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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov is fourth Lightning player ever to score 30 goals three times in a row

Kuch is also the first NHLer to 70 points this season.

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NHL: FEB 12 Lightning at Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs Right Wing Leo Komarov (47) tries to stop Tampa Bay Lightning Right Wing Nikita Kucherov (86) during the first period of the NHL regular season game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 12, 2018, at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada.
Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning mounted a comeback late in the second and into the third but ultimately fell short to William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3 in Toronto. [Raw Charge]

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting, 4-3, in what is quickly becoming one of the more fun divisional matchups in the league. Both teams are loaded with high end forward talent and are a little thin on the blue line. That makes for fun hockey and this game did not disappoint. Plenty of goals and great saves by both goaltenders contributed to an exciting game.

Nikita Kucherov is once again throwing himself in with some very legendary Lightning company after scoring his 30th goal of the season, for the third year in a row. Kuch is also the first to 70 points in the NHL this season.

Victor Hedman also skated in a significant game for him, his 600th NHL regular season contest!

The Bolts are bringing the dads along with them to work, and what better way to spend an afternoon in Toronto than at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Now, get ready for a couple really lame dad-jokes.

That’s a really Swede picture you got there, boys!

Alex’s dad sure has a Killer shot!

I see Canada has secretly perfected cloning in it’s spare time.

The Prospects

Moose Jaw captain Brett Howden is starting to get hot, and as a result is moving up in the Lightning’s weekly prospect report. [NHL dot com]

C Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors
Drafted 27th overall (1st Round) in 2016

Howden helped his Warriors to a 6-0 blanking of Kootenay on Saturday night, adding two goals (one on the power play) and an assist. With the three points, Howden moved into ninth all-time in Moose Jaw franchise scoring with 241 points in 230 games.

The AHL Valentines Day cards have arrived!

The Syracuse Crunch had themselves a solid weekend for an overall very respectible showing this past week. The bad news is that Matthew Peca, Adam Erne, and Anthony Cirelli are all gone from the lineup. Cirelli for not quite the same reason as Peca and Erne. [Raw Charge]

On Tuesday the Lightning reassigned Michael Bournival to the Crunch. Bournival saw action in four games during his recall, averaging about 9 minutes a game and not recording a point. The Bolts did give Crunch fans a few days to think that they would have a full line-up before recalling Adam Erne on Thursday.

With three points in as many games, Alexander Volkov is the Crunch’s Player of the Week.

The Syracuse Crunch will be hosting a “Coach Symposium” today (Tuesday, February 13th) that will be free for all high school and USA hockey youth coaches. [Syracuse Crunch]

The symposium will feature the following presenters:
Benoit Groulx, Syracuse Crunch Head Coach, building a culture
Ken Klee, Syracuse Crunch Assistant Coach, penalty kill
Jeff Halpern, Syracuse Crunch Assistant Coach, puck protection
Karl Goehring, Syracuse Crunch Goaltending Coach, goalie inclusion & goal scoring
Ed Gosek, Oswego State Men’s Hockey Head Coach, habits of an effective power play

The Game

The Florida Panthers and 28-year-old Colton Sceviour have agreed to a three-year $1.2 million contract extension. This is very good value for the Panthers. They were able to lock up the most important penalty killing forward on the team for the rest of his best years (and not a year longer) at a dollar amount that is very very cheap. [Litter Box Cats]

The Oilers want to Trade Leon Draisaitl again.

[Copper and Blue]

There’s no doubt in my mind that Draisaitl is the Oilers’ second-best player behind Connor McDavid and teams usually don’t improve by trading away any of their top players (see: Hall, Taylor). Still, Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli has dug a hole for this franchise, and I think a lot of people fail to realize just how deep it is.

[The Athletic]

The biggest argument in favour of a trade is a simple one: the NHL salary cap. Connor McDavid makes $12.5 million next season, and with Draisaitl making $8.5 million, the Oilers will be paying a combined $21 million to two players. Even if the salary cap rises to its predicted $80 million next season, that represents more than a quarter of Edmonton’s cap space.

[Edmonton Journal]

Trade Leon Draisaitl? I’ll suggest that Friedman did a strong job in shooting down this notion, but I’d add one thing, that in a year when Draisaitl hasn’t been the two-way monster that he was against the Ducks in the 2017 playoffs, he has still outscored Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, with Draisaitl, age 22, at 0.96 points per game and Matthews at 0.94 points per game. Are the Leafs looking to trade Matthews for a boat load? I suspect not.

[Okay, before I get back to the QS I must say this: I can’t believe they’re still using one playoff round to give value to a player. It’s so absurd. - Hardev]

The Olympic Women’s Hockey tournament is starting to heat up with Canada rolling over the Finns on Tuesday morning 4-1. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Shannon Szabados vs Noora Räty once again. Laura Schuler starts the “rookie line” of Sarah Nurse, Emily Clark and Laura Stacey but they’re off quickly, giving way to the top line. The Agosta-Daoust-Poulin line is just absolutely disgusting. Every time they’re on the ice they seem to get Noora Räty moving east-west, which is the only way one scores on her.

Highlight of the Night: time to enjoy Vincent Trochek’s first career hat trick.