Tag: Tampa Bay Lightning

Feb. 10, 2015 Bell Centre--. Joe Veleno receives a $1,500 bursary from the Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson and the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence. (FAEQ)

Joseph Veleno granted exceptional status, eligible for QMJHL draft


Joseph Veleno is the latest player to be granted exceptional status.

Hockey Canada informed Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Gilles Courteau of Veleno’s eligibily for this Saturday’s entry draft the league announced on Thursday.

Veleno, who turned 15 in January, spent this season playing midget hockey.

The 6-foot, 170-pound forward finished 12th in his league in scoring with 52 points in 41 games while playing with the Lac St. Louis Lions, according to an article in the Montreal Gazette.

“There is a talent there that plays a 200-foot game, which is rare at that age,” Veleno’s coach, Jon Goyens said. “We’ve been very lucky to be able to coach some of the most talented kids (Jonathan Drouin, Anthony Duclair, Louis Leblanc, Mike Matheson) to come out of Quebec in the last 10, 15 years. Not all of them necessarily had the 200-foot game in them; they might have had other elements, like stickhandling or vision, that might have been ahead of Joseph. But nobody at his age was playing, as a skilled forward, a 200-foot game, which is really, really rare.”

Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Sean Day have all been granted exceptional player status previously, but Veleno is the first player out of Quebec to receive the honor.

“If you’re going to be the first guy (in Quebec) to get exceptional status, right off the bat you’re going to be compared to the four or five guys who got it in the ‘O’ (Ontario Hockey League), and you’re going to be compared to those who didn’t get it,” Goyens said.

The Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first overall selection at the draft.

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette

Report: NHL done looking into alleged Shaw bite on Hedman

Andrew Shaw

TAMPA — Doesn’t look like there’ll be anything more from the Andrew Shaw-Victor Hedman biting incident from Game 1.

On Thursday, Chicago Tribune sources said the NHL is no longer looking into the alleged incident, in which Hedman claimed Shaw bit him in a late first-period scrum during last night’s Stanley Cup Final opener.

There’s also no disciplinary hearing scheduled for Shaw.

These developments come after the situation gained some steam postgame, when Hedman told reporters it “felt like” Shaw bit him, adding he had a small bruise. PHT contacted the NHL last night, and a spokesman confirmed the Department of Player safety was made aware of the allegation, and reviewed video of it during the game.

The incident in question:

Last night’s incident rekindled memories of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, in which Canucks forward Alex Burrows was alleged to have bitten the fingers of Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron. Both incidents were similarly timed (during scrums at the end of the first period of Game 1) and, like Burrows, Shaw will avoid supplemental discipline.

On the ‘fine line’ between protecting a lead and sitting back too much

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

TAMPA — Not even a week after being lauded for stifling the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning were beating themselves up for sitting back and playing too passively in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hockey is funny that way. One game, a strategy works out. The next, it fails miserably. Even if the process remains largely the same.

“What had worked for us a little bit in the past, maybe we sat back and thought, ‘Maybe this is going to work for us again,'” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said the day after after his team blew a 1-0 third-period lead in a painful 2-1 loss.

Captain Steven Stamkos called it a “fine line” between responsibly protecting a lead and becoming overly passive.

“I think everyone was trying to do the right thing last night,” he said. “We come in with a one‑goal lead into the third. The first thing on your mind is to defend that lead.”

The Lightning were doing exactly that until Teuvo Teravainen beat a screened Ben Bishop on a long wrist shot with less than seven minutes remaining.

“He threw a puck at the net that probably nine times out of ten doesn’t go in, but it went in for him,” said Cooper. “I think that’s what happens to players of his skill level. Pucks have eyes for those guys.”

Perhaps that’s the difference between going into a shell versus the Blackhawks and going into a shell versus some other team. Against the Blackhawks, it’s a more dangerous game to play. Those guys can pick you apart.

“We found out if we’re going to play passive in the third period against Chicago it may not work out too well for us,” said Cooper.

And so the Lightning are forced to approach Saturday’s game at Amalie Arena with the specter of losing and traveling to Chicago trailing 2-0.

There will be those who call Game 2 a must-win for the home team.

“I don’t think there’s a must‑win unless you’re facing elimination,” countered veteran winger Ryan Callahan. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try to win every playoff game. I think that’s the way you approach it. You approach the game; you want to win it.”

Related: Bolts brush off talk of ‘must-win’ Game 2