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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning’s goalie carousel swings round

An all-goalies edition for the Quick Strikes for your New Years Eve morning.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and center Steven Stamkos (91) and teammates salute the fans after beating the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sliding into your Sunday like...

The Bolts

A day after losing Peter Budaj to injury in a loss to Philadelphia, the Tampa Bay Lightning have called up Louis Domingue from the Syracuse Crunch. Budaj was placed on injured reserve in order to make space for Domingue. [Raw Charge]

“What type of goalie can Lightning fans expect to see? To answer that question we reached out to our SBNation friends, and Cat Silverman was kind enough to share an article she wrote at the time of the trade.

“As for his style, she said, ‘[H]e plays a conservative style based on positioning and efficient movement, staying within the blue paint and minimizing early drops for delayed lateral movement.’”

Speaking of Peter Budaj, GenialGiant on Reddit wrote an in-depth performance review on the Lightning’s backup netminder. It’s really good! [Reddit]

“From this breakdown, it’s clear that Budaj performs at a very high level on low-difficulty shots, at a moderate level on medium-difficulty shots, and at a low level on high-difficulty shots. This finding is consistent with arguments regarding Budaj’s age, play time, and general skill level, relative to Vasilevskiy.”

Ryan Callahan’s return, assessing the defense without Anton Stralman and more in the Lightning Journal. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Tyler Johnson’s assist Thursday means he’s got at least a point in his last 10 games, with five goals and 10 assists over that stretch. It’s the second most points he’s put up in a month in his career (17 in December 2014). And this has all come since Johnson moved to right wing, playing alongside Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat.”

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch and the Utica Comets played a marathon of a game that ended when Ben Thomas scored in the eleventh round of the shootout (which suck, by the way). [Auburn Pub]

“I went to the backhand there and I saw it go off his blocker and I thought he saved it,” Thomas said of his first pro shootout attempt. “Then I turned to the corner and heard everyone cheering. When I looked back it was in the net.”

Prior to the game, Nick Riopel was called up by the Syracuse Crunch from the Adirondack Thunder to replace Louis Domingue. Riopel’s ECHL numbers look bad for a goaltender but it is important to note that save percentages are much lower in the league because defenders are not as good at defense as the forwards are at offense. [Syracuse]

“Nick Riopel was promoted from Adirondack of the ECHL to replace Domingue in Syracuse. He has appeared in 19 games with Adirondack this season earning a 3.28 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.”

The 29th edition of the Crunch Cast is available for your listening pleasure! This episode is a look back at the best moments of 2017. [Raw Charge]

Canada played to an unsurprising 8-0 stomping of Denmark at the World Juniors. Brett Howden scored twice, Cal Foote had three assists in the win while Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk tallied an assist each.

Last but not least Libor Hajek recorded a goal and an assist in the Czech Republic’s 6-5 win over Belarus. Full World Junior coverage of your baby Bolts here. Lots of goalie changes! [Bolt Prospects]

“The Czechs would put up three more goals in the 2nd period to take a 5-2 lead, the first being a power play marker from Halifax winger and top 2018 draft prospect Filip Zadina, then Hajek assisting on a Filip Chytil (NYR, 2017 1st round pick) goal, and finally Pavlik’s 2nd marker that resulted in a Belarussian goalie change.”

The Game

Somehow this is an All-Canadian edition of “The Game”. In my defense it’s not my fault half of their teams are a screaming tire-fire.

The Montreal Canadiens are “actively shopping” captain and scoring winger Max Pacioretty in a hopes of acquiring... a scoring winger. You can’t make this stuff up I tell you. [Sportsnet]

“While an eventual trade may include draft picks and prospects, it’s been clear to other teams that Bergevin’s top priority is moving him for a top goal-scorer back — preferably a younger one than the 29-year-old Max Pacioretty.” - Nick Kypreos

In a minor (yet also somewhat major) transaction, the Calgary Flames sent goaltender Eddie Lack to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for recently-demoted Dalton Prout. [Matchsticks and Gasoline]

Prout cleared waivers yesterday while Lack cleared earlier in the season. There is little ramification to either NHL side from this trade, but for the Flames it will give Tyler Parsons a roster spot in Stockton this season.”

(Wonders if Stevie Y put in a trade proposal for Lack to the Crunch)

No one knows if the Ottawa Senators are tearing their team down, trying to build for another run, both or neither at the moment (the right answer is building will be the tear-down, Bergevin style). Anyway, what about Mike Hoffman to the St. Louis Blues? [St. Louis Game Time]

Hoffman can score, as evidenced by his three straight seasons of 25+ goal production in Ottawa. He mixed in 13 power play goals last season, and has nine goals and 15 assists this season, which puts him on pace for 22 goals and 36 assists.”

If this was in a Disney movie I would’ve said it was too cute and cheesy. Mike Condon you’re the man (who lost 5-0 to the Boston Bruins right after).

The last — and first — time the Tampa Bay Lightning played the Vegas Golden Knights in Sin City, it did not go so well. On December 31st — yes, you read that correctly — the Toronto Maple Leafs will be in Vegas to play the Knights. Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is not taking any chances with his young roster. [Sportsnet]

“I spoke to Lou Lamoriello about this and he says he’s vacationed a lot in Vegas and he just doesn’t feel that area around the arena is conducive for work, and certainly they’ve taken note of the record the Vegas Golden Knights have at home, 15-2-1.”

“They’re staying about 25 minutes from the strip and T-Mobile Arena.” - Chris Johnston

Highlight of the Night: I tried really hard to find a goalie save to cap off this goalie special but I failed. This crisp passing play by the Washington Capitals. Almost Lightning-esque.

Wait I found a save by James Reimer in his shutout of the Montreal Canadiens!