And Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy are having special seasons.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a little short-handed at the moment. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Defenseman Jake Dotchin, who did not play during the four-game road trip because of an undisclosed injury, did not practice. He was joined on the sideline by forwards Ryan Callahan and Cedric Paquette, and defenseman Braydon Coburn.

“When asked about Callahan and Coburn, Cooper said, ‘There’s definitely some maintenance issues going on here. Hopefully it’s not long term.’”

With the Bolts down Paquette, and maybe Callahan too, Steve Yzerman has called up Cory Conacher from the Syracuse Crunch. [NHL dot com]

“Conacher, 27, has skated in one game with the Lightning this season, posting one goal. He made his season debut with the Bolts last Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored the Lightning’s second goal of the game.”

Random draft pick profile: Jonathan Boutin. [Raw Charge]

“With his juniors career completed, the Lightning signed Boutin to a three-year rookie contract in July of 2005. Boutin split his first two seasons between the Springfield Falcons in the AHL and the Johnstown Chiefs in the ECHL. His numbers were a good bit better in the ECHL, but he had a hard time making an impact in the AHL.”

Andy and Stanley!

50-in-50 for Kuch? Yes, please. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Bossy, the Islanders’ Hall of Fame wing, is one of five players who scored 50 goals in his team’s first 50 games of a season. The others: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Maurice Richard and Brett Hull.

The subject of 50 in 50 comes up whenever a scorer gets off to a hot start, such as Simon Gagne in 2005-06, Steven Stamkos in 2010-11 and Nikita Kucherov this season.”

That efficient!

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the Silent Guardian, the Watchful Proector… a .932 save percentage this season that has largely helped bring the Lightning to an aforementioned .720 point percentage. [NHL dot com]

“At 23, he’s well-grounded and mature. In October, he told the Tampa Bay Times that “there’s probably guys my age like to go to bars or somewhere else, but not me,” adding that his life is made up of hockey and family.” The boldest part of his makeup seems to be his penchant for classic rock artists such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.”

The Prospects

Before we get into the game, here are a few roster updates.

The Syracuse Crunch have signed defenseman Mathieu Brodeur to a professional Try-out (PTO). [Raw Charge]

“With the lower body injury to Daniel Walcott Wednesday night against the Toronto Marlies, the Crunch were in need of another body on the blue line. While the team has not released anything official on Walcott, the early speculation is that he likely broke a bone in his leg during an altercation.”

20-year-old defensive prospect, Matthew Spencer, has been assigned to the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL. [SYR Crunch]

“Spencer, 20, has appeared in four games with the Crunch and three with the Thunder this season. He skated in 60 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League this past season, recording seven goals and 29 points to go along with 60 penalty minutes.”

Adam Erne and Matthew Peca lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 victory over the Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate). [Syracuse]

“The duo’s goals were all the support that Syracuse goalie Louis Domingue needed. He was superb yet again, stopping 24 Rocket shots.”

Junior friendships are forever.

Centerman Ross Colton had a big night for Vermont of the NCAA last night in a rare hockey outcome now-a-days: a tie! [Bolt Prospects]

“Colton scored both Vermont’s goals – including the game-typing marker with just under two minutes remaining and the goalie pulled – in a 2-2 tie with Maine. The Black Bears outshot Vermont, 43-24.”

The Game

Joe Pavelski records his 300th goal after being stuck on 299 for 11 games. [Fear the Fin]

“Pavelski’s accomplishment is remarkable by any standard, but it’s beyond stunning for a seventh rounder taken with the 205th overall pick. Despite being dismissed by scouts as being too small and too slow, Pavelski combined an elite shot with incredible goal-scoring instincts to become one of the most dangerous and consistent snipers in the NHL.”

Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things fame sang the national anthem at the New York Rangers game yesterday! (Video in the link) [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

The Buffalo Sabres have now lost three straight games. Wait, no, it’s worse than that.

The Buffalo Sabres have been shutout in three straight games. [Buffalo News]

“The Sabres were facing Tristan Jarry, the backup goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins who was playing just his sixth NHL game. There was an opening to pepper the young goalie with shots and force him to make uncomfortable plays. There was an opening to finally score some goals.

But they didn’t.”

Highlight of the Night: Malcolm Subban is back from injury. But also, MALCOLM SUBBAN IS BACK.


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com