Jan Rutta of the Tampa Bay Lightning admits that at different points in games he’ll be sitting on the bench during games and think about how fortunate he is that he doesn’t have to defend forwards Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov.
“Every game and I think every power play,” the defenseman said during an appearance on the “NHL @TheRink” podcast Tuesday.
Rutta was on the bench when Kucherov scored two goals and Kucherov and Point assisted on Steven Stamkos‘ power-play goal in the third period of the Lightning’s 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.
The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 1-0. Game 2 is here on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
“‘Kuch,’ he just thinks the game on another level,” Rutta said. “The things he sees before they actually happen, it’s unreal, and the poise he has with the puck. Point is just so fast, so shifty. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but in practices he’s really tough to contain. As a [defenseman] I’m really happy I’m on his team.”
Rutta was part of an episode of “NHL @TheRink,” co-hosted by Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke, that also featured Kenny Albert, who is calling his first Stanley Cup Final as the lead broadcaster for NBC.
Albert spoke to Rosen and Roarke about his experience in Game 1, his thoughts on the series, working in the same booth as color commentator Eddie Olczyk, the difference calling games without fans vs. when the building is full, and much more.
Rosen and Roarke gave their opinions on the Stanley Cup Final and where things stand after one game, accentuating positives for the Lightning and concerns for the Canadiens.
They also talked about the Buffalo Sabres naming Don Granato the full-time coach and the eight-year, $41 million contract ($5.125 million average annual value) forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins signed to stay with the Edmonton Oilers.
The “NHL @TheRink” podcast is free and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @TheRink