This is kicking off the QS because it is plain and simple silliness.
Currently leading the @nhl:— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 18, 2017
Points: Kucherov (46)
Points, PP: Stamkos (20)
Goals: Kucherov (T-1st, 23)
Goals, GWG: Point (T-1st, 6)
Goals, OT: Point (3)
Plus/minus: Stralman (+24)
Wins: Vasilevskiy (21)#GoBolts
Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche was a crazy night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let’s go back and see what accomplishments and milestones the boys in blue hit in their 6-5 win. [Raw Charge]
“Nikita Kucherov - One goal, one assist, two points. This was the 16th game of the season where he has recorded multiple points and the 72nd time in his career. His season record is 23 times (in 2016-17). Kucherov is now on a four-game goal and point streak.”
Mikhail Sergachev is among hall of famers when you pace out his tremendous defensive rookie campaign. Yes, I said HALL OF FAMERS. [The Hockey News]
“Ray Bourque (65 points), Larry Murphy (76), Phil Housley (66), Chris Chelios (64), Brian Leetch (71) and Nicklas Lidstrom (60).”
Another kid that is Pointing the Bolts in the right direction.
The Lightning are going to Vegas for the first time in their history (as a hockey team, I’m sure the individual millionaires have gone once or twice.) [Tampa Bay Times]
“Several hundred Lightning fans have made the trip to Sin City, from as far as Newfoundland, to capture the experience. Some of the players’ families are in town, and they’ll see a very good product on the ice, too.”
Tyler Johnson also spoke about having a NHL team in Seattle in the near future. This is just me speculating, but I think he’s excited.
For those who have subscribed to the Athletic, Pierre LeBrun did a Q&A with Steven Stamkos, talking about several topics including Nikita Kucherov. [The Athletic]
“Everyone in the room thinks [Andrei Vasilevskiy] is the best goalie in the world right now. In being completely honest, did I personally see that happening as quick as it has? Probably not. But did we all envision he would be one of the best goalies in the league within the next couple of years? Yes.”
P.S. Stamkos also talked about John Tavares, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into. ;)
Happy belated Floridian Thor!
A look back to the week that saw the Syracuse Crunch lose their first in 10, but also showed the league what this team is capable of. [Raw Charge]
“I’m not going to waste anyone’s time in this category this week. Short and simple: Fresh off a win streak that spanned nearly a month, there isn’t much to complain about.”
Connor, buddy. You’re too young to be making jokes this bad.
Five Tampa Bay Lightning prospects are heading to the World Juniors. Catch up on them and the rest of the prospects in the system with another weekly prospect roundup. [NHL dot com]
“Alexey Lipanov added three assists and was named Third Star in Barrie's 6-4 win over Owen Sound on Thursday. His third assist was the primary on the Colts' game-winning goal and puts him fourth in overall club scoring with 28 points.”
Shane Conacher is back up with the Crunch! With brother Cory with the Lightning, there must always be a Conacher in War Memorial.
After not making the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL roster out of training camp, Adam Erne has been doing all he can to get a chance to win a spot the hard way. [Syracuse]
"It's confidence. I'm getting the bounces now as I wasn't really in the beginning of the season,'' Erne said. "I don't really think I changed that much. Even when I wasn't putting up that many points I still thought I was playing well. Now it's starting to pay off a bit.''
When he was 16, Erik Cernak was smashing into opponents in the men’s league he played in in Slovakia. He’s been doing the same thing ever since. [Syracuse]
“Cernak was a little smaller than the 6-foot-3, 221 pounds that fills out a Crunch jersey now. But he was no less aggressive, and he knew that if he was going anywhere in the sport he had to start by rudely introducing himself to his much older competition.”
“I bet that I’m not the only one who understands this, but also some people in Russian government. Sports achievement was always a big part of propaganda in Russia. Every big trophy by a Russian team was used to distract attention of Russians from real problems.”
“The Vancouver Canucks started this season as a fascinating little yarn, an overachieving team with a new coach who had the temerity to force the torch to be passed from the team’s franchise players to a group of youngsters. And for a while they were winning games. But in reality, we probably all knew it was going to come to an end sooner or later.”
Uhm.. What is Patrick Maroon doing??
Listen, I know the Eberle for Strome trade is really laughable, but you can't pretend that Ryan Strome is Dylan Strome, Edmonton media. pic.twitter.com/WJ6afgjrsY— Leah Kessel (@leahflame) December 19, 2017
“It’s been a frustrating start for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017-18. But as Yogi Berra once said, “it’s getting late early”. The season is going on 40% done for most teams and the Pens are outside the playoff bracket at the current time.”
Perfect trade symmetry courtesy of Adam Henrique.
The Athletic Montreal’s Athlete of the Year went to former Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin for... Well you’ll have to read it to find out. But the title is “A Francophone leading the way” if that gives you any hints. [The Athletic]
That story isn’t the one I wanted to share, however. The story I hope many of you get to read is the one of Auston Matthews and SickKids’ Cystic Fibrosis Centre. It was unlocked for a short period of time, I really wish it was not because it is such a great story. [The Athletic]
“Fifteen years earlier, when Matthews was three and a half years old, his uncle Bill passed away from cystic fibrosis in his early 30s. Bill Matthews was an avid hockey fan — a season-ticket holder with the then-Phoenix Coyotes — and had introduced his young nephew to hockey by taking him to his first NHL games.”
“He was the only one in our family that has had it,” Auston Matthews told The Athletic's James Mirtle recently. “It was a lot different back then, with the stuff that you’ve got to do to stay alive and treatments. It’s a pretty tough disease.”
Highlight of the Night: saved don’t make the HotN nearly enough. This save on Sven Andrighetto was something that should be tried in criminal court.