Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay in tonight’s Kraft Hockeyville game obviously won’t count towards the standings, but Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was still concerned by what he felt was his team’s sloppy play.
“I know it’s only preseason, but we have two games left to get things going, so that’s alarming,” Stamkos said, per the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith.
It might be more than just the Lightning’s play that’s in danger of carrying into the regular season. Defenseman Victor Hedman suffered an undisclosed injury that caused him to leave the game in the second period.
The Lightning are describing Hedman’s injury as minor, although he will need to be evaluated on Wednesday. With the Lightning’s season opener just a little over a week away, the status of players dealing with day-to-day ailments is increasing in importance.
Lightning fans looking for a silver lining though can turn their attention to Jonathan Drouin. He found the back of the net tonight and Lightning coach Jon Cooper has noticed that the 20-year-old forward is playing with more confidence.
After winning the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA event, the fans of Johnstown, Pennsylvania were treated to Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay tonight at Cambria County War Memorial.
The arena was featured in the movie Slap Shot, so naturally the Hanson Brothers were tasked with giving the Penguins an inspirational pregame speech:
It seemed to do the trick as Sergei Plotnikov put the Penguins ahead just 14 seconds into the game. Evgeni Malkin provided the deciding marker in the exhibition contest.
In addition to the city, which has an population of about 20,000, getting to host an NHL game, being selected also meant that Cambria County War Memorial received $150,000 in arena upgrades.
Related — PHT Morning Skate: Favorite ‘Slap Shot’ characters
David Moss hasn’t played in the AHL since 2007, but he might be back there this season.
The 33-year-old forward has accepted a professional tryout offer with the Milwaukee Admirals, per the team’s website. They are the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators.
Moss had four goals and 12 points in 60 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season. He’s a veteran of 501 NHL contests between his time with the Calgary Flames and Coyotes.
At one time he was a decent offensive contributor, but he hasn’t recorded more than 10 goals or 30 points since 2010-11. He also saw his role with the Coyotes decline last season after accepting a one-year, $800K contract in the summer of 2014 that served as a substantial pay cut from his previous deal.
Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson isn’t afraid of Eric Boulton’s despite the New York Islanders forward’s claim to the contrary — at least that was the message from Capitals coach Barry Trotz.
Wilson has a heated history with the Islanders as a big hit from him ended Lubomir Visnovsky’s 2014-15 campaign and led Kyle Okposo to calling him an “idiot.” Wilson thought that perhaps those hostilities ended with the season, but Boulton and Scott Mayfield tried to draw him into a fight during Monday’s exhibition game between the Capitals and Islanders.
Wilson didn’t take the bait and while Boulton asserted that Wilson “was scared to death” of him, Trotz offered a very different explanation.
“I told (Wilson) before the game there’s only one reason the Islander player is in the lineup and I don’t want him to fight him,” Trotz told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I said I need for you to play. I also told him if (Boulton) is on the ice with you, you’ve got to be involved. You don’t want to get jumped. If he’s coming at you and you can’t get out of it you’ve got to go at it.
“But I told him to back off and play. He’s not scared of anybody or anything. I just need him to play.”
Trotz wants Wilson to still be a “hard and nasty” player, but he also plans to use him in an expanded role. Wilson will help kill penalties this season and might eventually get a role with the man advantage after getting almost no special teams ice time last season.
It seems online bookmaker Bovada is a big believer in the idea that Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel are going to make for a great duo. That’s at least one way of interpreting their new odds for the 2015-16 award winners.
Crosby stands out from the crowd as the favorite to win both the Hart Trophy (7/2) and Art Ross Trophy (3/2) after he fell short of both of those honors for the 2014-15 campaign. However, his projected linemate was given very favorable odds as well.
Kessel was tied with Steven Stamkos for the fourth best odds to win the Art Ross Trophy (17/2) and was third (8/1) after only Alex Ovechkin and Stamkos (5/2 each) in the Rocket Richard race. With the exception of 2014-15, when Kessel struggled along with the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he has been a consistently great sniper for a while now. Kessel has never scored more than 37 goals in a single campaign, but he also hasn’t had a center like Crosby to work with until now.
It’s worth noting that teammate Evgeni Malkin was given 20/1 odds for either of the Art Ross and Richard Trophies, although he does have 15/1 odds for the Hart while Kessel wasn’t on that list at all.
When it comes to the Calder Trophy, it’s expected to be a battle between Connor McDavid (4/7) and Jack Eichel (4/1), with McDavid being the clear favorite. Sam Bennett (7/1), Sam Reinhart (9/1), and Max Domi (12/1) round out the top-five.
While Price isn’t the favorite to repeat as the Hart Trophy winner (10/1), he is projected to win his second straight Vezina (7/2), although Henrik Lundqvist isn’t far behind in the odds (9/2).
Drew Doughty (7/2) is the favorite to win the Norris over the last three winners; Erik Karlsson (4/1), P.K. Subban (9/2), and Duncan Keith (13/2).