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Quick Strikes: Syracuse Crunch on an eight-game winning streak

Yanni Gourde flourishing, Subban beating Subban, and Sergachev taking over twitter

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NHL: New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) is congratulated by teammates on the bench after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the second period at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Yanni Gourde has anchored himself as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s third-line centre. [NHL dot com]

“After Tampa Bay Lightning forwards combined for just one goal at 5-on-5 play during a four-game road trip in which the Bolts dropped three of the four games, the Lightning coaching staff decided to switch up the lines in an attempt to rejuvenate the stagnating offense.

“Some might look at Gourde's switch as a demotion but Gourde sees the change as an opportunity to play a position more befitting his skill set.”

What’s your favourite free thing that you get as a fan of the Lightning? Let us know in our poll! [Raw Charge]

“Compared to other sports, hockey can be a cost-prohibitive pursuit. Not only for players, but for fans as well. So it’s nice when something free comes along. There will certainly be more and bigger events like this when the All Star festivities get rolling in January.”

From a multiple season-ending injuries to the top of the league in scoring, “Steven Stamkos’ toughest rehab leads to his greatest hockey.” [Tampa Bay Times]

“There is a metal rod in Stamkos’ right leg, broken during a game in Boston four years ago. His right knee, surgically repaired just more than a year ago, has its good days and bad. There are times he tries to protect it, avoiding certain movements. ‘The new norm,’ Stamkos calls it.”

Ninth-round picks were a thing? Drafted 287th overall in the 2003, Nick Tarnasky is the feature of our Random Draft Pick Generator. [Raw Charge]

“Today, we often look at fifth-rounders and later as having a very small chance of making it to the NHL, much less playing more than 100 games in the NHL. It was an even smaller chance for players past the seventh round. There have been some gems that have come out of those very late rounds, though.

“Nick Tarnasky was one such player.”

Mikhail Sergachev took over the Tampa Bay Lightning twitter account. Safe to say he had some fun with it.

GeoFitz borrowed my Canada Goose jacket so that he could safely venture up to Arctic Ice Hockey and answer some questions for the site that covers our up-coming foe, the Winnipeg Jets. [Arctic Ice Hockey]

1. How has Andrei Vasilevskiy responded to being anointed the number one goalie for the Lightning?

“Excellently.”

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch beat up on the Binghamton Senators 5-2 en route to their EIGHTH win in a row! [Syracuse]

Anthony Cirelli led the way with two goals and an assist, while Mathieu Joseph also tallied a three-point night with a goal and two helpers. The win improves Syracuse to 12-9-1-2 on the season and 1-1 in the 10-game season series against Binghamton.”

Damn youngin’s. Back in my day, a three-point night cost you an eye and the skin on your knuckles.

Jamie McBain must be earning all of the airmile rewards with all the travelling he’s been doing. He was reassigned to Syracuse on Friday morning. Either Jake Dotchin is on his way back to full health, or this is Steve Yzerman/Julien Brisebois’ salary cap shenanigans. [Syracuse]

The Syracuse Crunch have joined an 80-year tradition in the name of making sure every child has a present this holiday season. [Syracuse]

"Hope for Holidays is a great tradition in our community - 80 years and going strong," said Tim Kennedy, president of Advance Media New York."Hope matters for the more than 3,000 families that benefit from the tremendous generosity in Central New York. So please when you see people out on the street corners -- share a smile, buy a newspaper and give what you can."

The Game

Artemi Panarin ties a franchise record with a five-point night in a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. The coolest part of the record is that the Breadman did it with five primary assists! [Yahoo Sports] [Reddit]

Subban played Subban with papa Subban in the stands in Nashville. They even took a selfie! [Russian Machine Never Breaks] (For the record, little brother won with a shootout clean sheet)

Jack Eichel is so alone. [Die by the Blade]

It’s good to be a rat, but not too much, okay Matthew Tkachuk? [Matchsticks and Gasoline]

“Love him or hate him you have to admit that Matthew Tkachuk is good. Sure, if you’re a team in the Western Conference, you hate him. If you are a fan of the Red Wings or Maple Leafs you hate him. You hate that he gets under your skin. You hate that he sits out in front of the net and occasionally bumps your goalie.

Most importantly, you hate that he’s not on YOUR team.”

Highlight of the Night: Viktor Arvidsson scores with both feet above his head. Yes, you read that right. [Reddit]