Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Gudas' beard inspires conversation

SUNRISE — Radko Gudas, freshly called up from AHL Syracuse with a nasty streak and big-hit ability, played his first NHL game Tuesday for the Lightning.

The main topic of conversation, though, was the burly defenseman's beard, growing since Jan. 1 and reaching Paul Bunyan proportions.

"I don't know if it makes him look scarier or weirder," coach Guy Boucher said, "but I'll take whatever he's wearing if he plays like I've seen him play."

Gudas, 22, drafted 66th overall in 2010, is an AHL-best plus-32 this season with the Crunch. At 6 feet, 204 pounds, he is not afraid to fight and has 207 penalty minutes in 57 games with four goals and 20 points. But it's that beard that demands attention.

"People notice him," said LW Alex Killorn, Gudas' former Crunch teammate. "If you look at him, he looks pretty mean. Off the ice, he's a great guy."

Gudas showed a sense of humor discussing his whiskers.

He said the beard really took off in January when he came to Lightning camp (and didn't shave) then went with the Crunch on a team bonding trip to Lake Placid, N.Y. (and didn't shave).

And when the Crunch began promoting a Fear the Beard night, he really couldn't shave.

Beyond that, he said he's "lazy" about shaving and "it's cold in Syracuse. It just keeps me warm."

The beard inspired a Twitter account — @RadkoGudasBeard — with which Gudas said he is not involved.

"I just let it go," Gudas said, stroking his beard. "It grows like this. I'm a lucky guy."

DEBUT: Gudas had 15:20 of ice time with two hits and three blocked shots. He also got tangled with Florida's Kris Versteeg on a play that resulted in what seemed a knee-to-knee hit that knocked Versteeg out of the game and replays showed was inadvertent.

"I wasn't going to hurt him," Gudas said. "I went for the puck and turned my back to him and he tried to jump around me."

Lee sits: D Brian Lee's minus-13 entered Tuesday better than only two of the NHL's 751 listed players, and his missed assignment Saturday contributed to the deciding goal in a 4-3 loss to the Canadiens.

That is why Lee received what Boucher called "a thinker," that is, being a healthy scratch.

"Give him time to think and refocus so he's better when he comes back," Boucher said.

Friendly enemies: Tampa Bay's Anders Lindback and Florida's Jacob Markstrom grew up a few blocks from each other in Gavle, Sweden, their families were friends and the goalies played together for Brynas in their hometown.

"Since we played on the same teams we're used to competing against each other because we're competing for ice time," Lindback said.

Odds and ends: RW Marty St. Louis has three goals, nine assists in a seven-game points streak. … G Mathieu Garon was activated off injured reserve and backed up Lindback. … G Cedrick Desjardins was reassigned to Syracuse. … Forwards Adam Hall and Pierre-Cedric Labrie also were scratched as Tampa Bay went with seven defensemen. … A group of 40 to 50 Lightning employees bused to the game.

Comments
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18
Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

LAS VEGAS — Before Devante Smith-Pelly could relax or breathe or even start thinking about his game-tying goal, he had to start moving his feet.The period of recall began midway through the third period Thursday night, when the Capitals trailed, 3-2....
Published: 06/08/18
Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

The Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise's 43-year history Thursday night in Las Vegas.And still the St. Louis Blues and their fans wait. The Blues marked their 50th NHL season this year; 50 years without a Cup.He...
Published: 06/08/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

As the Washington Capitals celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship, Rick Stroud reflects on what could have been for the Lightning, which came within a victory of eliminating Washington in the conference final.Plus, the Rays lose in ...
Published: 06/08/18
Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

LAS VEGAS — Alex Ovechkin put both hands to his head and screamed while he left the bench and skated into the thick of the Washington Capitals' joyous celebration. And right before Ovechkin hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Washington captain put ...
Published: 06/07/18
Updated: 06/08/18
Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

You might not recognize the name, but my words were probably some of the first you read after the Lightning won its first – and, so far, only — Stanley Cup 14 years ago today.In the days before social media, email newsletters and push not...
Published: 06/07/18