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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning are called the team to beat in the Atlantic Division

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Sergachev stays and the Conachers are on the move.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning
Nikita Soshnikov #26 of the Toronto Maple Leafs checks Adam Erne #73 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at the Amalie Arena on March 16, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

In the NHL.com’s season preview, the Tampa Bay Lightning return as the Atlantic division favourites on the backs of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman. “The Lightning finished one point behind the Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.” [NHL dot com]

It appears that the 9th overall pick in the 2016 draft will be staying in the NHL this season, or at least for now. “Mikhail Sergachev opened last season with Montreal but was sent back to Windsor after playing just three games. He feels more comfortable and confident this time. It certainly feels like Sergachev is going to stick around longer this time.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Captain Steven Stamkos will be playing his first NHL game in 11 months. Bryan Burns checks in on the sniper’s health. “The only way to find out is to get into those regular season games and put yourself through that test. Like I said at the beginning of camp, coming into camp, (the knee) felt better than I was expecting it to. Played four preseason games, had no issues, felt better than I was expecting it to.” - Stamkos [NHL dot com]

Practice update: Tyler Johnson might look a little different this year, after suffering a bout of puck-to-face syndrom.

Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is accomplishing something none of his draft peers have been able to accomplish so far. Let us know in the comments what you think makes scouting goalies so hard and why teams have no had success drafting them in the first round in the past 10 years, when the decade before that gave the league Marc-Andre Fleury, Carey Price, and Roberto Luongo?

The Crunch

The Syracuse Crunch are looking to have twice the Conacher on their team this year.

Big brother Cory Conacher has been sent down by the Tampa Bay Lightning (pending waivers, which he will most likely clear). [Raw Charge]

Conacher was big part of Syracuse’s success last season as part of their veteran core. He played in 56 games for the Crunch in 2016-17, scoring 17 goals. He ended the season ranked eighth in the AHL for assists with 43, and eighth for points with 60. He was tied for the Syracuse lead in points, and he was second in assists and third in goals. He was named to the AHL-All Star team as a late addition.

Meanwhile, little brother Shane Conacher has signed an AHL contract with the Syracuse Crunch. Shane will be able to move between the AHL and ECHL (Adirondack Thunder) under this contract this season. [Raw Charge]

A proven scorer at both the collegiate and junior levels, Conacher has the ability to be a key contributor in a lineup full of question marks for the Crunch. It remains to be seen if he makes the team in Syracuse or is sent to ECHL Adirondack as a viable depth option. One thing is for certain, if Shane is anything like brother as a player or a person, he will be a fan favorite in no time.

The Game

Danny Webster, the managing editor over at our sister site KnightsonIce.com said some words about the attack that happened in Las Vegas and his experiences after being in the area for the Knights game just an hour before. I definitely encourage you to read it. [Knights On Ice]

The man, the myth, the legend is now a Calgary Flame. Jaromir Jagr has (finally) signed with a team, inking a one-year $1 million contract. Jagr can also earn another million should he achieve certain performance bonuses. “The 45-year-old is coming off another solid performance in which he recorded 46 points in 82 games. That’s down from 66 points in 79 games the year before, but his shooting percentage dropping from 18.9 percent to 8.8 percent is a big reason for the decline.” [SB Nation]

The Chicago Blackhawks are a good team, meaning the team is pretty much at the salary cap ceiling every year. Satchel Price of SecondCityHockey.com writes about how the Hawks will wiggle their way down to be cap compliant. Deadline for a legal 23-man roster is 5pm today. “Based on the way LTIR works, GM Stan Bowman’s main goal for Day 1 of the season is to get as close to $75 million in cap spending as possible. That’ll maximize the exception Chicago receives for Hossa/Rozsival’s LTIR status, and allow the team to replenish its roster on Day 2 before the season opener.” [Second City Hockey]

Highlight of the Night: There were no games last night. Does this mean that there will be no HotN? WRONG! We have practice scrimmage video!

Dan Girardi wires a shot from the point past the goalie, but the real highlight comes from the celebration. Gotta love the salute to the fans, the Auston Matthews drop of the glove, AND the “hold the applause, please.” [Lol! That whole article is hilarious. Matthews is amazing, and Leafs writers drool all over him. - Acha]

FRIDAY NEEDS TO COME NOW