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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov injured in Lightning’s 3-2 to loss to Panthers

The team say Kucherov has a lower body injury and didn’t return to the game for precautionary reasons.

NHL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Headline

The Tampa Bay Lightning were leading 2-0 heading into the third period against the Florida Panthers, but three straight goals from the Cats in the span of 10 minutes ultimately did the Bolts in.

Andrei Vasilevskiy took home the “L” after letting in three goals on 12 shots in the third period after what was a stellar first 40 minutes where he stopped all 16 shots he faced. Adam Erne and Alex Killorn scored the goals for the Lightning, while Brayden Point and Erik Cernak both shared the team lead in shots on goal over the game with four.

However, the big story from last night’s game was the disappearance of Nikita Kucherov.

There’s no video readily available for us to really see if he was hit weirdly or if the injury came from something else, but the Lightning organization across the board feel like Kuch will be just fine and that taking him out of the game was purely precautionary.

You can watch the full press conference here, and read more about the game in the Lightning Journal below.

I laughed when Cooper said, “Maybe we’re not in shape,” but then I thought about it for a second and got a little nervous. Maybe he didn’t realize? Ah, well.

Check out this great picture of Steven Stamkos from last night:

The Syracuse Crunch got their training camp going yesterday. The camp is taking place on the Syracuse University campus because of the ongoing improvement projects at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

Other Lightning News

It was reported during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s fan fest that their owner, Jeff Vinik, is pushing for an outdoor game. Nick Kelly got more information on Vinik’s latest quest. Kelly also covered the Lightning’s new ECHL affiliate, the Olrando Solar Bears, among other topics. [Tampa Bay Times]

It might sound crazy to have an outdoor ice rink in Florida, but Vinik thinks Tampa can host an NHL game outside. The game would likely be played in the middle of February, a time in which Vinik said there’s only about a 5 to 10 percent chance that weather would be problematic.

The Lightning’s preseason is almost done, so here’s another preview of the upcoming regular season. [The Hockey Writers]

The days of paying lip service to their role as preseason favorites are over. It’s time to take action, putting to rest any chatter that they are the new Washington Capitals: an uber-talented team that struggles when it counts most in the playoffs.

Could win the Hart this season? According to Matt Larkin...maybe! [The Hockey News]

Oh, my heart.

Are you local to the area? Get your picture with this great...thing! (Can I call it an ad? I guess it’s an ad.)

Other Crunch News

The Syracuse Crunch is gearing up for their “Welcome to Town” event, an event that, ironically given its name, doesn’t actually take place in Syracuse but is certainly valuable anyway:

Old school Crunch’er Tyson Nash loved the team’s countdown graphic yesterday, and shared the love on his Twitter:

The Solar Bears

Don’t forget that the Orlando Solar Bears are hosting a Lightning preseason game tomorrow night!

The Solar Bears announced a signing and a trade yesterday: forward Christophe Lalancette was signed after acquiring his rights from the Tulsa Oilers in exchange for forward Kyle Rankin. [Orlando Solar Bears Hockey]

Marc LeFebvre is the Solar Bears’ new assistant coach:

Kraft Hockeyville

Clinton, NY was the winner of the Kraft Hockeyville contest, and locals were pumped for the invasion of two NHL teams. The Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets took to the ice last night.

The “Other News” Section

The Ottawa Senators placed Zack Smith on waivers.

More on this story can be found over at Silver Sens.

About the San Jose Sharks’ defense? They good. [ESPN]

This group would have already been high on the list, headlined by Brent Burns and the perpetually underrated Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Add two-time Norris winner Erik Karlsson? No team boasts a more talented trio.

Julius Honka of the Dallas Stars finally has some hope. [Defending Big D]

Can Juuso Riikola make the Penguins out of camp? Good question! [PensBurgh]

What should the Colorado Avalanche do with Martin Kaut? Also a good question! [Mile High Hockey]

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has designed an art piece for the Non-Violence Project Foundation.

Seattle has their arena. Now all they need is an NHL team to play there.

Fans come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes. When things aren’t going well, it’s okay to voice that. [Silver Sens]

So if you feel you fall into the so-called “vocal minority”, and that you can’t find a reason to be optimistic anymore, don’t give it a second thought. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re a bad fan.

You’re not.

Odds are you’re a damn good one. One that has rode the lows for so long that the highs are too few and too far between.

When you’re a fan of a team, you love them. When you love someone, you’re honest with them.

Some views around the American Hockey League as their training camps get underway:

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Training camps are in session. #IsItOctoberYet

A post shared by AHL (@theahl) on

The Color of Hockey Podcast has returned. Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr was their guest. [Color of Hockey]

“We had a lot of fun over the years, good, bad, and otherwise,” Fuhr said of his NHL career. “Most people don’t want their life up on the big movie screen, it took a little sell job on that. It’s fun to live your life, but it’s definitely different seeing up on the big screen.”

The ECHL has announced a partnership with Nickelodeon. The partnership will enable teams to host a “Nickelodeon Takeover Experience” at 26 home games throughout the league during the upcoming 2018-19 season. The Adirondack Thunder gets their chance on March 16.

Fans of the ECHL have a new Patreon to support if they so choose.

The Giggles

These entries don’t really need much explanation. Enjoy.

First up, moar Gritty. He’s totally what we all need at 7 AM before coffee.

Then there’s...this.

Ties, man. They were required.

I think we all know where the action is:

And a follow up: