Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning supports expected change to hybrid icing

SUNRISE — The NHL experimented during the preseason with a rule in which linesmen can whistle icing early if it is clear a defending player will reach the puck first.

Players on Monday likely will vote to approve the rule, known as hybrid icing, for the regular season.

"I like the concept," Lightning D Victor Hedman said. "Especially on those 50-50 pucks, wave it off early instead of having to battle and someone gets tripped and hurt."

Under the current rule, used since 1937, icing occurs when a puck is shot from beyond the center red line and is touched by a defending player after it crosses the goal line but before it is touched by an offensive player.

That can create dashes for the puck that can caused injuries as hard-charging players slam into each other and the end boards. Kurtis Foster, a former Lightning defenseman, broke his left leg in such a race in March 2008 while with the Wild.

Speaking generally, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said, "The race starts at the blue line, and those guys are barreling in. You're like, 'That wall is not going to move.' "

That is why Cooper said even though as "a purist" he is against the rule change, "it is out of our hands for the simple fact that the players are too big, too strong, too fast, and the rink hasn't gotten any bigger. … If that's a way to keep players from shattering a heel, I'd just rather do the hybrid icing."

BAD HIT: RW Richard Panik said he was just chasing the puck with 3:31 left in the second period of Saturday's preseason finale when he hit Florida D Erik Gudbranson from behind into the corner boards.

Gudbranson was on the ice briefly before skating off under his own power, though he did not return. There was no update on his condition.

"It was a race for the puck, and at the last second he just turned, so I tried to finish my check," said Panik, who received a five-minute boarding penalty. "It was bad luck. I hope he's okay."

INJURIES: D J.P. Cote, the last player in camp without an NHL contract, left in the second period with an upper-body injury. … C Steven Stamkos, who tripped over Panthers G Tim Thomas early in the first period, did not miss a shift but said he expects some back stiffness from the heavy fall.

CHANGING PLACES: Assistant coaches George Gwozdecky and Steve Thomas took turns during the final three preseason games working behind the bench and as an eye in the sky in the press box. It is a rotation that might continue during the regular season. "I like having different perspectives; kind of two different looks, two different insights," Cooper said.

BENCH BOSS: Cooper has spent every preseason game behind the bench, opting for proximity to his players rather than the overview from the press box favored by many coaches. Cooper and his assistants were on the ice for every camp practice, so the coach said moving to the press box did not seem right. Beyond that, "You get a good feel for the guys when you're on the bench. That's a big part of it, how guys act, their demeanor, so you get a good grasp."

CUTS: The 23-man roster likely will be announced today, though it does not have to be given to the league until 3 p.m. Monday.

Comments
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

TAMPA — The Lightning is a win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. Its Game 5 win Saturday, to take a 3-2 lead over the Washington Capitals, was another chapter of a story being written on the fly."Think about Game 1 in New Jersey,"...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

TAMPA — Alex Ovechkin headed toward the Capitals' locker room two hours before the start of Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final with the swagger of an elite athlete that suggested he was about take over a game and make life misera...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Tampa Bay’s 3-2 win

Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Tampa Bay’s 3-2 win

It's one thing to get a quick goal from one of your big guns, but when the goal scorer is a grinder like Cedric Paquette, who was only on the ice at the start to counter the Capitals' top line, that just sends a jolt through the bench.The Caps' first...
Published: 05/19/18