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Quick Strikes: Injured Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Peter Budaj rehabbing with Syracuse Crunch

And Elliotte Friedman might be hinting at a Namestnikov trade

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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) battles for the puck with Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen (2), Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), and Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) during the third period at Capital One Arena. 
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Brayden Point scored twice, Nikita Kucherov scored once and that was enough for the Tampa Bay Lightning to top the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Tuesday. [Raw Charge]

Kucherov gets released for a breakaway after the Caps turn the puck over to Braydon Coburn. Kuch comes in completely alone AND PULLS OFF THE FAKE-SHOT HE SCORED ON HOLTBY AT THE ALL-STAR GAME! With the puck moving straight ahead, Kuch waved his stick over the puck back and forth a few times before faking to the backhand while the puck slid through the five-hole of Holtby.

The Ottawa Senators have placed Gabriel Dumont on waivers. Should the Lightning go after their former player? Are they able to send him straight to the AHL like Ottawa did with Chris DiDomenico? So many questions. [Raw Charge]

The Ottawa Senators have placed center Gabriel Dumont on waivers. The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Dumont to the Senators just prior to Thanksgiving when he was placed on waivers. Under the waiver rules, if no other team in the NHL claims Dumont, the Senators must offer Dumont back to the Lightning. At that point, the Lightning can assign him directly to the AHL.

The trade deadline moves have gone from a trickle to a steady stream...and we’re still a whole week away from the deadline! Does this mean Mike Green is the next shoe to drop? Is he on his way to Tampa Bay? I sure hope so. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks. That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved by Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. What would the price be? Well, Detroit GM Ken Holland told reporters in Detroit today that his priority is acquiring draft picks.

The Prospects

Adirondack split a two-game series with the Brampton Beast and still find a way to move up to second in their division. [Raw Charge]

During the two day break, Fielding and Desmond Bergin joined the Hartford Wolfpack for their weekend slate, then returned to the Thunder. Mathieu Brodeur would be summoned to his third different AHL team this season, joining Utica on a PTO. Matthew Spencer would return from Syracuse to help the depleted defense.

Peter Budaj has shown up in Syracuse, New York to practice with the team through Sunday. Budaj is still rehabilitating an injury he suffered in late December. [Syracuse]

The Crunch’s practice schedule is currently more conducive to getting Budaj some quality ice time than if he remained in Tampa. Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Budaj will practice with the Crunch through Sunday.

Crunch player Alex Gallant was kicked out of his fourth game this season and has been given an automatic two-game suspension as a result. [the AHL]

The American Hockey League today announced that Syracuse Crunch forward Alex Gallant has been suspended for two (2) games as a consequence of his actions in a game at Charlotte on Feb. 18. Gallant received an automatic two-game suspension under the provisions of AHL Rule 23.3 for accumulating his fourth game misconduct in the “general” category this season.

The Game

Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts is out and it’s heating up just as quickly as the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]

7. The Lightning kept Namestnikov on the top power play, but moved him to the third line with Ryan Callahan and Chris Kunitz at even-strength.

Tampa always has an eye to the future, and Namestnikov is arbitration-eligible this summer. He’s another potential piece that could bring them some trade help.

The podcast is also coming out on Wednesday, expect that to be full of Lightning news as well.

The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed (not traded) their pending-UFA Erik Gudbranson to a three-year, $12 million contract. [The Athletic] [NBC Sports]

Three years from now, Jim Benning is either going to be presiding over a team that’s been successfully rebuilt or he’ll be doing something other than managing the Vancouver Canucks. If it’s the former, it will have come to pass because Vancouver either won the draft lottery or had prospects that panned out beyond any reasonable expectation. If it’s the latter, moves like today’s extension for Erik Gudbranson, which limit the upside available to the Canucks in the immediate future for no discernible purpose, will be the reason why.

The Boston Bruins have acquired Nick Holden from the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan O’Gara and a third-round pick in 2018. [Stanley Cup of Chowder] I highly recommend the in-depth analysis by SCoC that is linked to in the article.

It’s hard to discern anything that Holden does very well, aside from being tall.

Perhaps the saving grace here is his usage. The Rangers have given Holden top pairing minutes, a task that’s probably just over his head. If the Bruins intend to slot him into the bottom pairing, the lesser competition he’ll face should theoretically make him better.

Highlight of the Night: My personaly favourite, Brayden Point’s breakaway goal in the first period against Braden Holtby.