Tag: Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL - JUNE 4: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning speaks during a media availability at the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 4, 2015 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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


TAMPA — The Lightning aren’t biting.

One day after a disappointing loss in the Stanley Cup Final opener, Tampa Bay faced the big question — after blowing a third-period lead and relinquishing home-ice advantage to Chicago, is Saturday’s Game 2 a must-win?

The answer, unequivocally:


“There’s no real must-win until you lose three games of a series,” captain Steve Stamkos said. “We’re confident in our ability to bounce back after a loss.”

The Lightning should be confident, given their experience in that department. The club lost its first game of these playoffs — Game 1 of the Detroit series — then bounced back with a 5-1 blowout win in Game 2. In the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers, the Bolts dropped the opener, then rebounded with a 6-2 thumping.

Sensing a theme here?

Ryan Callahan, one of the more veteran playoff skaters on the team, further deflected the notion of Saturday being a must-win.

“I don’t think there’s ‘must-win’ unless you’re facing elimination,” he explained. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try and win every playoff game. That’s how you approach the game. You want to win it.”

Tampa’s ace in the hole, so to speak, is their ability to win on the road this spring. It’s a big reason why the players seemed generally unfazed at possibly heading back to Chicago down 0-2 in the series. The Bolts are road warriors — they won two games in Detroit, two games in Montreal and three in New York, including the first-ever Game 7 road victory in MSG history.

“We’re pretty confident in our road game,” defenseman Matt Carle said. “We’ve shown that a lot throughout the playoffs.

“When we’ve needed to have a must-win on the road, we’ve managed to pull it out. So I don’t think it really adds any pressure to tomorrow.”

Flyers won’t rule out drafting a defenseman, but forward is ‘obvious’ need

Ron Hextall

With plenty of talented, young defensemen already in the system, the Philadelphia Flyers seem likely to select a forward when they pick seventh overall at the upcoming draft.

But what if there happens to be a blue-liner they really, really like?

“From a needs standpoint, [a forward] would be obvious, but we’ve always had the philosophy of ‘best player available’ and [GM Ron Hextall has] been taking the same approach,” Flyers director of scouting Chris Pryor told the Daily News.

“A conversation is going to arise if there are two players you deem comparable, pretty close, and we’re going to have to make that call as a group at the table. But if there’s a discrepancy between the two and there’s a gap, you have to take the best player.”

Noah Hanifin and Ivan Pronorov are a couple of d-men that are expected to be snapped up early. But in what’s considered an especially deep draft, there won’t be any shortage of forwards after the first six players are off the board.

The Flyers also have Tampa Bay’s first-round pick from the Braydon Coburn trade.

Related: Difference of opinion: Craig Button has Hanifin 12th on final draft rankings

PHT Morning Skate: Gretzky sees shades of Messier in Toews

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Wayne Gretzky thinks very highly of captains Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Toews. With regards to Toews, Gretzky made comparisons to Mark Messier. (ESPN)

The satirical news organization, The Onion, outlined their keys to the Stanley Cup Final. (The Onion)

The AHL will be streaming the entire 2015 Calder Cup Final for free. (AHL.com)

NBC Sports Group’s documentary Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson will premiere on NBCSN on Monday following Game 3 of the playoffs. You can read more about that here and check out the trailer below:

Joseph and Marion San Jose, while in Rome for their honeymoon, were able to give Pope Francis a Canucks jersey with his name on it. (Global News)

Here are the top beards of the Stanley Cup Final. (Puck Daddy)

Here are the highlights from Chicago’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 1:

Before the Stanley Cup Final started, former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell reflected on his time with Toews, who Campbell called the “greatest captain I’ve ever played for.” (CSN Chicago)

Joe Starkey argues that no matter what Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle decide to do with their stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins, they can do so knowing that they’ve accomplished their mission. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)