The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost four of their last five games — getting out-scored 19-10 over that stretch — and, in Tuesday’s ugly 5-1 loss in Columbus, were without three of their most experienced players in Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and captain Steve Stamkos.
So on Wednesday, the Bolts went calling to the farm.
Joel Vermin, tied for the AHL Syracuse team lead in goals this season, has been brought up, along with former Habs winger Michael Bournival.
Both have NHL experience. Vermin appeared in six games for the Bolts last season while Bournival has 89 career appearances on his resume, including 60 in his rookie campaign with the Habs (when he scored seven goals and 14 points).
Looking to Syracuse for a spark is a familiar move from head coach Jon Cooper. Last year — around this exact same time, with the Bolts off to a sluggish start — several farmhands were recalled: Slater Koekkoek, Tye McGinn, Mike Angelidis, Mike Blunden and Luke Witkowski, to name a few.