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Quick Strikes: Lightning lose, Mikhail Sergachev fined, Jan Rutta’s place

Good morning! Here’s your daily dose of hockey news to read while you sip your drink of choice.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was fined by the NHL yesterday for a cross-check on Buffalo’s Johan Larsson. The offense came during Saturday night’s game in Buffalo. Sergachev and Larsson weren’t exactly getting along during the game.

That Buffalo game sure featured a lot of x’s and o’s.

The dust has settled on the Lightning’s trade with Chicago that took place Friday night, one that sent Slater Koekkoek to the Blackhawks organization in exchange for defenseman Jan Rutta. Rutta is expected to spend most of the rest of the season with Syracuse (he’s currently day-to-day with an injury). Yesterday, Geo put together his thoughts on Rutta’s potential future within the Bolts organization.

But the Lightning will have an opportunity to watch Rutta in the AHL for the rest of the season and get to know him. I think at some point, we could also see him in Tampa this season as the rest rotation continues and with the ever present threat of an injury. Since he has cleared waivers, he can be recalled and spend up to 30 cumulative days or 10 NHL games played, whichever comes first, before requiring waivers again. As we come down the stretch, if the Lightning are still comfortably in their playoff position, we could easily see Rutta come up and play a handful of games in the last couple weeks of the season even if there are no injuries.

The Lightning were in New York last night, facing the Islanders. Both teams were playing their second game in two days, so the game was a bit of a question mark in terms of how the effort was going to go. Game day started with the news that the Lightning were resting a trio of players: Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Danick Martel.

Here’s a further explanation of Callahan’s scratch:

Uh, speaking of that whole effort question mark...The Lightning lost the game 5-1.

The bigger news of the game was the injury to Victor Hedman. The defenseman was hurt colliding with an official during the game, left, and did not return. Originally fans were worried about a concussion, but coach Jon Cooper told the media Hedman didn’t go through concussion protocol.

Nikita Kucherov is good, y’all.

The Syracuse Crunch has found themselves in a bit of a slump. The AHL team lost their fourth game in a row Saturday night. Justin addressed the frustrations in his post-game recap.

Much like in their losses to Cleveland and Binghamton, the Crunch did a lot of good things against the Comets. They just didn’t do enough of them, and when they were able to string a few chances together, goaltender Ivan Kulbakov was there to turn them aside.

Organizational forward Cory Conacher posted an exciting update to his Twitter yesterday. Conacher has Type 1 diabetes, and has used different methods over the seasons to help balance his sugar with his athletic lifestyle. He has found some new technology to assist him.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Trevor Moore to a two-year contract extension yesterday. Moore originally signed with Toronto as a free agent on July 26, 2016.

Although he retired as New York Ranger, Rick Nash started his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was drafted by them and spent half of his professional playing career with them. Columbus was, perfectly enough, playing the Rangers last night, and the pre-game festivities featured a touching tribute to the forward.

Nash and his family was there to do the ceremonial puck drop, too.

The LA Kings had a very special guest in the booth Saturday night: Snoop Dog. It’s classic.

Fans going to the Boston Bruins game tonight are going to get a very neat poster at the door.

It’s time to start looking towards the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Apparently? Well, Kevin Power thinks so, anyway. He took a peak at those players who might fall beyond the coveted top two positions.

Although World Juniors has been over a bit now, some reflections are still coming in across the net. Yesterday, Elite Prospects covered Sweden’s disappointing exit and how it reflects lack of offensive depth.

After the win over USA, Sweden got in trouble when five players were hit by a stomach flu and needed to be quarantined, including some team leaders. In the last group game Sweden had an unimpressive win over Kazakhstan playing with only three lines. It set them back prior to the quarterfinal and they played poorly against Switzerland. The underdog Swiss didn’t just win with a heroic defense and goalie, they also created the best scoring chances and even led the shot clock after two periods. Sweden played better in the third but could not score, losing 2 – 0 in their first quarterfinal loss since 2006, which also happens to be the last time the tournament was held in Vancouver.