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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning restart season on wrong foot

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and the NBCSN broadcast that went viral for all the wrong reasons...

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins
Jan 30, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) fight during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Pittsburgh won 4-2.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Last night, Kendall Coyne Schofield made her NHL on NBCSN debut, and everyone loved it. Pierre McGuire decided to be himself and also do some things, to a less warm reaction from Twitter. Oh, and the Tamp Bay Lightning lost 4-2 to the Pitttsburgh Penguins. [Raw Charge]

The one ray of light on this Wednesday Night of Torture where the Tampa Bay Lightning lost 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first game back from the Bye Week was Kendall Coyne Schofield, who made her NHL broadcasting debut on the NBCSN national broadcast. Don’t get me wrong, everything around her, including here coworkers, were especially cringe-worthy, but her smile and her absolute professionalism was a beacon of hope on an otherwise whitewashed night.

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changing the game.

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Lauren had more to say in an editorial she decided to write during the game. Things got pretty intense. [Raw Charge]

There was that appalling exchange during the pregame I mentioned earlier. She was asked a question about whether women’s hockey has defensemen who jump up into the rush. And perhaps the most cringeworthy (which is saying a lot) was McGuire’s comment about how he would “be [her] cage tonight” if the intensity of the play got too high. That came right after he compared a scuffle on the ice the physicality of USA-Canada’s gold medal game at the Olympics.

The Washington Post, among others, also wrote pieces on the Coyne Schofield/McGuire series of indicents. [Washington Post]

After contributing to the pregame coverage on NBC Sports Network’s “Wednesday Night Hockey,” Coyne Schofield joined McGuire at his familiar rink-side perch, between the benches, for the first period. McGuire got things off to a very questionable start by making a show of pointing out to her that “Tampa’s going to be on your left. Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right,” as if she wasn’t fully aware of that or couldn’t figure it out.

On a more positive note, even with a rough loss last night, the Lightning are still in good shape overall.

The Prospects

Trace was at the AHL All-Star weekend in Springfield and did a great rundown of the weekend’s affairs. Give it a look in case you missed anything that our Syracuse Crunch did. I especially liked the recap of the State of the League address. [Raw Charge]

-The current set up of 76 games for North, Atlantic, and Central teams, and 68 for Pacific teams, will remain in place for next year. The league would like to go to a universal 72 game schedule, but that change would require a 3⁄4 vote among the Board of Governors.

-Feedback for the new AHL TV service has been, to quote Andrews, “terrific.”

-Finally, for all of you that are into analytics:

This is a thoughtful commentary on #BellLetsTalk from Connor Ingram:

The Game

More on women’s hockey, namely what’s next? What can the leagues and fans of hockey do to help grow the game on the women’s side. Hailey Salvian has a great take over at The Athletic. [The Athletic]

This is really cute, Adler Mannheim of the DEL (Germany) asked for young fans to submit drawings, made custom jerseys with the artwork, and skated with them at warmups before a game. [Bar Down]

A trade! The Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils swapped a pair of players. One for one.

Finally, Dimitri Filipovic wrote a great thing at ESPN on how defensemen with high individual shot rates aren’t exactly helping their team as much as they think. [ESPN]

In the recent past, we’ve used this space to look at things like the best lines in hockey, the many advantages of riding shotgun alongside a true superstar and the effects of the Barry Trotz defensive system. This week, we’re going to focus in on defensemen by taking a look at the pros and cons of shooting the puck from the point, and the winners and losers of the Jake Muzzin trade. Any data referenced is mined from either Corsica or Natural Stat Trick.

Highlight of the Night: The Dallas Stars Twitter account.