Sunday, October 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Blue Jackets game

While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov grab the headlines, don’t sleep on their linemate, Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is far from a third wheel, with eight points in eight games. "He might not have the names the other two have, but he’s as pivotal and vital to that line as the others," coach Jon Cooper said.

Just when we thought D Slater Koekkoek had a turning point after last week’s first NHL goal, he has been a healthy scratch in back-to-back games. Whether or not D Andrej Sustr is getting shopped, the Lightning has to find a way to play Koekkoek, 23, more. He has appeared in half of Tampa Bay’s eight games.

Every game, I’m more impressed by C Yanni Gourde. Gourde insisted he wouldn’t sit on his two-year, $2 million deal, and it shows. He’s relentless on the forecheck, responsible defensively and has created a lion’s share of scoring chances. He looks like C Brayden Point did early last year.

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Lightning falls to Wild in overtime

Lightning falls to Wild in overtime

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Lightning coach Jon Cooper wasn't kidding when he said Xcel Energy is a tough place to play.The Lightning extended its winless streak in Minnesota to six games under Cooper on Saturday with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Wild as M...
Published: 10/20/18
Updated: 10/21/18
Lightning journal: J.T. Brown reflects on Tampa Bay time

Lightning journal: J.T. Brown reflects on Tampa Bay time

ST. PAUL, Minn. — J.T. Brown's past year has been nothing short of busy and filled with changes.The Lightning put the forward on waivers in January in the middle of his sixth season with the franchise after he signed as an undrafted free agent ...
Published: 10/20/18
Nick Kelly’s takeways from Saturday’s Lightning-Wild game

Nick Kelly’s takeways from Saturday’s Lightning-Wild game

Having won only twice all time in Minnesota, the Lightning needed to start fast to quiet the crowd in what coach Jon Cooper called one of the three toughest NHL buildings in which to play. Ryan Callahan accomplished that with his goal in the first th...
Published: 10/20/18
J.T. Brown talks about life after the Lightning

J.T. Brown talks about life after the Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — J.T. Brown's past year has been nothing short of busy and filled with changes.The Lightning placed him on waivers in January  in the middle of his sixth season with the franchise after he signed as an undrafted ...
Published: 10/20/18
Diana C. Nearhos: Being the Lightning beat writer is a dream job

Diana C. Nearhos: Being the Lightning beat writer is a dream job

TAMPA — I distinctly remember the moment I fell in love with hockey.I was 10 years old at my first game between Boston College and Boston University. It's an intense rivalry BC's Conte Forum was crazy when the game was close in the third period...
Published: 10/19/18
Updated: 10/20/18
A road trip worth taking for the Lightning

A road trip worth taking for the Lightning

TAMPA — The Lightning opened the season with a five-game homestand. That was the easy part.Now for the hard part. Tampa Bay hits the road for the first time this regular season. And what a long road it is.Nine days. Five games. More that 5,000 ...
Published: 10/19/18
Diana C. Nearhos’ takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Red Wings game

Diana C. Nearhos’ takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Red Wings game

Steven Stamkos scored his first goal of the season in the second period. Entering the game, he wasn't alone among the league's top players to be goal-less. Last season's league MVP, the Devils' Taylor Hall, didn't get his first until Thursday night. ...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Lightning journal: Rolling four lines is key to early-season wins

Lightning journal: Rolling four lines is key to early-season wins

  TAMPA — The fourth line can often be a nice way of saying "players who aren't used much." But not on the Lightning. When coach Jon Cooper says he rolls four lines, he means it. Tampa Bay has the depth for it, and Cooper believes that was th...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Lightning cap off five-game homestand with 3-1 win over Detroit

Lightning cap off five-game homestand with 3-1 win over Detroit

TAMPA — The Lightning was a broken record in training camp, repeating how it needed to start the season strong. Last season's 15-2-2 start was the best in franchise history and launched it toward a playoff run. The Lightning wanted to do that a...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

TAMPA — Ryan Callahan is ahead of schedule. The forward had a target date of Nov. 1, on the early side, to return from offseason shoulder surgery, but the Lightning is making moves that imply he may see the ice sooner.That date could be tonight...
Published: 10/17/18