The good news is that Steven Stamkos looked dangerous in his first game as Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Ryan Callahan made an impact in his debut. The bad news is that they couldn’t beat Jhonas Enroth often enough to win on Thursday, as the Buffalo Sabres took a 3-1 victory.
Enroth, 25, has been on quite the hot streak in his audition for a heightened role in post-Ryan Miller Buffalo. He stopped 43 out of 44 shots and now has three wins in his last four games, which is especially impressive being that he only has one other win all season long.
Even with the loss, Stamkos, 24, called the night a “step in the right direction” as he returned from injury. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper echoed that sentiment to Fox Sports’ Andrew Astleford and also praised Callahan’s first effort with the team.
It’s easy to see why Cooper was happy with the effort, even if the results weren’t there. Stamkos and Callahan, 28, combined for nine shots on goal and six hits in a busy evening. They also gave Lightning fans a chance to move on from Martin St. Louis … although that might take some time:
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.