May 6, 2019
Tampa Bay Lightning
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>BOLTLOVER1</b></div><div>1st half observations ...
1. Kuch is back
2. Cirelli move to 2nd line C has been critical .. solidified the line and allows top 6 flexibility
3. Rutta has been very good.. although not last couple games .. but Shattenkirk has been incredible .. probably #1 surprise reason team is where is and he has helped Serg development
e. Serg has matured alot and play shows it .. miscues went from daily to minimal
f. Vaz is firmly back
g. Palat healthy and creating
h. Carter Verhege is a keeper and solid 3rd liner
I. If Shattenkirk is surprise #1 .. Killorn is #2 .. 20 goals? are you kidding me?
j. Maroon .. just as advertised
k. No sense even ruining post with Gourde and Tiny Tyler reviews
STILL need some 3rd line help/center ASAP and an insurance RD would be good for playoffs. We should NOT stand still like last year.</div></div>
1. Kuch: He's definitely back, but he's still only scratching the surface (which is amazing ofr us and terrifying for other teams). 8 goals in his last 7 games.
2. Cirelli, what a ****ing player! Really hope we can somehow re-sign him long term (very difficult, I know)
3. Rutta is a beast. Cheap, solid, nothing fancy. Does the work.
4. Sergy? Boy oh boy, I've been preaching on his favor for quite some time now, dividends are starting to pay off. What a player. Same as Cirelli, would be amazing to re-sign him long term but it's close to impossible.
5. Vas the Big Cat is back indeed. In his last 7 games, Vasi has a .964 SV% and 1.14GAA. Back in Vezina trophy territory, to be one of the final three he'll have to have a very strong second half tho.
6. Palat is great. Money well spent when he's playing like this season. I really like him a lot alongside Cirelli. Both heart and soul, grinding guys and they have great chemistry.
7. Verhaeghe is good. Advanced stats nerds also like him a lot. Kid can shoot the puck very well and he's gained a lot of confidence.
8: Killorn. Confidence is sky high. Never seen him playing as he's doing this season. He's peaking at the best time possible. <strong>If </strong>we won't able to keep him, we'll get a little haul in return. Win-win situation for us.
9. Maroon = playoff beast. We'll see what he has to offer in April.
10. Gourde and Johnson, what a shame. Dream situation would be us being able to ship them both out of Tampa in the offseason, but how? Key point of our 2020 offseason: at least one of these two <em><strong>HAS</strong></em> to be traded away.
11. Stammer is playing great. Defensively more responsible than previous seasons, I don't care what anybody says he's a true leader.
12. Point can play a lot better and I firmly believe he'll have a strong second half. Having the offseason double hip surgery + missing training camp surely hindered his performance this first half. Just like when Kucherov missed training camp and in the second half of the season he exploded, I expect the same for Point. Watch out.
13. I like Stephens. Sound defensively, a beast on the faceoff circle (yesterday he won 8 faceoffs of the 9 he took) and his chemistry with Verhaeghe is evident. I believe he has a lot more to offer offensively, next season he will take a step forward IMO
14. Hedman is the best Dman in the league and it's not even close.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood</b></div><div>Since Keefe took over TO is top 10 in goals against. TO is a powder keg from the media standpoint sure, but it's also a draw for some to play for a team where everyone cares. <strong>Also as I mentioned bonus money is as big if not bigger advantage and TO can max out everyone's bonus money which means they can get more money immediately and invest it to make more over the long-run. </strong>
The whole TO doesn't have a decent defenceman aregument is all just nonsense. Rielly, Barrie, Muzzin are all top pair defenders. Holl has been really good as has Dermott and with Liljegren and Sandin on the way they are going to be really good in the future. It's just a tired old anti TO rhetoric that has no real footing.</div></div>
Vinik is a billionaire, Tampa gives out Signing Bonuses too if needed without a problem.
Toronto is also one of the softest teams in the league that gets spanked year in and year out by Boston in the first round. Not really the team I'd be the most thrilled to join all things considered. Very talented team, don't get me wrong, but misses experience and doesn't seems to be equipped with what's needed to win a playoff series. Yes, you could say something about the comical CBJ sweep, but the reality is that Tampa made it twice to the EFC (losing on game 7 to the eventual Stanley Cup winner) and once to the Stanley Cup final in the last three years.
All the pressure from the fans and the media is something that don't get talked about a lot but that players value a ton.
Rielly, Barrie are good offensive Dman, but are not exactly what I call a good Dman in their own zone. Muzzin is okay, but will you be able to get him back next season?
Lijiegren and Sandin are both great prospects but both are offensive minded and don't excel on the defensive side.