A new feature for The Hopeful Chase where I will offer my thoughts on all 82 regular season games. I am attempting to watch all of the games either live or the next day. We'll see how it turns out.
Opponent: Philadelphia Flyers
Result: 3-2 win (OT)
Did I watch Live?: Why yes I did!
Three Stars: 3. Jonathan Drouin 2. Ben Bishop 1. Jason Garrison
Worst Player: Andrej Sustr
Pretty sure the main talking point of this game is going to be the overtime. After a rather sluggish 60 minutes of regulation time left the game knotted at 2, the Lightning and the Flyers engaged in the first 3 on 3 overtime in regular season history. And that shit was bananas! Up and down the ice, breakaways, dynamite saves, penalty shots and pretty much chaos – all in under two-and-a-half minutes.
In the end it wasn't one of The Triplets or Steven Stamkos that won the game in overtime, it was Jason Garrison. On a breakaway. A breakaway that was set up nicely by Valteri Filppula's soccer-style skate pass and juuuust a bit of interference by Alex Killorn that allowed Garrison to get clear.
There was a lot of positive to take out of the game along with the outcome. Ben Bishop looked solid (it's always nice when it doesn't take your goalie 10 seconds to stand up after a save). The Drouin/Stamkos/Callahan line was productive. Brian Boyle's crash line brought a lot of energy to the game. I thought, despite not getting on the scoreboard JT Brown looked pretty good.
The Triplets themselves were ok. Perhaps we've become used to them always connecting on passes so on a night where several attempts went wayward it just looked weird. That being said, they did have their chances. They were a bit unlucky that the Philadelphia goaltender, Steve Mason, saved his best for them.
As for Mr. Sustr, he didn't have a horrible game, but there were times on the ice where he was noticeably caught out of position or between actions. I try and remind myself that he is only 24 and only has a 138 games of professional experience total. However, I really wonder how long his leash will be this year with Nikita Nesterov on the roster and Slater Koekkoek just a phone call away.
Overall, they were a bit sloppy in the first half of the game, but really started to come together as the night progressed. The “W”is in the books and it's onward to Buffalo Saturday night.
Jo or Johnny: Through one game – Drouin leads 2 points to 1.