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Quick Strikes: The Lightning recap Bolts Family Game Night

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Plus: Syracuse!

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Lightning

Did you miss Bolts Family Game Night? No worries! The Tampa Bay Lightning got you:

More fun with feeling potentially gross things before knowing what those things are!

Lightning coach Jon Cooper has dressing room traditions that go back to his days with AHL Norfolk. Joe Smith of The Athletic ran them down. (pay walled)

See, coach Jon Cooper is a huge fan of “Wedding Crashers,” so he has incorporated the movie into his player of the game ritual ever since his days in the American Hockey League. There’s a camouflage jacket and fake rifle, homages to the quail-hunting scene from the film. Lightning players pick who earns each one.

When the jacket is given out, you have to say, “Don’t wait for an opportunity. Make one.”

As for the rifle? “Rule 76” must be repeated: “No excuses. Play like a champion.”

Jake Muzzin and Ryan McDonagh handled similar trade experiences, and they got through them somehow, says The Athletic. I’d love to give you more details, but I can’t. Heck, most of my preview from the previous Athletic article was from Mr. Chaimovitch’s tweet, so...

Syracuse

The Syracuse Crunch has yet to find a solid identity on the ice. Yesterday, Justin broke down their many faces, and reiterated the fact that playoffs are looming closer and closer. It would behoove Syracuse to figure out who they are before then.

Overall, this is a team that has a good—but not great—power play. They have really, really good goaltending (even if half of the duo is in Orlando). Their defense is really solid, and they have three lines that can score consistently. Those are the good things.

For all that they do well, though, they still have some bad things that that creep into their game. They take too many penalties. They turn the puck over way too much. Lately they’ve had some issues in the third period closing out games. Those can be fatal flaws in the playoffs, and need to be corrected. There is time to work on it, so hopefully the coaching staff can find a way to get it done.

It doesn’t exactly help the team discover their in-game identity, but the Crunch organization as a whole has deservedly developed a reputation as NHL-lite.

Shane Conacher is no longer a Crunch player, but his brother Cory Conacher is an integral part of the team, and it was a lot of fun having Shane with the team a few games last season. S. Conacher has had a fairly emotional year, and he joined the NHL Network to discuss it.

Orlando

We have a Connorism update from Connor Ingram in Orlando!

You can catch Orlando play the Steelheads this Saturday!

The Solar Bears are hosting a First Responders Appreciation Night this Saturday.

Prospects

Hark! Entry Level Contract season is upon us! What does this mean for the Lightning org? Geo filled us in yesterday on which prospects might pop up and which are probably still a while off.

Prospect Sammy Walker has been tabbed as a finalist for the B1G Freshman of the Year.

Prospect Nick Perbix is the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Rookie of the Week.

Hockey: In General

The Buffalo Sabres are building a foundation in a similar way to the Tampa Bay Lightning: Starting at the AHL level and building up.

The LA Kings are gearing up for their You Can Play Night:

This past weekend, Seattle hosted the Seattle Hockey Analytics Conference (SeaHAC), and one of the activities was a simulation of the 2021 Seattle Expansion Draft. Who did the Lightning protect? Who might they lose? Find out here!