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Quick Strikes: Jon Cooper will again coach Atlantic at the NHL All-Star Game

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It’s an Olympic Team USA preview with Cooper and Matthews, right??

New Jersey Devils v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Headline

It was inevitable, considering that the team coaches with the highest point percentage for their divisions would be selected, that this year’s Atlantic NHL All-Star Game shinny coach would be Jon Cooper. At a win percentage of .805, Cooper was a shoe-in. He’ll be working with fellow* American Auston Matthews, and here’s hoping Team USA takes a good look at how these two work together in advance of the 2020 Olympics, if the NHL lets the players go.

*OK yes Jon Cooper has dual citizenship but surely Team Canada already has a Mr. Babcock on call.

NHL announces head coaches for 2019 All-Star Game [Sporting News]

For the Eastern Conference, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper will head the Atlantic Division and Washington’s Todd Reirden will lead the Metropolitan.

In the Western Conference, Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice will serve as the bench boss for the Central Division while Calgary’s Bill Peters will steer the Pacific.

Bolts coach Jon Cooper headed to NHL All-Star Game [WFLA]

All-Star Weekend takes place Jan. 25 and 26 in San Jose, California.

And here’s one more about it.

The Bolts

Tampa lost to the San Jose Sharks, ending the point streak at 16. Nikita Kucherov also lost his point streak. [Raw Charge]

Tampa Bay lost. Despite leading the shot battle for much of the game, and being behind all night, they ended up behind in shot attempts (39-50) and shots (16-28). This was only the 11th time all season that the Bolts had given up more than 50 shot attempts in a game. They led the shot battle in one of those game, and are 8-2-1 when they do. They’ve been getting lucky a lot this year (thinks back to the Maple Leafs game), but luck wasn’t there in this one.

Eugene from THW wrote a nice piece about the rookies: Lightning Rookies Making an Immediate Impact [THW]

The second rookie who fought their way onto the Lightning’s opening night roster was Mathieu Joseph. Even though he led the Syracuse Crunch in scoring the year prior, Joseph was still seen as a bit of a longshot to make the team this season. Despite this, he quickly made his presence know throughout training camp and into the pre-season. By the start of the 2018-19 season, there was no doubt that speedy winger was ready to take on the NHL.

And Lauren of THW wrote a piece about the streak: Lightning Streak: Who’s Going to Stop Them? [THW]

Offense alone can’t win games though. The Lightning have been good enough defensively, evidenced by the fact every player but Stamkos has a positive plus-minus rating. The captain has found other ways to contribute however, as he’s seen time on the penalty kill and has won over 50 percent of his faceoffs. He’s shooting more too, something that has helped the team on this current run. A run that’s fun both to watch and be a part of.

From Sam at Hockeybuzz: Lightning Midseason Awards, Part II [Hockeybuzz]

The last time Tyler Johnson had a 30-goal season was in 2012-13. The only problem was that this was with the Syracuse Crunch! Since Johnson became an NHLer, the Spokane, Washington native has never collected more than 30 goals in a season. The closest he came was when he notched 72 points and 29 goals in his career-best year of 2014-15, the year the Lightning nearly won the Cup.

The Prospects

Justin’s recap!

The Game