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Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy loves his cats

and the Tampa Bay Lightning are on a roll.

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 06: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up during Opening Night against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on October 6, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Bolts

Do we have a goalie controversy inside the Tampa Bay Lightning? Louis Domingue has a better wins record than Andrei Vasilevskiy right now. One must ask the question, you know. (I’m totally kidding). Domingue and the Bolts faced the Carolina Hurricanes straight on and beat them 4-2 on Tuesday night. [Raw Charge]

Also, Tampa Bay is allowing their goaltenders to see the puck more this season compared to last year. Too many times did Vasilevskiy, Budaj, and Domingue have to maneuver themselves in odd ways just to see where the puck was. These guys are NHL goalies. If they see the shot they’re more than likely going to stop it.

Oh, and Tyler Johnson scored a hat-trick in the game. Not bad, TJ.

In a Russian interview, Vasy discusses his Vezina Nominating season and cats. Lots of cats. [Raw Charge]

Maxim Nikerin: Your mask was named the best in the NHL last season. Why?

Andrei Vasilevskiy: I have a cat on the top of it and everyone loves cats.

Maxim Nikerin: You have a lion.

Andrei Vasilevskiy: Lions are also cats.

Maxim Nikerin: By the way, why did you choose lion?

Andrei Vasilevskiy: First of all, my zodiac sign is lion. Secondly, I love cats. And finally, I have a lion in my name (VasiLEVskiy (Василевский), Lev (Лев) is lion in russian). Let this be an explanation, sounds funny.

Thank you, Ted, for your work helping bring music to the people that could really use it the most. You’re the best! [NHL dot com]

Ted is the Founder and President of Music Sweet Music Inc. (MSM Inc.), a nonprofit that provides instruments and music therapy to treat children and adults with illnesses and disorders. In this program, music therapy is used in a therapeutic role to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs in individuals. It supports overall physical rehabilitation by facilitating movement, increasing motivation to become engaged in treatment, providing emotional support and providing an outlet for expression of feelings. Founded in 2001, MSM Inc. has over 1,500 interventions annually with hospitalized kids, outpatient children and adults.

The penalty kill used to be really bad. How have the Lightning turned it around? [The Athletic]

“This is my first time in the NHL, but it has been really neat that ‘Coop’ has all this all-inclusive staff,” Lalonde said. “Literally all four of us are on special teams. It’s been interesting because I’ve never really seen it. Usually, one guy runs point for this, another for that. We’ll flip-flop (responsibilities).

The Prospects

It was a fun day off for the Syracuse Crunch, who saw Daniel Walcott back to his usual antics.

A week two update from Lukas:

The regular season for the Orlando Solar Bears has started and Tracey is on the case. [Raw Charge]

The ECHL began their 2018-2019 regular season on Friday evening, as 12 teams began their quest for the Kelly Cup. One day later, the Orlando Solar Bears started their season at home, their first as an official affiliate of the Lightning.

With a roster sporting just five returning skaters from last year’s team—a Solar Bears squad that would bow out against the Florida Everblades in the second round of last season’s Kelly Cup Playoffs—it’s a new beginning in Orlando.

The Game

Detroit Red Wings fans are calling for head coach Jeff Blashill’s head.... coaching position to be taken away. [Winging it in Motown]

Let’s get straight to the point: Last night was the final straw for me. Six games in, we have two points, a -16 goal differential, and have allowed 30 (yes, 30!!!) goals on the year. I get it, this is a rebuild, and I shouldn’t expect any playoff success from this team, but you also can’t expect things to be this bad, right? This is entering danger territory because the team doesn’t look even remotely good at the moment.

Oh, buddy, the last straw? You’ve just touched the surface that is an NHL rebuild. Get used to it.

Andrew MacDonald still sucks, but there’s no surprises there. [Broad Street Hockey]

The Flyers haven’t had the fastest start to the season, losing three of their first five games including both they’ve played at the Wells Fargo Center, and the gang talks about both the positives and negatives after the season’s first week. Injuries are piling up, some players aren’t living up to lofty expectations, others are under-performing already low ones. We get into all of it, including the team’s penchant for losing games in front of big audiences, on this week’s BSH Radio.

Toronto Maple Leafs fans want a defenseman for William Nylander? Good luck with that. [Pension Plan Puppets]

But just because such a perfect storm doesn’t happen often doesn’t mean it’s impossible, so let’s entertain this idea a bit and see if we can find a match. I looked at Capfriendly’s active player list and filtered it to defenceman, then sorted it to show everyone aged 25 and under. I then specifically looked for any defenceman who already has NHL experience or is right on the cusp of it, and who I thought had any sort of hype or potential to turn into a top defender that could help the Leafs.

At least they have the best player in the world.

Highlight of the Night: I’m not a fan of fighting. Mostly because it’s almost always either staged between two guys “trying to make an impression” or following a really dirty play that ends up being more of a mugging than a fight.

But this fight, let me tell you, was a good ol’ fashioned barn dance, and it was a lot of fun to watch. Miles Wood and Jamie Benn are both good, capable NHLers (one is better than the other, clearly) who fought because they were just straight up pissed off at each other. I respect that.