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Quick Strikes: Watching the Montreal Canadiens Crash and Burn

Featuring Tyler Seguin, Henrik Zetterberg, and the Dropkick Murphys!

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
Brayden Point #21 and Mikhail Sergachev #98 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal as Jonathan Drouin #92 and Alex Galchenyuk #27 of the Montreal Canadiens react during the third period at Amalie Arena on December 28, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

It’s always fun to walk back along memory lane and remember some of the lesser-used numbers in Tampa Bay Lightning history. I always have time to read about Pavel Kubina. [Raw Charge]

His style of play was way more physical than what Lightning fans are used to seeing out of their defensemen these days. He excelled in blocking shots and knocking players off of the puck. And despite not being offensive-minded, he still had enough skill and awareness to run the point on a power play if needed. He was a steady all-around defender that was the backbone of the Stanley Cup team.

Victor Hedman told the story of his petrifying NHL Awards speech followed by a nice recap of his summer in the Lightning’s most recent edition of “In Their Own Words.” [NHL dot com]

I thought I had a decent chance to win the award. You know you’re there for a reason. One of three guys there is winning it. Going into this year, you never know. You try to play your best hockey throughout the year, and to get recognized as one of the top three defensemen of the season is a big honor. Just to be there is very special. Obviously, a lot more fun this year being able to win the trophy. It was a great honor. To be the first guy in Lightning history to win it is very special to me. I’m the third Swede [joining Erik Karlsson and Nicklas Lidstrom], so I’m in some great company and it’s something I’m very proud of and something that really hasn’t sunken in yet. It’s still pretty surreal I came away winning the trophy.

Sportsnet is ranking the Top 100 players in the NHL right now (that’ll go well!) and they have currently released the first 70 names. Brayden Point cracked the top-80, in the ballpark of players like Rickard Rakell, Ryan O’Reilly, and Sean Monahan at #72. Andrei Vasilevskiy cracked the top-50, coming in at #46, he was one place ahead of Carey Price and a fair bit behind the next goalie ranked in Braden Holtby. You can find the two parts of the list so far below, and videos of the choices on Youtube.

(Unofficially official) managing editor Loserpoints joined Toronto’s Back to Excited podcast to talk about the Lightning, Boston Bruins, the entire Atlantic Division, and how it affects the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s a great listen top to bottom and the guys have a lot of fun ripping on the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. Also there’s a Detroit Red Wings zinger that I particularly love. You’ll know when you hear it. [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Prospects

WHO’S READY FOR SOME AHL PRESEASON HOCKEY DATES! I KNOW I AM! Gosh, I needed hockey back yesterday. [Raw Charge]

The Crunch will then face the Toronto Marlies during their second and final preseason game. Toronto, of course, was the team that booted Syracuse from the Calder Cup playoffs last spring, which was apt payback for the Crunch seeing them to the door in 2017. The Marlies went on to win the Calder Cup, beating out the Texas Stars this past June. Given how close to the start of the AHL regular season this game is, it should be a fun(?) reunion for two teams that probably still don’t like each other much.

Dropkick Murphys played at the New York State Fair and repped our favourite team from the region. I tell you, I always loved their music, no doubt about that.

The Orlando Solar Bears have signed forward Dylan Fitze to an ECHL contract for the upcoming 2018-19 season. [Orlando Solar Bears]

Fitze, 25, begins his professional career after spending the past five years playing for Laurentian University. During the 2017-18 season, Fitze recorded 19 points (9g-10a) and 38 penalty minutes in 26 games. In 129 career games for the Voyageurs program, he generated 73 points (41g-32a) and 248 penalty minutes.

Before beginning his university career, the Peterborough, Ontario native played major junior hockey for the Peterborough Petes and Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, amassing 15 points (6g-9a) and 44 penalty minutes in 70 games.

The Game

Lots of news coming out of the NHL yesterday. Let’s get the boring part out of the way first: Brandon Davidson has (reportedly) signed an PTO with the Chicago Blackhawks. Fun. [Second City Hockey]

After signing his first professional contract with the Oilers in 2012, Davidson was diagnosed with testicular cancer during a routine physical. He made a full recovery to play the next season, and was awarded the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for his sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Max Pacioretty unlikely to sign a long-term contract with the Canadiens. [Sportsnet]

It’s a fact Pacioretty seems resigned to, one that had him wrestling with the decision to host his third annual golf tournament on Tuesday. That’s why invitations to the event — not just those to Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, general manager Marc Bergevin and head coach Claude Julien — weren’t sent out until just 14 days ago.

Tyler Seguin is “disappointed” regarding contract talks with the Dallas Stars. WHAT?!@! [Defending Big D]

Your reaction to this report is probably pretty close to an angry panic. (Pangry?) And, well, you’re forgiven. These are the times that try our souls. Also the playoffs. And the lack of the playoffs. Those times also.

But still, what’s the holdup here? Extensions, after all, aren’t about trade pieces or term. The Stars want Seguin for as long as they can get him, and Seguin wants money commensurate with his performance as one of the best players in the NHL who just scored 40 goals at age 26 on a team that hasn’t given him as many playoff runs as he’d have hoped.

The Red Wings have been dropping hints at Henrik Zetterberg’s demise — probably in a mission to make themselves feel justified in LTIR-ing him — for some time now. Yesterday, it came out that he won’t be ready for camp. [Winging it in Motown]

“I haven’t been able to practice as usual during summer, so I will miss camp and the start of the season”

“At the moment I am doing rehab here in Detroit”

“It is nothing good with my back, since the operation I made back in 2014 after the Olympics it has been problems”