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Quick Strikes: “There are no stupid jobs” — Georges Laraque

Wisdom for your Monday.

New Jersey Devils v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a bit of a break before Game 9 of the regular season, and already fans and writers alike are settling into soul-searching due to the team’s 4-3-1 record, good for fifth in the Atlantic, well behind the division-leading...Buffalo Sabres (7-1-1). Should the team freak out and fire the coach? Should everyone simply get “more intense” (whatever that means) in practice? Who knows, it’s only game 9. However, let’s read up on the speculation...

Here’s Bryan Burns’ post-practice piece: Lightning get back to work following honest assessment [Tampa Bay Lightning]

”I think we even made it clear at practice we need the work ethic to be a little higher during games and we worked hard today,” Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph said. “I think the guys really battled really hard. No one quit. Everyone kept going until the end. The ice was getting bad at the end and we still competed. I think that was a good practice for everyone.”

And here’s the Times’ one: Lightning go hard at practice after getting rolled by Avalanche [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

A hard practice was expected from the team. Sprints, battles for the puck along the boards and working the lines down the ice were all on the agenda. But coach Jon Cooper didn’t think his team brought an added intensity to Sunday’s practice.

“I’m not sure this practice is much different than the ones we’ve run in the last two weeks,” coach Jon Cooper said. “We’re working, and that’s what we have to do and it’s not going to stop.”

Did you miss Raw Charge’s Fan Post Sunday? One fan thinks that maybe it’s time to bump out Jon Cooper: A Fresh Voice is Needed [Raw Charge]

If the goal is to win the Stanley Cup, then a change of identity is needed.

That change should begin with a coaching change. That is not to say that Jon Cooper is not an outstanding coach. He is, but maybe a different approach from behind the bench is needed, and maybe Cooper isn’t the type of coach to change his approach.

Canada is still having fun picking apart last season’s playoff loss: Beyond Headlines: BOLTS’ BURDEN [Sportsnet]

In the autopsy of what went wrong during last year’s playoffs, some around the Lightning believe it was tied directly to how much went right for them in the regular season. That they lost their edge while barnstorming the league for six months.

”I think we got comfortable,” said goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. “Obviously we were good — everybody thinks [so]. That’s why we won the Presidents’ Trophy with 10 games left in the regular season. I think we kind of let ourselves go, kind of relaxed.

On the plus side, Cedric Paquette is returning any day now, and Luke Witkowski can return north:

Jon Cooper speaks of Shattenkirk:

The Prospects

Cameron Gaunce reflects on a losing opening game: “Too many guys are trying to do too many things, and there’s too much indecisiveness in our on zone on the rush.”

The Game

The Leafs played in Boston and, quelle surprise, there were a few words from Mike Babcock about the officiating.

Froese Reflects on His Pro Hockey Career [Pembina Valley Online]

The 28-year-old Winkler product was chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks and since 2015 has been signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning, dealt to the Montreal Canadiens, acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers and this past July signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Calgary Flames worth $700,000.

Go Flyers go?

Brian Boyle is a Panther. :(


And finally, this man’s grace makes me feel good about humanity: