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Quick Strikes: Lightning reportedly call up Alex Volkov amid slew of injuries following loss to Rangers

Last night’s game had a little too much going on.

NHL: SEP 20 Preseason - Predators at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bolts

The Lightning lost 4-1 to the Rangers last night in a game that wasn’t much fun to watch. In addition to getting outplayed, the Bolts also lost Victor Hedman and Pat Maroon to injuries. They join Anthony Cirelli as listed day to day heading into tonight’s game against the Devils.

This was not a fun game to watch for Lightning fans. The Rangers got over 60% of the expected goals. Considering they’ve been hovering around the 40% mark all season, the Lightning can’t feel good about that. They got outplayed by a team that hasn’t been able to outplay nearly anyone.

But on the flip side, the Lightning were missing Cirelli tonight, lost Maroon in the opening minutes, and then lost Victor Hedman for the final two periods. Those are far from ideal circumstances. Even so, it seems like the remaining players should have been able to come up with a better showing than this against one of the worst teams in the league.

Because of all the injuries, it appears the Lightning are going to recall Alex Volkov for tonight’s game in New Jersey. Volkov’s agent Dan Milstein posted the news on Twitter late last night. The young winger appeared to have a good chance to make the team out of training camp but suffered an unfortunately injury late in the preseason. If both Cirelli and Maroon still aren’t able to play, expect Volkov to draw into the lineup and play somewhere in the bottom six.

Dan Girardi dropped the puck last night at Madison Square Garden, but before he did, he said a few words to his former team.

Here’s a nice piece about his retirement: Former Lightning Dan Girardi recognized by Rangers [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

In another slight twist on the usual, it was not Lightning captain Steven Stamkos who took the ceremonial faceoff, but alternate captain Ryan McDonagh, with whom Girardi played in both New York and Tampa Bay. Chris Kreider took the faceoff for the Rangers.

Girardi also said a few words that Joe Smith transcribed, Player’s Tribune style: Dan Girardi: An open letter to New York Rangers fans [The Athletic, paid content]

Once that happened, it really sparked something in me. I had a really good fire in me that summer, and as soon as the Lightning came calling, it was a no-brainer where I was going to go. They had beaten us in the ’15 Eastern Conference final, and they had a really good team. When we almost made the Cup final in my first year, I knew I made the right decision. I knew what I had in Tampa. I knew I could just be myself and not do anything crazy, make a good first pass, defend, help the penalty kill. I feel I made a nice little mark in my two years in Tampa. It was a really fun two years.

Forget last night, what about tonight? North Jersey dot com speculates about why Nikita Gusev is being scratched: Why the NJ Devils are scratching prized offseason acquisition Nikita Gusev [NJ.com]

“We think he can just take a break here for a second and work on some things in practice, give him a chance to see the game,” coach John Hynes said Tuesday after the team practiced at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House. “Sometimes you see things like you have more time and space than when you’re actually playing all the time and it’s just a little bit of a reset for him. Then we’ll get him back up and running and we’ll see if we can get him more comfortable.”

We’ll take it. Shattenkirk’s strong start in Tampa evidence of Rangers poor asset management [Blueshirt Banter]

Tampa’s head coach Jon Cooper has not hesitated to feed Shattenkirk prime minutes at 5-on-5 this season and he’s been rewarded for it. Thus far, Shattenkirk’s most frequent defensive partners at evens have been Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh. In fact, Shattenkirk and McDonagh have already played together more in Tampa than they did as Rangers in the 2017-18 season before Gorton dealt McDonagh.

Season Ticket Members headed to Amalie Arena for a Halloween party:

The Injuries

Yesterday news broke that Vladimir Tarasenko required shoulder surgery and would be out for five months. Then came this scary news from the Avalanche:

And shortly after that, news emerged that Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli were out for the night. Luckily Point returned, but Cirelli remained scratched for the game.

To top off the night, both Patrick Maroon and Victor Hedman left last night’s game against the New York Rangers with injuries. Hedman’s injury was not disclosed.

Lauren summed it up and added a few names, making me think that maybe the NHL should just cancel Halloween week games:

May they recover completely and take all the time they need.

The Prospects

In case you missed it, Justing dug into the Crunch’s week — Crunch Corner: Not bad, not great, just o.k. [Raw Charge]

There was a lot of positive play, even in the Rochester game. Most importantly, the players seem to be gelling as a unit. Prior to the game against the Amerks, Coach Ben Groulx bemoaned the fact that you can only do so much in practice, something the Crunch have had plenty of early in the season. It wasn’t a lack of talent or poor schemes that were leading to less than desirable outcomes, it was just a lack of steady competition.

Watch hockey, eat donuts, yes:

Movember hath begun:

Nolan Foote rejoins Team WHL for Canada vs. Russia:

The Game

Roman Josi’s getting paiiiid:

Jonathan Toews wants more double headers with divisional rivals:

So, what do you think? More divisional rivalry games, ECHL style?