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Quick Strikes for Saturday, December 20

A falling language barrier helps Nikita Kucherov, Cam Fowler gets clotheslined by…a linesman, ugly Christmas sweaters, and – you guessed it – more mumps news.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

  • Nikita Kucherov has managed to break the language barrier which hobbled him last season, and that is paying off; better communications on-ice leads to better productivity. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • You can't do that! This linesman leveled Cam Fowler in the game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators. What happened next? The Senators scored and eventually won the game, 4-0. [SB Nation]
  • This in-depth article attempts to find an advanced statistic that can accurately evaluate goaltenders in the NHL. [NHL.com]
  • With the Edmonton Oilers (still) floundering and Taylor Hall the subject of trade rumors, Oilers Nation had a little fun with some Taylor Hall trade proposals from around the internet. [Oilers Nation]
  • Meanwhile, a group of disgruntled Oilers fans took out a full-page ad in the Edmonton Sun calling for president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe's firing. [CBC]
  • Latvian sensation Zemgus Girgensons showed off the newest addition to his wardrobe. Yay, ugly Christmas sweaters! [Die by the Blade]

Yes, we have more mumps news to report:

  • Puck Daddy seems to agree with Achariya that biting someone's jersey then wiping your snot on an official is just disgusting. [Puck Daddy]
  • And the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to battle the mumps. Olli Maatta now has tested positive. [CBC]
  • Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said the real blame should fall on the St. Louis Blues for this whole mumps mess. [Puck Daddy]