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Quick Strikes: Dan Girardi pens a personal account

Girardi’s story and more!

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

tampabaylightning.com has started a series where Tampa Bay Lightning players pen their first-hand account of a moment from the 2017-18 season. Defenseman Dan Girardi started things off with his first-hand account of the puck he took to the neck at Little Caesar’s Arena in January [Tampa Bay Lightning]:

‘When the play happened, you can kind of read it coming. When it goes to the top, usually it’s not a one-timer. It’s going right to the guy on the flank. I try to read that so I’m in the right spot. Obviously, I was in the right spot but maybe the shot got away from him a little bit, I don’t know. He’s trying to shoot top corner. Usually, I’m kind of getting it in the leg or the back, the hip, something like that. But that one just went real high.’

The Prospects

Raw Charge’s own Top 25 Under 25 countdown reached #15 yesterday: Syracuse Crunch defenseman Dominik Masin. [Raw Charge]

Masin’s counting stats may not look great, but after taking into account his deployment and usage, there is a really impressive prospect who did a lot of great things for his team. It was only his second season in the AHL, but Masin was tasked with a heavy defensive responsibility for a top-4 team in the league. Not only did he survive, but he quietly thrived, producing well in the limited offensive minutes he was given for what would end up being the best regular season team in terms of standings points in the Crunch’s 25-year history.

The Sport

Syracuse Crunch COO Jim Sarosy has teamed up with Vegas Knights’ forward and Central New York native Alex Tuch for a fundraising initiative in Syracuse this Thursday:

Knights’ forward Jonathan Marchessault continues his record of spearheading charity work for his local Quebec City, this time for “the fondation ‘le petit blanchon.’” Be sure to view more on Instagram, as there’s some familiar faces in the last photo.

Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues and his wife welcomed triplets into the world. Congratulations to Alex and Jayne!

Off season 2018 has been a summer of “what if’s” and guesses about what’s going on behind the scenes (some more accurate than others). Here’s another one for you: Does the Toronto Maple Leafs have interest in Brandon Montour of the Anaheim Ducks? [Editor In Leaf]

Unfortunately for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montour won’t come cheap. Montour has only played one full season in the NHL and has a lot of potential. This means that Dubas might have to part with a few prospects and/or picks to land him.

The New Jersey Devils have promoted Rick Kowalsky to assistant coach. Kowalsky was the head coach of AHL Binghamton. [Binghamton Devils]

Kowalsky, 46, just completed his eighth season as head coach of the AHL Devils (Albany, Binghamton). He led the franchise to back-to-back playoff berths in 2015-16 and 2016-17. In 2015-16, the club had its most successful season to date, with 46 wins and 102 points, earning him the AHL Coach of the Year Award. Over his AHL coaching career, he has a record of 281 wins, 249 losses and 82 overtime/shootout losses in 612 games.

The promotion of Kowalsky to the NHL continues the trend of coaching changes in the AHL:

Players like Andrew Nielsen, Kasmir Kaskisuo (sorry, Hardev), and Riley Stotts just didn’t get enough votes on the Top 25 Under 25 for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospects. [Pension Plan Puppets]

With 46 players to sort, research and vote on, and ten people voting, we won’t have a consensus 25 players that everyone votes for. Some will end up just missing the cut or only feeling love from one voter.

Forward Rich Clune has re-signed with the Toronto Marlies, AHL farm club of the Maple Leafs. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Rich Clune suited up for about half of the Marlies regular season games this year, chipping in four points (1G, 3A). Seen as a goon when he was first brought in, Clune has still been playing rough, but has cut his penalty minutes in half since his debut season.

Ryan Warsofsky has been hired as the assistant coach of the Charlotte Checkers, AHL farm club of the Carolina Hurricanes. [Carolina Hurricanes]

Warsofsky, 30, spent the last two seasons as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.

Poor Jacob Ingham - forever being mistaken for Jacob Ingram and/or Connor Ingham.

Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki still has a long road ahead of him, but he’s seeing some exciting signs of recovery - and is looking at a more vigorous physical therapy program because of it. [CTV News]

‘I realized I’ve got some movement back in my core muscles. They’re pretty weak but they’re getting back so I’m pretty excited.’