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Quick Strikes: Welcome to a new season!

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It’s that time of the year again!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL - SEPT. 26: Goaltender Curtis McEhinney #35 of the Tampa Bay Lightning defends the net with the help of teammate Kevin Shattenkirk #22 against Frank Vatrano #77 of the Florida Panthersat the BB&T Center on September 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The Bolts

The wait is over, it’s time to drop the puck tonight at 7pm ET. The only thing that matters from now on is hockey and the championship. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, their first roadblock comes in the form of the Atlantic Division. At least, the contenders. [Raw Charge]

The hype train for Toronto continues for another season. This time they might be able to live up to it. There’s no argument that Toronto isn’t a good team—far from it. It’s more so that the Maple Leafs have done little to supplement the talent they have with success. Sure, they’ve won games and hit 100 points consecutively for the first time in franchise history, but they’ve been unable to defeat any playoff opponent in three seasons, leading to a playoff series win drought that dates back to 2004, and have been ousted by their biggest rival two years in a row. It’s time for the Leafs to do something with their talent.

The Bolts lineup isn’t perfect, with a few players — okay, Brayden Point — rehabbing injury, but for opening night, the team should have Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman at full strength. The season is a marathon, not a sprint, please no one play hurt.

Here is the full roster for opening night, including one extra defenseman. The NHL announced opening night rosters for the whole league, you can find all the lists in the link below (or to the right). [NHL dot com]

The Syracuse Crunch are an integral part of the Tampa bay Lightning and why they are the runaway best team in the NHL. 15 graduates on a 23-man roster acquired from a variety of means. Draft, trade, pro and amateur free agency, college. It is truly an impressive list.

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have launched a video gaming series for a variety of games throughout the year. [NHL dot com]

Throughout the series, players will accumulate points for competing and placing in monthly tournaments. One grand prize winner after all seven tournaments have concluded will be crowned the Bolts Gamer of the Year and win a year’s supply of Mountain Dew Game Fuel and a Fly Away trip including airfare and hotel to the NHL’s Gaming World Championship in Las Vegas in June of 2020.

BOLTS PUP MAKES ANOTHER APPEARANCE. Joe says the dog owes him a fine for stepping on the Bolts logo. If Bolt has to pay the fine we riot.

The NHL twitter accounts had a very funny exchange with each other in a thread yesterday. They should really have a group chat haha.

Bolts podcast episode 5 is out!

The Prospects

Justin has previewed the 2019-20 defense for the Syracuse Crunch yesterday. Forwards coming soon. What are your thoughts on the farm team’s depth? They seem like a great bunch of guys. [Raw Charge]

Let’s get this out of the way right now: I friggin’ love this defense. It is my favorite non-Boris Katchouk part of the Crunch. Not to go all Stefon on you, but this blue line has everything: size, breakout ability, puck-handling, Ben Thomas, offense. It’s also the perfect blend of experienced veterans and young players that are almost ready to take the next step to the NHL.

Media day fun! Cheers on a good season, Solar Bears!

The Game

Asur Art painted this incredible piece depicting players from all 31 teams in a college lecture getting schooled by Ryan O’Reilly and the Stanley Cup. That will be someone different this season! I swear it!

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced a new captain. John Tavares. The video showing the moment where he found out is extremely adorable. Gosh, he is so boring, how can someone be that mellow!? Don’t answer that, Canada.

Our friendly friends at PPP also shared their predictions on the new season. some had some very nice things to say about the Lightning, if I say so myself! [Pension Plan Puppets]

What non-Leafs thing do you yearn for with your whole heart?

Hardev: For Vancouver to give Tampa Bay a lottery pick in 2021.

No Uber?

Patrick is always top notch in his prospect evaluation. Check out his top-six prospects in the AHL to watch this season!

Highlight of the Night: Don’t send an adult to do a kid’s job!