Lightning Stock Up, Stock Down: Bogosian, Point & More

Welcome to this edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stock Up and Stock Down, a weekly column detailing the highs and lows of the team’s performance.

The Tampa Bay Lightning did not let the tryptophan from their turkey dinner slow them down, as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Friday night (Nov. 26). The win evened their mark for the week after suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of the league-leading Boston Bruins on Monday (Nov. 21). They are 7-3-1 during their last 11 games, nine of which were played at home.

Tampa Bay Lightning Stock up, Stock down
Tampa Bay Lightning Stock up, Stock down (The Hockey Writers)

The loss to the Bruins was not too surprising, even if it was a home game. They were 16-2 coming into the contest and have easily been the best team in the NHL to that point in the season. The Lightning could argue that they outplayed the Bruins in the first and third periods, but the second period did them in. Pat Maroon said after the game, “I thought we had the momentum, and then we tried just to change our game for some reason and turned pucks over. Then we took some penalties again. That kills our momentum.”

Stock Up: Sticking Up for Teammates

Friday night’s victory over the Blues was an excellent example of players sticking up for their teammates. At 5:30 of the first period, the Blues’ Robert Bortuzzo collided with Vasilevskiy after skating in from the right-wing boards and getting a slight shove from Mikhail Sergachev. At least four of the Lightning on the ice dropped the gloves to let Bortuzzo know how displeased they were with the contact on their star goaltender. That came after the Lightning showed their displeasure with Rudolfs Balcers being run into the glass at the other end of the ice, knocking him out of the game.

Stock Up: A Bogosian Thanksgiving

There is no scientific proof that Zach Bogosian hosting teammates over Thanksgiving had any impact on a fast first-period start against the Blues. One big difference between what happened against the Blues and in the loss to the Bruins was that the Lightning were able to hold on to the lead against the Blues. The impact of bringing teammates together for a holiday may be most important about the Bogosian Thanksgiving gathering, which will likely have long-term effects on the locker room. While many take them for granted, it should be noted that he is only one of seven Americans on the team. Since many players didn’t traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving growing up, this gathering became a great opportunity for team bonding.

Latest News & Highlights

As the event seemed to impact the team positively, the Lightning may want to have the native of Massena, New York bring his Traeger grill and cook up some lunch as the team heads out on a three-game road trip. “I love cooking, I love grilling, I love having a get-together, so it’s a pretty easy no-brainer on our part,” said Bogosian about the gathering (from ‘Lightning’s Thanksgiving feast courtesy of defenseman Zach Bogosian’, Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 24, 2022).

Stock Down: Consistent Effort Against Top Teams

In the first period of the Bruins’ loss, the Lightning outshot their opponents 14-7, including getting the first nine shots on goal, but could only muster a 1-1 tie at the end of the period. That effort could not be sustained as the Bruins scored the only three goals of the second period. It is difficult to come back from large deficits in the NHL, especially against a team that is 11-0-0 when leading after two periods. “That’s why they’re an elite team in the league,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “It doesn’t go their way, and they kept it together and stuck with it. When it didn’t go our way, we didn’t handle it that well.”

Stock Up: Top Two Lines

Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, Alex Killorn, and Steven Stamkos have combined for 77 points in the Lightning’s 11 November games thus far, scoring 29 goals and adding 48 assists. In the win against the Blues, this group had all five goals and 14 of the 15 points. It seems that the coaching staff has found some very successful combinations in their forward groups.

Tampa Bay Lightning Brayden Point
Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

Also of note, Kucherov recorded his 27th career three-assist game against the Blues and is up to 31 points on 10 goals and 21 assists through 20 games this season, marking the second time in his career that he has accomplished this feat. Point summed up his play after the Blues game saying, “He is world class. Just the way he sees the ice is incredible, and it’s a pleasure to watch him.”

Stock Up: Brayden Point

The 26-year-old ended a seven-game goal drought by scoring twice in the opening half of the first period against the Blues. He opened the scoring for the Lightning and then connected on the eventual game-winner at the 8:04 mark of the opening frame. Point continues to succeed against St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington, scoring four goals in five games against the veteran netminder.

Related: Lightning’s Kucherov Has Evolved Into a Veteran Leader

The Lightning will continue to try and keep the momentum going but have a tough three-game road trip coming up. They travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Monday night (Nov. 28), before getting a rematch with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (Nov. 29). They will finish their brief road trip with a Thursday night (Dec. 1) contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sign up for our regular 'Bolts Newsletter' for all the latest.