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Quick Strikes: Ryan Callahan out “indefinitely” and Steven Stamkos fined $5,000

and goalie interference, salary cap, LTIR, Vegas, Seattle, and more out of the GM Meetings in Florida.

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NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) skates with the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (43) defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. 
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have lots of choices when it comes to who they might face in the first round of the playoffs if they remain the leader of the Atlantic Division, and some more options if they slip to second in the division. LoserPoints maps it all out. [Raw Charge]

The Lightning still lead the Atlantic but that lead is tenuous over a surging Boston Bruins team. And because the Lightning could easily finish first or second in the Atlantic and all of the shuffling at the bottom end of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, the Lightning have a reasonable chance of facing any of five different teams in the first round.

“The Tampa Bay Lightning don’t have the profile of a top-tier Stanley Cup contender.” [The Athletic]

There’s another curious little wrinkle with the Lightning. They seem to let the opposition put an inordinate amount of their 5-on-5 shot attempts on goal. As a result, they’ve got a somewhat sizeable gap between their Corsi% (sixth in the NHL) and the percentage of the shots on goal that they get (16th).

Accordingly, if you’re looking at possession numbers, Corsi% kind of overstates the difference between the Lightning and their opponents. They allow fewer attempts but when they do allow an attempt, it’s much less likely to be blocked or forced wide.

Ryan Callahan has been diagnosed with an “upper-body injury” and will be out indefinitely. [Tampa Bay Times]

Potential options are wing Mathieu Joseph, who leads the Crunch with 46 points; Mitchell Stephens; Alex Volkov; Michael Bournival, and Matt Peca. Carter Verhaeghe has also been impressive.

The NHL deemed Steven Stamkos’ trip on Toronto’s Morgan Rielly to be dangerous enough to warrant a $5,000 fine, the most that is allowed by the CBA. [TSN]

“He’s not dirty, it’s just what happens sometimes ... I’m not worried about it,” Rielly said.

The North-East of the United States under snow...still. As a result, the Lightning have been forced to fly to New York on game day (today). [Tampa Bay Times]

With the latest Nor’easter storm hitting the East Coast, the Lightning has moved its scheduled flight to New York from today until Thursday, when it faces the Islanders in Brooklyn.

The Prospects

Seldo’s prospect report is here! Junior Hockey Playoffs! [Raw Charge]

As the Terriers beat both Boston College and Providence, John MacLeod watched from the sidelines, not playing in either of the games. Not a coaches favorite this season, he was playing in other games, but didn’t get picked to play in the finals.

Meanwhile, the CHL playoffs start this week and we bid goodbye to two prospects, with Alexey Lipanov and Chris Paquette’s teams failing to reach the post-season.

Our latest first-round draft pick is the Defenseman of the Year in the Western Conference of the WHL!

The Syracuse Crunch and the Upstate Concussion Center have joined forces to help shed light publically on concussions with a free talk, you get even more free Crunch tickets if you attend! [Local SYR]

“We can’t treat concussion only in a clinic, we have to be out in the community educating people. Like I said if we don’t know a concussion occurs we can’t treat it. A lot of my recommendations are things parents or teachers or coaches need to know. That’s often as important as any medication or therapy.” Dr. Brian Rieger, Director of the Upstate Concussion Center says.

Injuries continue to hamper the Crunch Dennis Yan, Michael Bournival, Jamie McBain, Ben Thomas, Reid McNeill and Erik Cernak are all injured., At least they have Olivier Archembault! [Syracuse]

Bournival incurred a lower body injury against Laval on Saturday and had to be helped off the ice. His full status has not yet been cleared up but he could be out long-term.

Defenseman Ben Thomas, also injured against Laval, was scheduled to partake in a skills session Wednesday afternoon. His status will be assessed after that.

The Game

Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda tragically lost their unborn child on Tuesday, his name was Axel. [press release]

The NHL is implementing a new rule for goalie interference in time for the playoffs, the salary cap is going up, LTIR, Vegas, Seattle, and more out of the GM Meetings in Florida. [Sportsnet]

Any GM facing a cap crunch left the Boca Beach Club feeling a little better about his situation. The NHL is projecting that the upper limit of next year’s salary cap will fall between $78 million and $82 million.

That’s a nice jump from the $75 million in effect this season.

Highlight of the Night: Like the Pittsburgh Penguins twitter account says, Sidney F-ing Crosby.