The topic du jour today is the apparent leap forward in the NHL’s labor negotiations. Optimism seems higher than ever before and many people think the lockout could end as early as this Friday. While I’m not denying the importance of this, these injury updates from Syracuse should make Lightning fans happy as well. » Continue reading “Crunch and Grind: Injury Updates from Syracuse”
This Syracuse Crunch team sure is special, isn’t it? The NHL lockout drags on, but one benefit for the Tampa Bay Lightning is the ability to see its young guns play together and grow as a dominant team. The Crunch played three games this weekend (2-1 loss vs. Binghamton, 4-1 win at Albany, 6-1 win at Worcester) and are now 12-3-1-1 through 17 games. This puts them in first in the East Division as well as the entire Eastern Conference.
Take some time to absorb all of these bullet points and try not to get giddy (I couldn’t resist) thinking about some of these guys contributing at the NHL level. » Continue reading “Number Crunch: Syracuse Dominating As A Team”
- The Crunch’s next game will be Wednesday night at Hamilton. Both teams will then head east for a rematch at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Friday. It’s a great chance for the guys to play in an NHL arena and have some exposure to the bigger stage, if they haven’t had it before.
- The injury bug looks to be subsiding. Vladislav Namestnikov and Keith Aulie are the only players ruled out of Wednesday’s game – a few others will be game time decisions (@PSCrunchHockey)
- Cory Conacher is now the only player in the AHL to have a point in each of his team’s games. Conacher has 6/6/12 through the Crunch’s first eight games. He had point streaks of eight and nine games last season.
- Today’s Twitter award goes to Tyler Johnson. Though some may be critical of pro athletes spending so much time playing video games, it’s important to remember that these guys are young and that some are better than others:
- To cap things off, here’s a video with a few players talking about Movember:
Need another sign that the NHL lockout is looming without hope of being stopped? Teams were assigning players to the AHL in droves this morning, the Lightning included.
The following players were assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL:
Forwards: J.T. Brown, Cory Conacher, Brett Connolly, Danick Gauthier, Alex Hutchings, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik.
Defensemen: Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, Dmitry Korobov, Charles Landry and Dan Milan.
Goaltenders: Dustin Tokarsaki, Riku Helenius and Pat Nagle.
As if that weren’t enough, JT Wyman was placed on waivers as well. He will be assigned to Syracuse on Saturday if he clears waivers at noon on Saturday.
Yup. This sucks. We should be prepping for training camps right now.
The Lightning’s 2012 development camp came to a close Saturday morning with an energetic 3-on-3 tournament. This year’s camp was a little bit different as there were few AHLers in attendance. There were a lot of new faces, new draft picks, and one young man with family ties in the Bay area.
Vladislav Namestnikov, Slater Koekkoek, Nikita Nesterov, and Cedric Paquette comprised Team Hedman and ended the week as winners of the mini-tournament. It may not have been the Stanley Cup, but Lightning forward Dana Tyrell brought their hardware onto the trophy while wearing white gloves.
The victory came in the shootout, when Koekkoek put the puck through goaltender Pat Nagle’s legs.
“It was an awesome experience. We got off to a slow start on the day, but made it to the final, and it was cool to win it and go out on top. I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to end camp,” Koekkoek said. (Quote Source: Lightning Official Site)
Couldn’t make it to camp? Here’s a few thoughts from what I saw on Saturday.
- Koekkoek was really super intense. REALLY intense. It was kind of scary, but he plays tough and came to win. Can’t argue with that kind of effort. Also, I have nicknamed him Walrus because of the Beatles.
- Cody Bradley didn’t look out of place at all. It was also really neat to see a name on the camp roster with a hometown of Tampa, Florida.
- Nice to see Luke Witkowski back again. He’s been at development camp the last few years and you can really see how his play has improved. He and Koekkoek had some intense battles going on in front of the net.
- JT Brown was just incredibly loose. So smooth when it comes to his playing. He is going to be in the mix for a main roster spot, mark my words.