The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning kicked off the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs with the first game of their series and accomplished a few other firsts in the (wait for it) first period.
Barely 10 minutes in, Nikita Kucherov scored his first career playoff goal and the first tally of the postseason. That would have been a nice story … until Tomas Plekanec provided some veteran touch by scoring just 19 seconds later. You can watch both goals in the video below:
So, to review, we have the first goal, first tie and first goal by a rookie in a brisk period of time. Stay tuned to see which teams will end up with the first series leads of this young postseason.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”