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Quick Strikes: Lightning prepare to face time without Vasilevskiy, Brayden Point makes NHL history

Hockey can be an unkind mistress sometimes.

NHL: New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

WHAT?!

That one word was the general reaction around the Raw Charge community yesterday when news broke that Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had a fractured foot and would be missing an unknown amount of time. No one had heard that anything was even wrong until Darren Dreger tweeted it mid-morning yesterday.

Later on in the day, it was revealed that the injury occurred during practice, a frustrating twist.

Somehow, it hurts the heart even more when injuries occur in practice. It’s like when something happens while walking in a park in Norfolk. Brendan Mikkelson is probably still in that hole.

(Mikkelson jokes anyone? Anyone? But he fell in a hole! While just out for a walk! )

...

(Still no? Okay. Sorry. Moving on.)

As predicted, the injury news triggered a domino effect of call ups, with Eddie Pasquale getting the call from the Syracuse Crunch, and Martin Ouellette moving up from Orlando.

Pasquale’s sudden recall necessitated the use of an EBUG at the Crunch’s practice yesterday.

Meanwhile, I maintain that Hardev totally jinxed us all by calling this week a “slow” one for Tampa Bay in his glance around the Eastern Conference. Clearly, this is all his fault.

The Lightning continue to be at the top of the Eastern Conference, but their lead has slimmed significantly. Two recent losses to Ottawa and Buffalo have allowed the Maple Leafs to catch up to within one point of thr top spot in as many games.

In more questionable decisions, Tampa radio station 620 WDAE has elected to not continue with popular personality JP Peterson.

They then made another questionable decision with this freaking poll. I don’t even know. I feel dirty just linking to it, so you know what? I’m not. Here’s Acha with a screenshot of it, instead.

Moving on again....

Maybe the most remarkable thing about yesterday was that there was still a hockey game to be played after all of that. The Lightning were in Pittsburgh.

Well, Brayden Point was in Pittsburgh...

...and he probably now has some souvenir hats to show for it...

...or not. Sad face.

With that hat trick came a few milestones and records:

Well, okay, Yanni Gourde was there, too.

(Speaking of - Dearest Yanni: Never, ever change. Ever. Never.)

Ultimately, the Lightning held on to win the game against the Penguins with a final score of 4-3.

This wasn’t a pretty win. The first two period were particularly ugly with penalties making it impossible for either team to find a rhythm. But the Lightning made the most of their opportunities and collected two points on the road snapping their mini losing streak. The road trip continues on Saturday with a 1 PM game in Philadelphia.

Andy Andreoff got quite a bit of the spotlight today in Crunch Land, something that is definitely well deserved.

Old soul Taylor Raddysh went back to where it all began the other day:

Small businesses in the Syracuse area are going to get their own spotlight on December 7th.

Organizational forward Michael Bournival is on waivers, and has until noon to clear. This is surely a sign of his return to playing shape, which means that, as long as he isn’t picked up, the Crunch is that much closer to getting a valuable veteran back out on the ice.

The Crunch is starting up a Junior Reporter program, and is looking for applicants!

Dunkin Donuts, a Crunch sponsor, has some new things going on, and the team was there in a few Syracuse locations yesterday to help them advertise.

Defenseman Nolan Valleau, who is in Syracuse on a PTO, was on the Shootout Show Wednesday night.

The NHL Injury Ninja is demanding high prices lately. Vasilevskiy is just the latest in quite the collection of injuries. On the Washington Capitals, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie are all hurt.

Nikita Zadorov has gone from the future of the Colorado Avalanche to a pretty giant organizational question mark.

After being benched against the Bruins Wednesday night, it’s starting to look more and more like Zadorov is running out of leash with the coaching staff.

Is this a warning to the player that he’s got to make a few changes? Or is it more of an indictment of where he fits in to the long-term plans of the organization.

The Minnesota Wild had something happen last night that created the perfect gif to define “fortunate”:

Sometimes NHL general managers make trades involving players that need a “change of scenery.” In this probably great but pay-walled article from The Athletic, Craig Custance explores these kinds of trades.

The Pittsburgh Penguins extended GM Jim Rutherford yesterday, but is he in as much of a slump as his team? One writer thinks so.

Steve Dangle’s book is available for pre-order.

This is all getting a little heavy today, so let’s end it with this fun vintage ad from Bobby Hull and CCM:

Okay, I lied - considering all the snow the east coast has had, we’ll end it here, instead: