Jason Brough

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Lightning defeated the Leafs 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Stamkos wants Bolts to be ‘pissed off with the situation that we are in’

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Steven Stamkos wants his teammates to get mad. He doesn’t want them to take it anymore.

“I think we ought to be a little more pissed off with the situation that we are in,” Stamkos told reporters last night after the Lightning’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

“Hopefully we, myself included, can take these couple of days here and really start to worry about the future of this team going forward because we are running out of time.”

The Lightning — who managed just 22 shots versus the Rangers — are winless in their first two games following the Christmas break. They lost 4-3 in a shootout to Montreal on Monday. Both defeats came on home ice.

The Bolts (18-16-4) are three points back of the second wild-card spot in the East, and four points back of third place in the Atlantic Division.

“It’s very disappointing,” said d-man Anton Stralman. “We’re not good enough, playing well enough. That’s just the basics of it.”

The Lightning host Minnesota on Saturday, before leaving on a four-game road trip through Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Colorado.

Could sunny skies spell bad ice for Winter Classic?

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FOXBOROUGH — That’s a picture from the press box at Gillette Stadium, taken this morning at around 10:30 a.m.

As you can see, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and that’s not the best thing for ice conditions. The ideal weather for outdoor hockey is overcast and cold.

“You can be as cold as you want, but if we have sun we have a problem,” ice guru Dan Craig said a couple of years ago in Ann Arbor.

Yesterday, Craig said he was optimistic about the forecast for tomorrow’s Winter Classic.

“We’re in good shape,” Craig told the Boston Globe. “They’re telling me that we’re going to have almost a double layer of clouds here, even though it’s going to be a little bit warmer, so that’s good.”

The Bruins are scheduled to practice at 11 a.m. today, so we’ll see what they say about the ice afterwards.

The Canadiens practice at 12:30 p.m.

There’s a women’s game at 2 p.m., followed by the alumni game at 3:30 p.m.

Blackhawks assign Rundblad to AHL

in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
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The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned defenseman David Rundblad to their AHL affiliate in Rockford.

Rundblad had to clear waivers before he was assigned. The 25-year-old has two assists in nine games for the Blackhawks this season. He’s been a healthy scratch otherwise.

A former first-round draft pick who played sparingly in Chicago’s 2015 Stanley Cup run, Rundblad is signed through next season for a cap hit of $1.05 million.

There were reports earlier today that Rundblad, a Swede, could end up playing in Europe. It’s not clear if that remains an option.

Minus Rundblad, the Blackhawks are left with seven defensemen on their active roster.

USA blasts Switzerland, 10-1, at World Juniors

2015 IIHF World Junior Championship - Quarterfinal - United States v Russia
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Auston Matthews had two goals and two assists as the United States blasted Switzerland, 10-1, in World Juniors action today in Helsinki.

Matthew Tkachuk also had two goals for the Americans, who opened the scoring at 7:23 of the first period then added five more before the period was over. Team USA led 10-1 by the 10:58 mark of the second.

Matthews and Tkachuk are both eligible for the 2016 NHL draft.

Christian Dvorak (Coyotes), Colin White (Senators), and Zach Werenski (Blue Jackets) each had a goal and two assists.

The Americans, with two wins and one loss, finish the preliminary round tomorrow against the underdogs from Denmark.

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Letang will play tonight, but not happy with hit by Stoll

Kris Letang
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Kris Letang thought it was another concussion.

“I got dinged pretty hard there,” the Penguins defenseman told NHL.com, referring to the hit he took Saturday in Minnesota from Wild forward Jarret Stoll.

“It took me a little bit of a moment to get back to my senses and I was fine after that … I just had hard headaches as soon as I got hit and then it went away.”

Letang sat out Sunday’s 1-0 loss in Winnipeg. And though he’s healthy enough to play tonight versus Toronto, he wasn’t impressed with the hit.

“I think it was pretty clear on the replay that the only thing he touched was my chin,” he said, per the Post-Gazette.

Stoll received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head; however, he was not disciplined further by the NHL.