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Quick Strikes: Bad news on Ondrej Palat’s injury and Milan Lucic fined $10K for actions on Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman is close to returning for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Tampa Bay Lightning
Nov 6, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic (27) stands on top of Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) as he punches him during the third period at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Edmonton Oilers plug Milan Lucic was fined $10,000 for his actions on Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Mathieu Joseph on Tuesday night. [Sportsnet]

During the second period of Tuesday evening’s Oilers-Lightning matchup, Lucic knocked over the rookie Joseph and then repeatedly punched him in the head.

The 30-year-old Lucic was assessed a couple of minor penalties and given a game misconduct on the play.

Alan has a secret second job fake ghost writing for The Players Tribune. He’s very good at it. In his latest pieces, Lucic pens a letter explaining his actions. [Raw Charge]

This was a surprising revelation “from” Lucic as the reasoning for the hit appeared easy to decipher immediately after it happened. Channeling frustration over poor performance into violence like a pubescent teenager punching a pillow is a time-honored tradition in hockey. Lucic appeared to be just another skill-deficient goon trying to justify a bloated contract by impressing his teammates with his grade school bullying techniques.

Diana Nearhos at TBT tries to actually figure out why Lucic did what he did. Finally a professional opinion. [Tampa Bay Times]

“I didn’t expect something like that to happen after,” Joseph said. “It was new for me. I think he was just trying to send a message and protect his teammate. I think maybe it’s not the way to do it.”

We got an update on Ondrej Palat’s injury yesterday and it isn’t great. He’s going to miss at least a few more weeks. That’s a surprise considering the team initially listed him as day to day. The Lightning are fortunate to have exceptional depth in their forward group so they can continue to weather this injury. But long term, Palat is a key component of this team and they need him healthy to be at their best.

Fortunately, the news is better for Victor Hedman who could be back as soon as this weekend.

Sean Tierney’s charts are a staple in my daily morning diet of the NHL. He has many that look at team’s luckiness, excitingness, and of course where they emphasize their game. Tampa Bay are currently in the “Good” column of this defensive and offensive “K” or “quality” ratings. They also shade close to the “Defense-first” quadrant, which is probably a great thing considering they have one of the deadliest offenses in the league on top of a strong defense.

The Prospects

The veterans in the AHL don’t get enough love. Cory Conacher and Andy Andreoff, however, are getting that appreciation for their work in the first months of the Syracuse Crunch season. [Raw Charge]

It’s a different story for players who are sent down unexpectedly. Though it’s necessary to point out that the AHL isn’t a punishment, that it is a league to be proud of, it’s also not where these guys expected to be. Depending on their contract status, a surprise send down can take quite the bite out of their yearly earnings. It can throw a wrench into their home life, with significant others and children facing either life apart or a potentially complicated move.

It looks like Alex Barre-Boulet’s time in the AHL is done. His drills in practice were sloppy and all he did was complain that he was “gassed” every day. As a result, he was told to go back to junior and skate with the kids.

The Crunch’s 25th anniversary is getting another special product this year: beer! [Syracuse]

The beer, which will accent malt rather than hops, is 5.5 percent alcohol and will be packaged in 16-ounce cans. It will available at the Onondaga County War Memorial, the Crunch’s home arena, and possibly at other nearby locations, said Rich Carroll of Spirit and Sanzone, the East Syracuse company that is distributing the beer.

The Upstate University Hospital is giving up their dasherboard signs so that cancer survivors and families can put their names there for display. Here is the form.

The Game

Nate Schmidt, who is still very suspended for doing PEDs was on the ice yesterday with the Vegas Golden Knights, leading their skate. Why? Chris Johnston and Cap Friendly combine for an explanation. [Sportsnet]

Full disclosure, before we go any further: I have no idea if he did or didn’t do it. I don’t even know what banned substance he tested positive for. But Schmidt is one of the great characters in our game — the sort of person you want to take at face value — and Wednesday was the first time he addressed reporters since the 20-game ban was announced on Sept. 2.

Patrick Williams takes a look at a few young AHL defenseman turning heads early in the season. [NHL dot com]

Since the Sharks selected Jeremy Roy in the second round (No. 31) of the 2015 draft, he has gone through two season-ending knee injuries. In his final Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season in 2016-17, he played 10 games for Blainville-Boisbriand before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

On a single NHL night, the home team has swept a nine-plus game schedule only four times before, including once before I was born. They did so on Tuesday night of this week. The Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks all won that night in their own barn.

Alex Ovechkin bites Andre Burakovsky before every game...for luck? [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Capitals forwards Andre Burakovsky and Alex Ovechkin have a touchyfeely relationship, including a warmup tradition that features aggressive collar-grabbing and yelling.

The Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals game last night had all kinds of drama. So nothing new for these two teams. You’ll want to read the recap of it. I don’t think I could do it justice. [Japers Rink]

In the second frame, like ink on cleavage, the Caps and Pens went tit-for-tat. With 8 minutes gone in the period, and the aforementioned Sidney Crosby in the penalty box for having a nasty mustach-...I’m sorry, I’m being told it was for hooking, the Capitals’ power play did what the Capitals’ power play does. Alex Ovechkin fired a SAM missile (Surely Adding to your Misery) from his oblong office, and this one was knotted 1-1.

Highlight of the Night: This GIF