It is weird talking about hockey on the ice in early July, but that is exactly what is happening at the moment. On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning took a two games to none lead over the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 victory at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL.
The Lightning received offense throughout their lineup. Seven different Tampa Bay players registered a single point. The Lightning goal scorers were Anthony Cirelli of Woodbridge, Ontario, Blake Coleman of Plano, TX, and Ondrej Palat of Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic. The four Lightning who recorded assists were Barclay Goodrow of Toronto, Ontario, Tyler Johnson of Spokane, WA, Ryan McDonagh of Saint Paul, MN, and Jan Rutta of Pisek, Czech Republic.
The major turning point in the game between the Lightning and the Canadiens on Wednesday came in the second period. Montreal had played a very good 19 minutes as they deadlocked the score at one goal apiece on an unassisted power-play marker from Nick Suzuki. Then in what seemed to come out of nowhere, the Lightning got a second period marker with two seconds left on a goal by Coleman from Goodrow and McDonagh. The Coleman goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, seemed to stop any of the momentum the Canadiens potentially had.
Game three of the series will take place on Friday with the series shifting to Montreal. Please note that game four will be on Monday and not Sunday. My guess is because CBC has the FIBA Olympic Men’s Basketball Qualifier final from Victoria, British Columbia on Sunday night. A berth to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo later this month is on the line.
In other NHL news, five significant player awards were handed out this week. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild won the Calder Trophy, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights won the Vezina Trophy, and Adam Fox of the New York Rangers won the Norris Trophy.