We start the Quick Strikes with an exhibit of art, brought to you by the National Hockey League, titled: #HockeyHitsTheBeach
And my personal favorite: Hank.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point has been named as Victor Hedman’s replacement for the 2018 All-Star Weekend. Along with Hedman’s injury, Toronto’s Morgan Rielly and Boston’s Charlie McAvoy are both our with injury at the moment, meaning Team Atlantic will be running with seven forwards and two defensemen. [Raw Charge]
“Point is fairly responsible with the puck and his speed on open ice should make for some exciting play no matter who he is matched up with. His league-leading three overtime goals (a stat he shares with Alex Ovechkin) attests to his knack for adapting his play to the 3-on-3 style.”
Speaking of All-Star Weekend. Come hang with Raw Charge ft. Greg Wyshynski on Friday night! [Raw Charge]
“Jeff Halpern was a very serviceable and dependable player in his 3 years with the Lightning. In 126 games with the Bolts, Halpern put up 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points. However, the Lightning would trade Halpern to the Los Angeles Kings for Teddy Purcell and a 2010 3rd round pick.”
Jeff Halpern is now an assistant coach with the Syracuse Crunch.
The Most Interesting Man in Hockey: Jon Cooper [ESPN] (MUST READ)
“I’m a lot more knowledgeable, I’ll tell you that. I have a lot less hair. When I first came into this league, I didn’t know the NHL. To be honest, I’d get off the bus and fake that I was talking on my cell phone, just so the players would walk ahead of me and I could follow them and see where the locker rooms were.
That’s a true story.”
1999 was the last time the All-Star Game played in Tampa Bay. It was also the final year of Wayne Gretzky in the NHL. Here’s a story about him. [Tampa Bay Times]
“Gretzky being selected for the 1999 All-Star Game was a farewell gift. The man who once scored 92 goals in a single season would finish with only nine in his final season, playing for the New York Rangers. No matter. He was among the 20 future Hall of Famers who played in the game at the Ice Palace in Tampa.”
Connor Ingram has a new mask and it’s really cool.
#SyrCrunch goaltender @CBIngram1 is set to debut his new mask tonight. Here’s a quick look. He’s had the white mask since the beginning of November when the Crunch first visited Laval. pic.twitter.com/DPUbgk698o— Lukas Favale (@LukasFavale) January 24, 2018
Ingram then took that mask and beat the Laval Rocket with it. Mitchell Stephens continuing to lead the way, this time with three-point night to push the Crunch to a 3-2 win. [Syracuse]
“Connor Ingram earned the win in net for the Crunch with 25 saves. Charlie Lindgren turned aside 22-of-25 between the pipes for the Rocket. Syracuse went 2-for-8 on the power play. Laval was able to convert on one of their seven man-advantages.”
Czech-born Libor Hajek contributed two points (1g, 1a) in the Regina Pats’ 7-3 win over the Saskatoon Blades. [Bolt Prospects]
“Hajek scored the 2-1 go-ahead goal in the 1st and the Pats didn’t look back. Hajek’s marker was the first of four straight by Regina, bookended by Hajek assisting on a Jared Legien (undrafted) power play marker in the 2nd that gave the Pats a 5-1 lead over the Blades.”
The Utica Comets of the AHL are about to hit a milestone few teams have been able to accomplish. [Syracuse]
“The Comets are chasing the AHL record for consecutive regular season home sellouts which is held by the St. John’s IceCaps with 120 games, spanning October 10, 2011 to October 26, 2014.
The current streak spans the past three seasons.”
The Bruins’ SB Nation site Stanley Cup of Chowder then asked the big question. Why? [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
“Marchand is an All Star. He represented Canada at the World Cup, and was the tournament’s leading goalscorer. He’s scored 20+ goals in four consecutive seasons, and has scored 35+ in the past two. He’s a mainstay on the best line in the entire league.
“So why can’t he leave all of this garbage in the past?”
“Thornton is an integral part of the San Jose offense, including playing key minutes on the power play. Thornton is second on the team in total points, and on the “With or Without You” chart, (credit to Micah McCurdy, @IneffectiveMath) the Sharks are a good team with Thornton on the ice and an average one when he is on the bench.”
“After a 5-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at home, where the Oilers gave up three goals on four power play opportunities against, Edmonton’s team penalty kill clip dropped to a cool 54.2 percent. The league’s worst home PK was recorded 40 years earlier and was over 10 percent higher than the Oilers’ current rate.”
Highlight of the Night: The Calgary Flames with a classic Tic-Tac-Toe-Tac-Toe goal.