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Quick Strikes: So you’re telling me there’s a chance

There’s still hope for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Two
Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning is interviewed during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 13, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

All hope feels lost for the Tampa Bay Lightning but there are ways to make noticeable changes. [Raw Charge]

I don’t know what else to do to shake up the team. Jon Cooper could go to 11 forwards and seven defensemen to shake things up. He could maybe bench one of the top nine and bring in someone like Cory Conacher or Matthew Peca to provide a spark. One thing I’ll say is that Cooper shouldn’t touch the fourth line.

The team needs a reset, and going on the road is the perfect way to do so. [CBC]

“For us, it’s all about resetting everything,” defenceman Victor Hedman said Monday. “There’s no panic. We’re obviously not happy with losing two games on home ice, but that is not something that goes into our locker room. We’ve got the experience. We’ve got the guys that are in the playoffs for the first time, guys have been through this, and we’re capable of handling that.”

Despite giving up 10 goals in two games, Andrei Vasilevskiy is still our starter. [NHL dot com]

“No, he’s our guy,” Cooper said. “The chances we’re giving up, it’s the five-man unit in front of him. You got to feel for him. If you have a choice for the guy you’re throwing over the boards first in any situation it’s Vasilevskiy. He’s not been our issue.”

And help is on it’s way!

The Prospects

The Adirondack Thunder is the only team remaining with Lightning prospects on it. Lightning and Thunder, ammirite! [Raw Charge]

For the first time since 1992, an Adirondack team has made it past their league’s playoff second round. In ‘92, the AHL Adirondack Red Wings swept the Springfield Indians in four straight in the North Division Finals, earning them a bye in the Calder Cup Final. That season, the team with the highest regular season points total among the three division final winners skipped the semifinal round. That squad earned Adirondack their last Calder Cup title.

To translate, Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk led the OHL in playoff scoring this year. Yes, both of them.

The Game

The Vegas Golden Knights stole Game 2 in Winnipeg after losing 5-1 in Game 1. So you’re telling me there’s a chance [Sportsnet]

The biggest reason this Western Conference final is knotted up as we head for Sin City is that Fleury held the fort. It wasn’t a work of art. He often had to battle for positioning in the crease during a 30-save performance that included some help from his posts – something Flower acknowledged by gently patting the iron after Andrew Copp had him beat in the second period.

The most popular hockey article at SBN for the third day running. [Arctic Ice Hockey]

Of the four remaining teams, one thing media, especially in Canada, love to talk about is how the Cup gets passed around. Steve Dangle breaks it all down! [Sportsnet]

The obvious choice might be Nikita Kucherov with the monstrous season he has had. As Jesse Blake pointed out on the Steve Dangle Podcast however, Victor Hedman is a great choice, too. Remember when the Lightning sucked? Well, they used to. As a result, Stamkos went first overall in 2008 and Hedman second overall in 2009. Steve Yzerman has built an excellent team around them but those two are the foundation the Lightning are built on. Hedman would be a perfect first pass.

Our lovely extragalactic wrote a translation on Nikita Zaitsev for Pension Plan Puppets! [Pension Plan Puppets]

Zaitsev: There are special people in the NHL who are paid very good money—they make sure your equipment is all right. The blocker was there, but it shattered; there are no everlasting materials. In Russia, everyone begins saying these things, that it’s your fault, that you didn’t put something on. In the NHL, it’s all watched carefully.

Highlight of the Night: The Marche-show!