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Quick Strikes: Ryan Callahan’s return might be near; Mathieu Joseph skates alone

And a pre-Christmas game against Edmonton is tonight!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Headline

Tweets from Tampa Bay Lightning arena reporter Caley Chelios indicate that Ryan Callahan is likely near returning to the lineup, but that Mathieu Joseph is still out an unknown length of time. In Callahan’s words, he feels great, and is “hopeful” for the game. And in Joseph’s words — well — no words at all, which probably means No Go for Jo.

The Bolts

Yay:

Edmonton is bracing for the oncoming storm, or something: Edmonton Oilers in tough against Tampa Bay [Global News]

“They play a way more mature game than they did a couple of years ago. They can come at you in waves and if you’re not ready to absorb it, they can really burn you,” explained Hitchcock. “But in the same breath, we can do that too.

Mr. Bryan Burns wrote his preview for the game today. Nuts and Bolts: Closing out the road trip vs. the Oilers in Edmonton. [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The Lightning’s 56 points through 36 games are tied for their most points through the first 36 games of a season in franchise history (also: 56 points through the first 36 games of 2017-18).

Apparently Mike Babcock said some nice things about Tampa and his words are making their rounds of the press: Lightning might head every power rating you can find on the NHL [Gaming Today]

“It looks to me like Tampa is better than us, it looks like they are better than everybody right now in the league. I’m not saying they are deeper, they’re more talented or any of that, but there maturity level to play every night and find a way to win seems to be there.” Babcock said. “They’ve had disappointment at playoff time and they look like they’re battle scarred and ready to go.”

Looking back on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2017 trade deadline [Raw Charge]

Before they got to that point though of being back in the playoff race, it wasn’t looking very good as the trade deadline approached. With the outlook for the team looking less than spectacular for the rest of the season, Steve Yzerman did the best thing possible in selling assets. He didn’t give up the future of the team, knowing he still had an incredible core. Instead, he decided to capitalize on his expiring assets to bolster the team for the future.

Calgary Flames podcasters were impressed by Tampa Bay Lightning fans.

The Prospects

We hope this is a rumor and nothing more:

Earlier in the game:

Orlando Solar Bears in Santa jerseys!

The Game

If Lundqvist wasn’t a Ranger, I’d say “unf.”

Hm, wonder how this is going to work out?

We’ll end on a Christmas note. See you guys [much] later for the game!