Brayden Point pumped for NHL debut
Lightning forward Brayden Point kept seeing on Twitter Wednesday night the details of the remarkable debut of Maple Leafs No. 1 pick Auston Matthews, who scored four goals in his first game.
"That was the line in the room today, 'The standard has been set,'" coach Jon Cooper quipped. "Got to chase that one down."
Point, 20, making his NHL debut tonight against the Red Wings, isn't shooting for that one.
"I wouldn't hold my breath for that," Point said, smiling. "Just try to have a good game, have fun and soak it all in."
Point's parents, Janice and and Grant, and brother Kade, 13, arrived from Calgary Wednesday night, the family having dinner at Jackson's. Point said he initially had trouble falling asleep in anticipation of the night. Cooper's advice to Point: be yourself.
"Ultimately, you made it, you've got hockey sense, you can skate, you know how to play," Cooper said. "Don't ever lose your competitive edge, because that's one of the things for undersized guys right now, it's pushing you over the top."
Point, a third-round pick in 2014, will slot in on the third line with Valtteri Filppula and Vladislav Namestnikov.
More from morning skate: D Slater Koekkoek is likely to be the healthy scratch. The lines remained the same, with Palat-Stamkos-Drouin/Killorn-Johnson-Kucherov/Namestnikov-Filppula-Point/Boyle-Paquette-Brown. Captain Steven Stamkos said though teammates always believed it would get done, there was a "sigh of relief" when Nikita Kucherov finally was signed Tuesday to a three-year deal. "We know Kuch wanted to be here, we know how important he is to this team," Stamkos said. "He's a huge piece of this team, he's such a clutch player.".. Everyone was raving about Matthews' NHL debut, including Stamkos. "That was fun to watch as a player in this league and as a hockey fan in general," Stamkos said. "You just hope expectations aren't that he goes out and does it all the time. You can see that he's going to be a great player in this league for a long time. It just goes to show you the state of thsi game and where it's going."