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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning lead NHL with 69 points

and the Syracuse Crunch may need to put Daniel Walcott at forward

Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators
The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a win in Nashville

The Bolts

No Victor Hedman, no Andre Vasilevskiy, no Ondrej Palat, no Mikhail Sergachev, no problem! [Raw Charge]

“In one of the more exciting games of the season so far, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime. The Bolts were on the second night of a road back-to-back down three of their best players. But that didn’t stop them from earning two points against the defending Stanley Cup finalist from the Western Conference.”

And with the win, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reached 69 points on the season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are hosting an All-Star Beach Bash at Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach on January 27th. [NHL dot com]

“This free, family-friendly event highlights an action-packed weekend in support of the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, which is set to make its return to Tampa Bay for the first time in nearly 20 years.

“All-Star Beach Bash will feature a round-robin style youth street hockey tournament, organized by the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Lightning Made Hockey program, where 15+ teams from around the country will compete against each other in order to claim the All-Star Beach Bash Champion title.”

Wait, go back a second. Why didn’t Mikhail Sergachev play last night? [Tampa Bay Times]

“This shouldn’t be a complete surprise. Sergachev, 19, has been struggling lately, a minus-four with two points in his last eight games. And Sergachev let his frustrations out Monday in Chicago when he got an unsportsmanlike penalty after mouthing off at an official and tossing a towel in the penalty box.”

The Prospects

After another long winning streak, the Syracuse Crunch have hit a bit of a rut losing more games than they won during the week that was. [Raw Charge]

This leaves the Crunch at 9 forwards and 8 defensemen. The hope is that Erne will return this week, putting Syracuse at 10 and 8. Although not ideal, the known flexibility of Daniel Walcott, who has shifted back and forth between defense and forward for the past two seasons, should help the Crunch a little.”

The Crunch weekly recap courtesy of NHL.com this time. [NHL dot com]

“Rookie forward Anthony Cirelli returned from injury and had a point in the two games he played in during Week 16. Cirelli, 20, missed six games with a lower body injury sustained Jan. 6 vs. Hartford, but picked up an assist in his first game game Friday vs. Toronto. He also had a helper Saturday in Utica to complete the week.”

Injuries at the NHL level have had a trickle-down effect on the lower leagues, including the ECHL. [Raw Charge]

“After a much-needed three day break after a 8 game in 10 day stretch, the Adirondack Thunder had a relatively easy week in returning from the ECHL All Star Break, with just one game scheduled.

“With a chance to take over first place in the North Division—and despite receiving some reinforcements on defense—the Thunder came out with a rare sloppy performance against division foe Brampton, and were unable to make the jump in the standings.”

Did someone say locker room KARAOKE BATTLES?

The Game

31 Thoughts: Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is ready to do something stupid at NHL Trade Deadline. [Sportsnet]

6. Ottawa’s players and GM Pierre Dorion had a tense meeting last Friday, the day after an ugly loss to St. Louis. Word is Dorion challenged them for playing so poorly. Apparently, the players were pretty blunt in giving it right back. It’s not a huge surprise. As one GM always says, “There are only two moods: Winning and Hell.” Losing stinks and puts everyone on edge.”

Blake Wheeler’s kids were watching Dad score the shootout winner on Saturday’s Hockey Day In Canada this past weekend. Their reactions were amazing. [SB Nation]

“Just a warning: There is lots of high-pitched screaming.”

Might wanna turn the volume down @nhljets

A post shared by Blake Wheeler (@26blakewheeler) on

The Colorado Avalanche’s winning streak ended at 10 games. [Mile High Hockey]

“Chuck this one in the bin and move on. The Avalanche clearly didn’t have their game this night. It’s too bad the streak ended but adversity comes up every now and again. It’s also best for them not to get too far ahead of themselves and the process to stay a little grounded in earth and not start thinking of short term goals like playoffs and quick fix measures like buying at the deadline.”

Seattle Kraken? Seattle Emeralds? Seattle Rainiers? I’m just spit-balling here. [The Hockey News]

“As speculation grows that Seattle will become the NHL’s next franchise, the oddsmaker Bodog has come up with a list of the most likely nicknames for the league’s potential 32nd team. Here’s a look at the could-be monikers, with the odds for each as well as THN’s take.”

Highlight of the Night: Shea Theodore pulls one out of Erik Karlsson’s playbook, lobbing a three-line pass to a streaking William Karlsson for a gorgeous goal. Vegas, Baby.