Tim Riggins, Boobie Miles, Vladislav Namestnikov. Some guys just perform better when the lights are the brightest on Friday night. The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently trying to get themselves back on track to make another run at the Cup Final this year. But they’re doing so with a ton of uncertainties hanging over their head at the moment. 2013 1st round draft pick Jonathan Drouin could end up being dealt any day now, they still seem to be miles apart from captain Steven Stamkos on a new contract to keep him in Tampa after this season. There’s a lot of drama going on in Amalie Arena but in comes Vlad Namestnikov who has racked up 8 points during the Lightning’s current 4-game win streak. And 3 of those points came in last night’s 5-4 overtime win against the Pens in which his 3rd and final goal was the overtime winner.
Again, 8 points in Tampa’s current 4-game winning streak. Obviously I’m not saying that Namestnikov is a type of player who can make up for losing Stamkos or Drouin, but this current streak is probably allowing Yzerman to sleep at least an hour or so each night now.
Now before we move on to the next hat trick of the night, let’s just stay with the Penguins for a second here. If you didn’t know by know, the Pens are toast. They’re done. They’re dead for this year and they’re dead for years to come. However, last night at 3 a.m. (shoutout to Bob McKenzie for being awake to break the trade) they made a move that actually wasn’t terrible. They traded David Perron and Adam Clendening away to Anaheim in return for Carl Hagelin. Now the thing with Hagelin is that he has a name that a lot of people recognize which leads to him being a bit overrated. As far as the metrics go, he and Perron are pretty similar to each other. But Hagelin brings speed to the line up and he also brings a vicious amount of visor tilt to that locker room so we’ll see how it goes.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
Jimmy Vesey was a 3rd round draft pick of the Nashville Predators in 2012. He’ll be a UFA once the season is over in case any team is out there looking for a kid with an Ivy League brain and set of hands. I mean that first goal just wasn’t fair. Held on to the puck for 10+ seconds, using stops/starts to create open space for himsel, slick puck handling and then finishes it off with a beauty on the backhand. It looked like practice out there for Jimmy Vesey. And that 3rd goal was a thing of beauty as well. A 3-goal 3rd period for the captain. I most certalinly like them apples.
The third and final hat trick of the night came from none other than Patty Kane. Now I’m gonna let Chief handle that one since 88 is his boy but the fact that this was Patrick Kane’s first career regular season hat trick was pretty mind blowing. And just like clockwork, the Blackhawks have climbed their way back on top of the Central division.
And then obviously the biggest highlight from the NHL last night was Rex and Rob Ryan taking in a Buffalo Sabres game like the couple of rock stars that they are.
The things I would do to get myself in that empty seat next to them. The things I would do to be Trent right now getting his photo taking with Buffalo Royalty.