Tampa Bay fans are ready for a run at 3 Stanley Cups in a row. Even with their offseason of celebrating their back-to-back cup wins, the current roster seems prepared. The bolts prospects seem ready as well, going 3-0 in the prospect showcase. What happened in the thrilling prospect showcase wins against the Hurricanes, Panthers, and Predators? And what can we expect from the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects in the 2021 season?
In their opening game in the prospect showcase, the Tamp Bay Lightning bested the Nashville Predators 5-2. A 35 save performance from Tampa Bays 2020 6th round pick Amir Miftahov kept the contest one-sided. Even with allowing two goals, the Lightning never trailed.
Former Syracuse Crunch center Antoine Morand lit the candle first with a crossfeed from Jack Finely. Jaydon Dureau had the second bolt goal of the period by whacking in a loose puck on the rebound.
The Lightning’s third goal was scored by Simon Ryfor, putting the Lightning up 4-2. Maxim Cajovic scored the final lightning shot at the end of the third period to make the final score 5-2.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were led by a new set of prospects in game two against the Hurricanes. Showing their depth, the Lightning did not give up the lead for a second straight game, going 6-5 in the contest, winning in a shootout.
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s first goal was scored 36 seconds into the contest by camp invitee Avery Winslow from near the blue line. The second goal came from fellow invitee Xavier Cormier on the power play. Lightnings Jack Thompson beat the goalie from near the blue line, putting Tamp Bay up 3-1 near the end of the first.
In the second, the Lightning went up 4-1 on the goal by Alex Lipany on the two-on-one rush. Carolina battles back to 4-3 until the Lightning had another goal from Lipany to go 5-3. The Hurricanes eventually tied the game and took it to overtime, then a shootout. The bolts got the winning goal in OT, with Hugo Anefelt denying all five attempts on the Lightning’s goal.
The Tampa Bay Lightning would not trail in any of their prospect showcase games. In addition, the Lightning is the only team at the prospect showcase to go undefeated, beating the Florida Panthers 8-5 in Game Three.
Tampa Bay dominated the first person and most of the second, leading 5-2 until the Panthers fought back to tie the game 5-5 entering the third period. Tampa Bay scored three straight goals in the third, with Declan McDonnell scoring the game’s final point. Winning all three games and not going behind in the prospect showcase is quite a feat.
But how can the success we saw in the showcase transfer to the Lightning’s regular season?
Prospects to Watch
Amir Miftahov will be a defensive player to watch in the regular season, especially with losses like Coleman and Goodrow on the roster. With 35 saves in the first game of the prospect showcase, Miftahovs determination on the ice showed in crucial plays during all 3 Tampa Bay wins.
In addition to the prospects’ defensive determination, several lethal shooters showed their grit at the prospect showcase. Good news for Lightning fans, the names of those scoring, like Lipnay, Cormier, and Ryfor, often changed during the showcase. This showcase of skill and teamwork would be a welcome addition to whichever line this year’s prospects land.
In addition to the pickups like veteran Cory Perry and keeping many players on our roster, our veterans and prospects are ready to start the season, and we fans are prepared to watch.
The pre-season starts September 25th, and the regular season on October 12th. I, for one, am ready for the puck to drop and shout “Go Bolts Go” on the hunt for three cups.