Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning: Gudas' beard, Johnson's other sports

5 questions

C Tyler Johnson

What other sports did you play growing up besides hockey?

Baseball until I was about 12 years old and golf all the time. I was on the high school team.

What was your best round?

1 over (par), I think.

Distance or a better short game?

Distance but sometimes don't know where it's going.

What position in baseball?

I was second base and pitching.

How was your fastball?

You're so young, you just try to throw as hard as you can.

Strike a pose

That is what AHL Syracuse F Eric Neilson did for a billboard ad that first was supposed to get your attention and then make you buy tickets to see the Lightning's affiliate.

Neilson, in the add displayed on Interstate 690 east of Syracuse, is lounging on top of a hockey net in a semi-seductive pose, holding a telephone receiver. Next to him is the line: For a good time, call 473-4444.

The number is for the Crunch's ticket line.

"It was a challenge to get the right face you needed for that shot," Neilson told Syracuse's Post-Standard newspaper. "There's a lot to it. By the end of it, I got it a little bit better."

Fear the beard

Much was made last week about the beard Syracuse callup Radko Gudas had been growing since Jan. 1. Well, the bushy-faced defenseman decided it needed a trim and showed up for Thursday's game with the Islanders freshly groomed.

"It was a hard moment," Gudas said.

But necessary.

"I felt like I should look a little bit more professional."

Would he consider shaving it off?

"Not any time soon," he said. "I'm just going to keep it like this."

Quote of the day

"As a hockey player, you're usually recognized for what you did on the ice, but here was a little different for me."

Former Lightning C John Cullen, who in 1998 returned to play four NHL games after being declared cancer-free

Number of the day

100

Where C Vinny Lecavalier, with 380 goals, ranks all time.

 
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