Bucs have a great job opportunity. Quarterbacks are everything in the NFL, after all, and Winston was a first-round pick just three years ago. He’s... Read More

Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche: Bolts are the Storm Troopers on Star Wars night

December 16th, 2017

Let’s spoil their fun. Tampa Bay Lightning @ Colorado Avalanche: Game #32 Time: 9:00 PM Eastern Time Location: Pepsi Center Broadcast / Streaming: ALT, SUN Opponent SBNation Site: Mile High Hockey Preview Last time Tampa Bay met Colorado, it was in Tampa, and Gabriel Landeskog scored early. Peter Budaj was in net, but after a poor start in which he also allowed a weak goal from Erik Johnson, he shut the door to end the game with a .933 SV%. That meeting at TBL was the last game of a four-game losing streak for Colorado. After they left Tampa, they went on to win the next two games against Florida... Read More

Four Tampa Bay Lightning prospects make Team Canada

December 16th, 2017

Raw Charge was at Canada’s selection camp and we spoke with the Howden, Raddysh, and Katchouk. Yesterday, four Tampa Bay Lightning players were named to the Team Canada roster for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships. Watching these players at camp, we saw Canada lose two games in a row to the Canadian University All-Stars, but defeated Denmark this afternoon. Canada was either good at defending or easily overtaking a weaker opponent. Running the gauntlet of talent, Canada had some hard choices to make. What they didn’t think was hard was the choice to keep all four of the Lightning... Read More

Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Rays Prospects

December 16th, 2017

Number five will surprise you! There several prospect ranking systems and they all go about their business a little differently. That’s great, because we benefit from a few different perspectives. Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 Rays Prospect List, which was recently released, typically cares more about upside than probability of being a major league contributor. Baseball Prospectus sees five Rays prospects with impact potential. The fifth may surprise you. 1. Brent Honeywell, RHP Honeywell is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. He has a mid to upper 90s fastball. Changeup... Read More

Daily Bucs Links: Winston and Koetter

December 16th, 2017

On the quarterback-head coach relationship, and more. Panthers investigating Jerry Richardson for alleged workplace misconduct – SBNation.comFormer White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles will oversee the investigation of Jerry Richardson. Seahawks players fined, not suspended, for fight with Jaguars – SBNation.comSheldon Richardson, Michael Bennett, and Quinton Jefferson all avoided suspensions. NFL playoff picture: How Chargers’ turnaround got them in AFC West hunt – SBNation.comAfter shaking off an 0-4 start, the Chargers have figured things out, right in time to get in... Read More

Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning lose Ryan Callahan to injury on road trip

December 16th, 2017

In other news, Anthony Cirelli receives his AHL Player of the Week award. The Bolts Yeah, some of today’s news sucks. We’ll get the bad news over with first — poor Ryan Callahan, injured in an accident against the boards during the Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Arizona Coyotes on December 14. “The Lightning forward appeared to suffer an arm injury of some sort and was in obvious pain as he headed directly to the locker room after the play.” [Raw Charge] Joe wrote about other players’ reactions to Ryan Callahan’s injury. “You feel so bad for him,”... Read More

Ryan Callahan out “indefinitely” for Tampa Bay Lightning after injury in Arizona

December 16th, 2017

After getting tangled with Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the third period of Thursday’s hockey game against the Coyotes, Callahan sustained an upper-body injury. According to an update from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Callahan is out indefinitely after sustaining an upper-body injury in Thursday’s match against the Arizona Coyotes. GM Steve Yzerman said that his injury will be reevaluated in three to four weeks. In 29 games played with the team so far this season, Callahan has earned six points on a hard-working fourth line with Cedric Paquette and Chris Kunitz. His points total doesn’t reflect... Read More

Bucs OC: “You know what the strain is? The frustration of being 4-9”

December 15th, 2017

Todd Monken makes things clear. Folks have been talking about the reported strain between Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter for a week now, and no one’s having any of it—at least not on the record. Today, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken joined the chorus of folks who are denying any real problem in that head coach-quarterback relationship. “I want to talk a little bit about what we’ve had to deal with in terms of talk about relationships. I’ve been here almost two years and from a coach-player relationship, I have never seen anything close to what is being talked... Read More

T.J. Ward cleared to play against Falcons, but does that matter?

December 15th, 2017

Ward has barely made an impact this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get one Pro Bowler back today: safety T.J. Ward has passed the concussion protocol, head coach Dirk Koetter said today. Too bad this Pro Bowler has barely made an impact in Tampa this season. Ward was signed at the start of this season, after the Denver Broncos cut him. The Bucs hoped he’d make a quick impact, but have refused to let him play full games. Perhaps rightly so: while he’s made some splash plays, he was also responsible for some obvious busts, and he’s really only a fit as a strong safety. In all, Ward... Read More

Estimated shot assists for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season

December 15th, 2017

A look at the Lightning’s offensive play this season Earlier this week, I released a method for estimating player shot assists at Hockey Graphs. If you’re not familiar with shot assists or why they’re important, check out Ryan Stimson’s work on the subject. To summarize, shot contributions (shot assists + shots) are better predictors of future scoring than points themselves for skaters. And further, the passing sequence before a shot is a significant factor in whether or not the shot becomes a goal. If you want to learn more about the math behind these stats, I encourage you to explore... Read More

What the Rays Opening Day roster would look like as of now

December 15th, 2017

The bullpen would be completely changed, but everything else the same for the most part The winter meetings have come and passed with plenty of fanfare and not much else as only one major trade went down — the Miami Marlins shipping Marcell Ozuna off to the St Louis Cardinals — and several top of the line free agent relievers found homes as well. The Rays made a couple of minor moves, but have been rumored to have something major in the works regarding several of their core players with Evan Longoria and Alex Colome among their most popular names being sought out. However, as of now, the Rays... Read More

Tampa Bay Lightning are well represented at Team Canada’s development camp

December 15th, 2017

Taylor Raddysh is among the Lightning prospects that will be looking to make Team Canada. We all know that the Tampa Bay Lightning have put together one of the best prospect pools in hockey. That was highlighted last week when Hockey Canada announced the roster for their development camp to pick their team for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. The Lightning are better represented than any other team at the camp. Of the 33 players invited to try out for Team Canada, we see four baby Bolts: Cal Foote, Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh and Brett Howden. It’s going to be hard for all four... Read More