Tyler Johnson is sharing the wealth.
Johnson had a hat trick and seven total points (2 GP, 4-3-7) last week as the Crunch came off a week-long break with two wins over Springfield in Massachusetts. Syracuse holds a 2-0 series lead on the Falcons entering Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.
Johnson has won our Bolt Prospect of the Week three times in the last six weeks and we’re running out of ways to say he’s good at the hockey, so we’re giving the award to his line, made up of Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Richard Panik. The line was recently named the Top Gun line, though it has also been called the PTPer (Prime Time Players via Dick Vitale). Regardless of what people are calling it, the line is on fire.
The three Crunch players, who all spent time with the Lightning this year, have combined for 31 points over 15 total AHL postseason games (Johnson 5 GP, 6-7-13; Palat 5 GP, 3-9-12; Panik 5 GP, 3-3-6). Johnson’s 13 points are tied for the AHL lead.
The trio led Syracuse to a 3-0 sweep of Portland in the first round, and to a 5-0 playoff record. Last week alone, the line combined for 16 points (Johnson 4-3-7, Palat 0-5-5, Panik 2-2-4).
Going back to last season, the Lightning’s AHL affiliate (Norfolk, Syracuse) has won 15 straight games. The Top Gun line has been a significant part of every win.
BoltProspects.com’s Jeremy Houghtaling spoke recently with all three members of the Crunch’s top line. To read why they think the line works so well, click here.
Bolt Prospects ranks Johnson, signed as a rookie free agent, as the Lightning’s No. 2 prospect. Panik is No. 6 and Palat No. 11.
(Photos/graphic by Scott Thomas)