RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 01: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a glove save during an NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on November1, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lightning coach ‘can’t stress enough’ how good his goaltending’s been


The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t get very good goaltending last season. And in a very much related story, they didn’t make the playoffs.

This season has been a different story, though. Thanks in large part to an impressive .918 team save percentage, as produced by the tandem of Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, the Lightning are 17-10-2 after 29 games and hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

And that’s despite losing star Steven Stamkos to injury almost a month ago.

“We’re not in the spot we are in the standings if we don’t have the goaltending we’ve been getting, especially with a team that’s going through lineup changes on a daily basis and has the inability to score right now,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “I can’t stress enough how much that’s kept us in the race.”

Other teams currently in a playoff position that should be thankful for their goaltending? Montreal, Colorado, Toronto, and Washington.

Teams in the opposite situation? New Jersey and the Islanders.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
Leave a comment

It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
Leave a comment

In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.