Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Brayden Point has finally broken the ice and scored his first-ever NHL goal.
When a new player makes their way into the National Hockey League there is almost always a spotlight shined upon them. The fans are almost always on the edge of their seats wanting to know when their newest player is finally going to score their first goal. Just ask Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews.
This can be a heavy weight to bear on a young player who is still trying to find their identity, where they truly fit in on the team and attempt to perfect their game so they can be a valuable asset to their team.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Point has proven himself to be an incredible asset to the Tampa Bay Lightning roster. The 20-year-old Calgary native scored his first NHL point in his second game in the league as the Lightning took on the New Jersey Devils; a game the Lightning won 3-2.
Through the first 11 games of the 2016-17 season, Brayden Point had already earned himself four assists. The one thing he hadn’t yet accomplished was breaking the ice and finally registering his first NHL goal. This is definitely not for a lack of effort. Point has had many good scoring chances, he simply hasn’t been able to pull the trigger.
Thankfully for Point, everything was about to change. Tonight, as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the New Jersey Devils in their third and final meeting of the 2016-17 regular season, Brayden Point was able to accomplish what felt like the impossible. He was able to score his first NHL goal.
Now, it wasn’t the kind of highlight reel goal one would’ve expected. At the same time, Point had an incredibly good scoring chance during the game that looked as if there was no way it wasn’t going to make its way to the back of the net, but alas…Devils netminder Cory Schneider would ensure Point’s moment would be delayed.
The good news is, the words quit and back down are not words within the realm of Brayden Point’s vocabulary. At 4:57 in the third period of play, Devils forward Travis Zajac would find himself with a one-way ticket to the sin bin for Interference against Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman.
This gave the Tampa Bay Lightning their third and final attempt at the Power Play of the night. The faceoff was in the Devils defensive zone. Valtteri Filppula would take the faceoff for the Bolts. When the puck finally broke free, Point was able to get the puck to Nikita Kucherov, who was waiting near the blueline.
Kucherov would kick things up a notch and use his Lightning fast speed to make his way to the puck. Without even a second of hesitation, Kucherov fired the puck towards the net. The puck sailed directly to the waiting stick of Brayden Point. The puck ricocheted off Point’s stick, right past Schneider, and into the back of the net.
If we didn’t know any better, we would almost be willing to tell you Nikita Kucherov meant to shoot the puck towards Brayden Point’s stick, but that would be near impossible, right?
In any case, it was definitely nice to see Point get that incredibly heavy monkey off his back and finally bring home his first NHL goal. We said this quite some time ago, but this is something that is worth repeating.
Now that Point has his first goal under his belt, the rest of the NHL had better watch out. We have been a fan of Brayden Point for some time now, and after watching the way he’s developed over the course of the last year, now that he has opened the floodgates, we have a feeling there’ll be plenty more where that came from.
The Tampa Bay Lightning can celebrate their victory tonight, but tomorrow, it’s back to business for our Boys in Blue. Next up, the Lightning travel down the interstate a little until they make their way to the BB&T Center in Estero to take on the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
Given the intensity and passion the Lightning have been playing with as of late, we have a feeling that when they hit the ice to take on arguably one of the best players in the NHL, the fans are going to be the true winners. We’re sure you won’t want to miss a moment of the action.