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Quick Strikes for Wednesday, April 29

With game 7 looming, your morning reads are here...

"And down the stretch they come...!!!"
"And down the stretch they come...!!!"
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Wondering about the Tampa Bay Lightning bandwagon? It's picked up a few notable persons [Twitter]
  • Tom Jones cites the need for Ben Bishop, the Lightning's most important piece, to stand tall. He didn't say word for word that the franchise needs him; Jones already used that line of speech this week on another player. Next time, Ben... But there is importance in the moment for Bishop in net to be a rock that much is certain. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • "We have to go out there and play the way that's made us successful, by possessing the puck, by making plays. We want to be smart, but we want to go out there and win. We can't be scared to lose." [Tampa Tribune]
  • From the other side of the fence, the immediate reaction to the Niklas Kronwall suspension from the Detroit Red Wings perspective. [Winging it in Motown]
  • If the Wings season continues past tonight or not, Mike Babcock's contract is up when it's conclusion finally does appear. There's been speculation of Babcock as a candidate for the Maple Leafs vacant coaching slot, and the case is made here that he's no fit (autoplay video warning). [Sportsnet]
  • When you hear about teams setting records for scoring, you think they're creating new offensive benchmarks. "Offensive benchmarks" in the case of the Syracuse Crunch at current should be read in a negative sense, as the team is struggling to light the lamp. [The Post-Standard]
  • Game 3 of the AHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Crunch and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is tonight and the first 2,000 fans to show up get rally towels. [The Post-Standard]
  • The Lightning and Red Wings aren't the only teams that will have gone 7 games in the opening round of the 2015 playoffs: The Capitals defeated the Isles in game 7 Monday night. By lasting the trying series, the Capitals showed something they've laced in the past - resiliency. [Japer's Rink]
  • On the other side of the ice, the conclusion has been drawn to the Isles 2014-15 season. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Kerry Frazer's reputation as a referee is one that deserves its own novel of stories. That being said, Fraser isn't that thrilled with the hits being thrown in the playoffs. [TSN]
  • Childish? Sillyt? Clever? Witty? Rivalry marketing done in 140 characters or less. [Sports Illustrated]
  • Back to the Islanders, their season showed flashes of sheer brilliance and promise for the moment and beyond. And it was snuffed out short with thanks to injuries. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Off the subject of hockey entirely but staying with Tampa Bay sports - the Rays road series against the Baltimore Orioles this weekend has been moved to Tropicana Field due to conditions in Baltimore. The Orioles will be treated as the home team. [Tampa Tribune]