When the Tampa Bay Lightning started to string some wins together, it felt like “too little, too late.” Some trade deadline selling only solidified such thoughts.
A team with high expectations refused to throw the season away, however, and now a playoff run goes from a lofty dream to a pretty reasonable thought.
Now, it’s worth noting that the Lightning will finish the night outside of the East’s top eight. Still, they’re now a breath away, trailing the current second East wild card Toronto by one standings point.
In the case of Monday, Brayden Point earned himself quite the 21st birthday gift with two goals. That included the 3-2 game-winner as the Lightning beat the Rangers despite New York’s 28-16 shots on goal advantage.
“Never thought I’d be playing my 21st birthday at Madison Square Garden.”
Faulk scored his second goal of the night (and period) on the first shot Greiss faced, then Jaccob Slavin made it 6-3 moments later. The Hurricanes ended up scoring four goals in less than five minutes.
To underscore how odd this game has been so far, Joshua Ho-Sang made a nice deflection for another goal to slim Carolina’s lead down to 6-4. It’s the second NHL goal for Ho-Sang and his first at home.
And 5 times in 14 games Isles had to change goalies.
After adding a nice set of assets at the trade deadline, the Vancouver Canucks continued to look to the future by signing defensive prospect Jalen Chatfield to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday.
The 20-year-old hasn’t generated eye-popping scoring numbers with the Windsor Spitfires, but it sounds like his versatility swayed the Canucks.
“Jalen is a good two-way defenseman that sees the ice well and makes good decisions in all three zones,” GM Jim Benning said. “He moves the puck well and can join the rush. Jalen is another addition to our young prospect pool and we look forward to his continued development playing in Windsor.”
You can never have too many quality puck-movers, so if it’s true that Chatfield can help Vancouver’s transition game, then that could be a nice get (however long he might take to actually develop).
despite some mediocre off numbers, canucks most wanted chatfield bec of his transition game. believe 2-3 other teams were in on him
As an undrafted free agent, Chatfield seems to realize that he might not enjoy the most “direct” path to actually making an NHL impact. He noted as much to the Windsor Star back in 2016 before he attended the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect camp.
“You try to make the league any way you can, whether it’s the first round, the second round or as a free agent,” Chatfield said. “Everybody gets there some way.”
Instead of crushing their playoff hopes, a nine-game road trip served as a useful test for the New York Islanders.
While they probably deserve a B more than an A+ (5-3-1 during that span), it’s another example of this team really excelling under Doug Weight. Now they get to host a team Weight won a Stanley Cup with in the Carolina Hurricanes on NBCSN tonight.
This begins a back-to-back set between the two teams. While the Hurricanes aren’t quite where they want to be, there are signs of a possible breakthrough coming in the future, so look out for young talents like Sebastian Aho as they face John Tavares & Co.
Lucas Wallmark also looks to debut for Carolina tonight: