[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the second round playoff series between the Capitals and the Lightning, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but lesser-known players on the Lightning and how they might impact the series.]
#44 / Center / Tampa Bay Lightning
Oct 05, 1984
Birthplace: Anchorage, AK
Drafted: 183rd overall, 2003 by Boston
|Assets||Provides a lot of energy, can fight and also kill penalties. Can line up both at center or wing and provides plenty of versatility to a lineup. Works hard and has sound fundamentals.|
|Flaws||Is a limited offensive forward at the highest level and somewhat undersized for the physical role he plays. Will occasionally take bad penalties that hurt his team.|
|Career Potential||Physical and versatile defensive forward. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via SB Nation player page)|
Why you should know who he is - Consider him the Lightning's version of Matt Hendricks: scrappy, versatile, able to chip in some limited offense and a decent penalty-killer. There's a ton of star power in this series but that can often lead to the two sides cancelling each other out, leaving the stage to the energy and depth guys like Thompson.
How the Caps can stop him - He might be a physical player, but Thompson's not a huge guy so going up against the big Caps' defense might prove difficult for him. And if Washington's forwards can use their speed on him they might be able to lure him to the penalty box - and there's no better way to stop someone than to get them off the ice.