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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning welcome Congressional Medal of Honor recipients

And the Pittsburgh Penguins, of course.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Finally, GAME NIGHT. Last we saw the Tampa Bay Lightning, they were being curbstomped by the Colorado Avalanche in a stinker of a game. Since then, Jon Cooper has been retooling his lines, coming out with an interesting look yesterday in advance of tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins just lost in Sunrise, and probably would like a victory tonight. WELL get in line.

Various media outlets would like to remind us that Sidney Crosby plays on the Penguins. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby brings a challenge to the Lightning [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

Crosby has never averaged under a point per game. In 2010-11 (of one his injury-shortened seasons), he had 66 points in 41 games. If he’d been able to maintain that pace and played a full season, his 132 points would have passed what Nikita Kucherov did last year.

This article addresses the “but who would replace him if he’s fired” question: Tampa Bay Lightning: Is Jon Cooper on the hot seat after poor start? [Puck Prose]

In those 17 games since the extension, Tampa has shot over 30 times in a game just seven times, losing four of them. They have also only out-shot opponents in seven games, winning just two of those games.

With all that in mind, is it time to let go of Cooper? Surely, if he were to be fired, it would speed up the process of firing coaches across the league, especially for a team like New Jersey with their head coach John Hynes.

Lightning Mailbag, Part 2: Who is the odd man out when Cedric Paquette returns? [The Athletic, paid content]

Judging from line combinations at Tuesday’s practice, it looks like Witkowski will remain in the lineup, at least for Wednesday’s game against the Penguins. Verhaeghe, a rookie, is probably going to be a healthy scratch. But this could be a case where the two take turns as the 12th and 13th forwards, potentially based on matchups and how the team is playing.

Amalie Arena has invited Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to tonight’s game:

Reception, Concert Kick Off 2019 Medal of Honor Convention [Bay News 9]

Forty seven of the 70 living MOH recipients are expected to attend the convention in Tampa. This will be the largest gathering of Medal of Honor recipients since the 70s.

There is now a podcast featuring Dan Girardi, called “Block Party with Dan Girardi,” hosted by the team. It’s announced via Seth Kushner’s video, here:

The Prospects

In case you missed it, Justin published Crunch Corner yesterday for week 3:

Crunch Corner Week Three: Things could have gone better [Raw Charge]

That seemed to be the trend for the week. The goaltender would make a save, the defense would fail to clear the zone and then Utica or Charlotte would take advantage of their second chance and score. Then they would score again, and again. For the rest of the night the Crunch would be chasing the game instead of dictating play.

The Syracuse Crunch have released Luc Snuggerud from his PTO:

Sammy Walker was given second star honors in the big 10 last week:

The Game

Magnus Pääjärvi Svensson is now with Lokomotiv:

And speaking of the KHL:

KHL coach fined for threat to burn ref’s car [ESPN]

The Kontinental Hockey League fined Amur Khabarovsk 300,000 rubles ($4,700) after coach Alexander Gulyavtsev shouted “I’m going to set fire to your car in Perm,” a reference to the Russian city where both he and referee Viktor Gashilov are from.

Wanna stay current on hockey events...50 years ago? Here’s the podcast for you!

Surrounded By Family, Travis Morin Sends Jersey to the Rafters [100 Degree Hockey]

Every single time Morin had a chance to jump somewhere else in the league, he didn’t. He has talked about how he wanted to be comfortable and felt like being comfortable would lead him to play his best hockey. And that’s clearly true, as he retired being the Stars leader in games played, goals, assists, and points (in both playoffs and regular season), leading the team in scoring in five of his ten seasons.

Best of luck to Dale Hawerchuk on a new kind of battle:

This is awesome and a huge step forward for growing the game, especially in our neck of the woods:

Let’s end on an even better note: