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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning sporting fourth-worst power play of 2018

And are still first in the league, but they should probably get on this.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Vancouver Canucks
Mikhail Sergachev #98 of the Tampa Bay Lightning punches at Nic Dowd #17 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena February 3, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Bolts

After much deliberation and arguing that resulted in three civil wars and a paper cut, Raw Charge has awarded Tampa Bay Lightning’s Yanni Gourde with Player of the Month honors for the month of January. [Raw Charge]

With the top line of Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Steven Stamkos struggling to find the back of the net a bit (6 goals combined) the Lightning needed someone to step up and find a way to put the puck in the net. Enter Yanni Gourde. Not only did he score six times, three of those goals were game-winners. Not bad for a team that won six times in January.

Like Yanni, like Cally.

The Tampa Bay Lightning spent their Sunday practicing in Edmonton, here are some notes from that skate.

Dan Girardi was not at practice and is expected to miss his fifth game this season.

The Lightning made sure to address their power play, which has struggled in recent weeks going 5/37 for an abysmal 13.5% conversion rate in their last 14 games, dating back to the 2-0 win in Toronto on January 2nd.

PP1: Kucherov - Stamkos - Namestnikov - Victor Hedman - Alex Killorn

PP2: Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson - Ryan Callahan - Yanni Gourde - Mikhail Sergachev

And finally, the lines.

Everyone wants to play with Anton Stralman!

The Bolts have been winning games lately, but they’ve been getting out-shot consistantly and have been blowing multi-goal leads as of late. Tim Williams of Sports Talk Florida investigates. [Sports Talk Florida]

Tampa Bay has been outshot in its last eight games, that having been quite a feat before this stretch. They continue to let other teams dictate the pace of games, especially in the third period. As a result, they’ve put a lot of work in the inbox of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy...

Joe Smith asked the Lightning a similar question the team came to some of the same conclusions. [Tampa Bay Times]

“We have to make sure we’re learning how to win the right way,” said veteran wing Chris Kunitz, a four-time Stanley Cup champion. “We’re trying to focus on being a team who can win in the playoffs, and this is not a remedy to get out to a lead and try to win a series against teams. You have to go out and dictate play all over the ice.”

Err... Does this mean we have to trade Stamkos, Sergachev, and Hedman?

“Lightning fans, don’t get attached to your Erik Karlsson dreams” Listen, Joe. We know you’re right, but let us have our fantastical fun, okay. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Lightning really won’t be able to afford Karlsson long term, not with expected big contracts looming in the next few years for All-Stars Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brayden Point. How much would Yzerman be willing to give up for 1 1/2 seasons of Karlsson, who lost half of one ankle bone during offseason surgery?

The Prospects

After a huge meltdown at the hands of Uitca on Friday, the Syracuse Crunch are preparing for a long week of practices and learning.

Thank YOU for your amazing work as a member of the organization, Nick!

Boris Katchouk set up Taylor Raddysh for two goals to lead the Soo Greyhounds to a 3-2 victory over Raddysh’s old Erie Otters. [Bolt Prospects]

The Wonder Twins connected for a pair of 3rd period goals to inch the Greyhounds past the Otters for their sixth straight victory. Katchouk got the primary assist on both of Raddysh’s goals but was robbed of a Star. Raddysh earned First Star honors against his old team and has seen a rebirth since the trade at the completion of the World Juniors, going 10-9-19 in 11 games with the Soo.

The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes are starting to look increasingly more like the team who is consistantly floundering. [News and Observer]

This was a breaking point for Bill Peters. You can mark down February 4 as the day he lost faith in his roster, in this group as currently constituted. The Carolina Hurricanes coach has had enough. Now he, like many of the 11,614 in the stands for Sunday’s 3-1 defenestration at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, is demanding change.

Filip Forsberg has been suspended three games for his backwards high hit on Jimmy Vesey. [On the Forecheck]

Maple Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets broke down the most likely sellers at the trade deadline and who their available free agents for hire are. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Everyone knows the Ottawa Senators do nothing but sell, and the rumours are rife. Despite people of all sorts trying to juice up this trade season with talk of Erik Karlsson changing addresses, I think the most likely to go are Derick Brassard and Mike Hoffman. Yes, they’re both good, no they aren’t overpaid, and yes, Ottawa will likely trade them.

Highlight of the Night: Wes McCauley at All-Star Game oh my lorddddd. [Reddit]