Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Jake Dotchin called up as Victor Hedman remains out for Lightning

ANAHEIM, Calif — The shuttle from AHL Syracuse continues for the Lightning.

With D Victor Hedman (illness) missing his second straight game Tuesday against the Ducks, Tampa Bay recalled D Jake Dotchin to provide depth.

Coach Jon Cooper said the Lightning hoped Hedman could return by Thursday's game in San Jose.

Dotchin, 22, got the call around 5 p.m. Monday after a matinee game with the Crunch. After a whirlwind of phone calls to his parents, Dotchin boarded a flight and arrived in Anaheim around 3 a.m.

"It's pretty exciting," Dotchin said.

Dotchin didn't make his NHL debut Tuesday, but Cooper said the coaches were comfortable playing him if need be. Dotchin, a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, led Crunch defensemen with a plus-10 rating, with three goals and 12 points in 33 games.

The Lightning could have chosen the more experienced, left-shot puck-mover Slater Koekkoek, who has played 29 games with Tampa Bay this season, or Crunch All-Star Matt Taormina, but Cooper said Dotchin earned the callup.

"He's done everything down there the coaches have asked of him," Cooper said. "He's gotten better as a player. His game has really matured."

That Dotchin, at 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, has size and grit, which helps against some heavy Western Conference teams, Cooper said.

"I've just got to go out there and (do) what got me here," Dotchin said. "Play simple hockey, put the puck in the forwards' hands and play physical and do what I can do."

BISH again: G Ben Bishop started for the second straight game. He had been sharp in his first two games since returning from a lower-body injury, including a 31-save effort in Monday's win against the Kings.

'D' FIRST: The Lightning has seen great progress in its defending the past three games, allowing six combined goals (one an empty-netter) after giving up 22 in its four-game losing streak. "It's all about our net now," Cooper said.

HIT SHOW: Cooper said that the Lightning's season-high 41 hits Monday were a big reason why it won. "Our players were physically engaged," he said. "When you are like that, your team is engaged. It wasn't just one person who was doing it, everybody was doing it."

NUTS AND BOLTS: Blues GM Doug Armstrong was at his second straight Lightning game. … There was a lot of praise for how the fourth line, the "French Connection," played Monday, with C Cedric Paquette, Michael Bournival and Gabriel Dumont combining for eight hits and five shots on goal. … RW J.T. Brown (upper body) and Joel Vermin (healthy) were scratched.

Comments
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the Capitals.Ge...
Updated: 12 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Published: 05/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Lightningís season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightningís season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18