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Quick Strikes: Hedman passes Kubina for most games played as a Lightning defenseman

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What have you done 663 consecutive times?

NHL: NHL Awards and Expansion Draft Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Headline

Or should I say, Hedline? Congrats to Victor Hedman for making a huge, positive mark on the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise. From his debut in the 2009-2010 season until now, nearly a decade and 663 games later, Hedman has done nothing but quietly, steadily creep up the charts of hockey greatness.

After hitting one high-water mark in 2013-14 with 55 points on the season, 2016-17 was a career season for him, seeing him earn 72 points in 79 games played — nearly a point-per-game pace. And he isn’t so shabby this season, either. The team wouldn’t be the same without its left-shooting Argonath, and we are lucky to be fans of the team in these days of greatness.

The Bolts

The Lightning played a fun one against the Hurricanes last night. They struggled in the first period but gained steam as the game progressed and eventually completed the comeback scoring three goals in the third period to take both points.

Brayden Point, three points. Steven Stamkos, two points. Lightning, 70 points. This team does nothing but accumulate points like few teams have in NHL history. Also, Kucherov had a point this evening—he’s now at 72 in 43 which is on pace for 137 points. Let that sink in for a moment—137. If he hits that it would be the most in a single season since Sidney Crosby scored 120 in the 2006-2007 season.

Is there a case for Jon Cooper to be a Jack Adams candidate? Puck Prose thinks so.

I’ll be surprised if Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning is taken seriously as a Jack Adams candidate. However, he’s extremely deserving because all the guy has done throughout his career is get the most out of his guys.

Guess who makes this list? Fantasy hockey’s underrated power-play performers [ESPN]

Ondrej Palat, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (2.2 percent): We’d be remiss to not mention at least one available skater from the league’s hottest offense and power play. Though he hasn’t contributed much tangible to date, Palat remains a persistent threat as member of a Tampa Bay top unit that also includes Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. If your fantasy roster has holes, he could be worth a flier. When healthy, the 27-year-old has contributed handsomely in the past.

I guess there’s a case for this? (Listen, it was a slow news day yesterday.) NHL Rumors: Philadelphia Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds [My NHL Traed Rumores]

I would say if you’re going to look for one little area to say, ‘Well, I think when the playoffs got tough last year, they could have used a little more muscle’ – Wayne Simmonds on Tampa is a scary proposition.”

Eugene’s weekly news roundup at THW:

To put it bluntly, if the Lightning are able to score five goals-per-game, few teams in the NHL will be able to keep pace with them. As we have seen this season, they can lose their starting goaltender or a top defenseman to an injury and just keep winning games by outscoring the opponent. Will this incredible scoring pace keep up all season? Likely not. But there’s no reason to believe that they won’t continue being the top scoring team the rest of the season.

The Prospects

What are this week’s AHL power rankings and where do the Syracuse Crunch fall? I’m glad you asked. [EP Rinkside]

A significant test – a visit from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this past Friday – came the Crunch’s way, and they passed it. They held Bridgeport to 20 shots in a 3-1 win. The following night on Syracuse ice featured a rare dud from the Crunch, a 5-2 loss to the Marlies. The Crunch have feasted on the power play, and they went 4-for-12 on the man-advantage in the weekend’s two games. That has the Syracuse power play atop the AHL at 26.1 percent. Their penalty kill is 10th in the AHL as well.

The Game

Apparently the game against Tampa helped him get some notice off on the west coast: Sharks’ Karlsson Enters the Hart Conversation [THW]

The Sharks have gone from a playoff team holding onto a fringe spot to one of the league’s elite. They look like a genuine Stanley Cup contender. Nothing cemented that more than the Sharks’ 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that entered the Jan. 6 game on a 15-0-1 streak. The team has transformed and Karlsson is the primary reason.

This is probably the most-linked-to article at SB Nation today and I’m not even going to apologize: Hockey players have big butts, and they cannot lie [ESPN]

”Can it be hard for me to find pants? Yes, always,” McDavid says. “The waist, you need to get around your thighs and butt, but that doesn’t always match how tall you are. I definitely have a hard time finding jeans that fit.”

This…is odd:

And this…is also odd: Frustration boils over for Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche [Mile High Hockey]

This definitely isn’t something fans want to see during a game, but in fairness to MacKinnon, his line has been carrying the team for a season and a half so if the losses are starting to wear on him it’s completely understandable.

But this…is free!

And this is good?

This is definitely good:

And to send you off with a smile, this is sweet: