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Quick Strikes: NHL Network ranks Victor Hedman Top Defenseman in the league

The Tampa Bay Lightning have the best defenseman in the league, sounds good to us!

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2018 NHL Awards - Press Room
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning poses with the James Norris Memorial Trophy given to the top defenseman in the press room at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

Reigning Norris Trophy winner and Tampa Bay Lightning pivot Victor Hedman tops the NHL Network’s list of the best defensemen in the NHL right now. Drew Doughty is number two, and Erik Karlsson sits at number three. The full list can be found below thanks to Twitter user Spin o Hockey. What do you think of their ranking? Let us know in the comments!

At the site, Igor Nikonov took it upon himself to share his favourite JustinG. article from this past season. I’m really glad my personaly favourite rticle of Justin’s made Igor’s list as well. [Raw Charge]

Some our readers criticized this article, calling it a clickbait. I just can’t agree with them. I think sometimes you need to see the situation from different angle, and adding in a dose of humor doesn’t hurt at all. While everyone is busy with calculating the cap hit and predicting upcoming trades, you can forgot that this is just a game. Justin did a great job of reminding us all of this.

The NHL’s national TV providers, NBC, are finally giving their national spotlight to the teams that deserve it. NBC has changed it’s strategy, finally realizing a sad Wednesday night Montreal vs. Boston game isn’t nearly as exciting as Tampa Bay and Nashville meeting up for a game that will leapfrog one team into the division lead. [USA Today]

“It’s a new world,” Sam Flood, president and executive producer of NBC and NBC Sports, told USA TODAY Sports. “We need to embrace and celebrate those teams more than we ever have before. It doesn’t take away from those great Pittsburgh-Philadelphia games and Bruins-Canadiens games. We will keep doing those, but we have to lean into some different matchups.”

“Sometimes I think, through no fault of anyone, we were looking at the ratings through a core group of teams,” Flood said. “Rivalry Night was successful but some of (the rivalries) don’t have the juice they once did when we started this 12 or 13 years ago.”

On a side note, I can’t believe it took them 12 or 13 years to figure that out. No one’s wanted to watch Toronto vs. Montreal or Detroit vs. Chicago in years.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie coach Jean Frantz allows kids to show off their stick handling skills, and teaches them to use it in a meaninful way at his summer hockey camp.

The Prospects

Uh, what’s going on here?

The Game

Arvind of PPP sought out to find the best offensive team in the NHL since the 2004-05 lockout. Before looking, how many times do you think the Lightning make the list? [Pension Plan Puppets]

In my opinion, the mark of a team or player is where they stand relative to their peers. If we assume that the overall talent level in the NHL is roughly constant over the course of the last 13 seasons (since the 2004 lockout), then it’s logical that the best offense is the one that outperforms other teams in goal scoring by the largest margin over that time span. This way, we iron out year-to-year idiosyncrasies in officiating, rule sets, and tactics, by only comparing teams to others who were in the same goal-scoring environment as them.

LGBTQ ally Georges Laraque dresses up in Drag and wins the Montreal Pride drag competition. [Out Sports]

It’s a powerful message Laraque is sending. This isn’t your typical “ally” issuing a press release and hoping everyone notices. This is a black former NHL player dressing in drag and participating in an LGBTQ “Pride” event. That is what a true ally looks like as he breaks down powerful barriers of gender and homophobia.

Who is an underrated Stanley Cup contender in the league right now? If you had to put in a bet right now for the league’s playoff champion, who would be the best value bet? [Sports Illustrated]

Washington will have to fend off the Lightning, a legit contender in the Eastern Conference, while the Golden Knights take the ice with some vengeance after falling to the Caps in the Stanley Cup Final. The Pens boast a 1-2 punch of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin down the middle, though the Maple Leafs instantly upgraded their lineup by adding prized free agent John Tavares to an up-and-coming lineup that features Auston Matthews.