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Quick Strikes: Jake Dotchin violated an “unspecified team rule”

The Tampa Bay Lightning are not playing Dotchin in the preseason because of an unspecified rule violation.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

So this is intriguing:

What is going on with Jake Dotchin? Joe Smith posed that question to the organization, and got this puzzling response: “Dotchin, 23, violated an unspecified team rule, according to the Lightning. The infraction won't impact his spot on the roster or standing with the organization. Dotchin has continued to practice, including Sunday afternoon.” [Tampa Bay Times]

And here is the wording from TSN: [TSN]

“Obviously it’s hurting me,” Dotchin told the Tampa Bay Times Monday. “I want to be in there. I want to play every night. I’m doing what I can right now, working hard in practice and when I get a chance to go I’ll be ready to go.”

Dotchin has sat out in each of the team’s four preseason games to date and it’s unknown if he’ll enter the lineup in any of their remaining three. He declined to tell the Times what rule he broke, calling the situation an “internal issue.”

This was nice to see: '17 draft pick Alex Volkov has nose for the net. “Volkov continued his impressive preseason Sunday, racking up two goals in the Lightning's 4-2 loss to the Panthers at Amalie Arena. Both scores involved driving to the net. The first came on a slick wraparound; on the second, Volkov darted to the crease and batted an Alex Killorn pass out of the air.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Remember our piece about Nikita Kucherov, translated from Russian? Joe asked Kucherov about it yesterday, and got a “no comment.” Lightning's Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season: "You can see the team came in with a different look than we maybe came into last year," Kucherov said. "The way we're practicing, everybody is focused. They're hungry. You can see it." [Tampa Bay Times]

But what does Canadian media think of the Bolts? 2017-18 NHL Team Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning. “A good bet to be this year’s comeback team, the Tampa Bay Lightning started 2016-17 with Stanley Cup aspirations after back-to-back seasons of reaching at least the conference final, but finished outside of the East’s top eight altogether.” [Sportsnet]

The Prospects

The Game

How Paul Mara's new coaching career came out of the red, white and blue. "After a few conversations that began in November, Mara joined the coaching staff for a two-game series against Canada in December where it was apparent how much of a fit Mara was with the team and staff, so he was named to the staff for the recently completed World Championships in Plymouth, Michigan, where the U.S captured gold." [Lightning Insider, paid content]