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Quick Strikes: Celebrating Brayden’s Points, all 90 of them

Like we do.

Los Angeles Kings v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Bolts

In the Tampa Bay Lightning’s match against the St. Louis Blues this past Saturday, Brayden Point scored his 40th goal and 90th point of the season. Here’s the moment he did it, from our recap:

The Lightning eventually did cut the lead to one on a beautiful play by McDonagh. He carried the puck in the zone and sat back into the boards waiting for the attack to join him. Point went to the net and McDonagh hit him with a perfect pass. The goal was Point’s 40th of the season and his 90th point.

From loserpoints:

Point’s 90...points puts him ninth in the NHL. He’s one ahead of Steven Stamkos and somehow thirty behind his linemate Nikita Kucherov who leads the league with 120. Point’s 40 goals are fifth in the NHL behind only John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Leon Draisaitl, and Alex Ovechkin.

The 90 point season put him in a tie for the 13th best scoring season in franchise history. If he scores a point per game over the team’s final six games, he’ll secure a spot in the top ten. His 40 goals is already a top 10 goal scoring season in franchise history and he has an outside chance to climb into the top 5 if he gets hot and scores at least 4 more this season.

Jon Cooper said of his achievement,

Brayden Point notches his first 40th goal season [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

The Lightning has its first 40-goal scorer of the season. And Tampa Bay is on its way to having three. Point is the first Lightning player to hit the mark this year, but the third on the team to do it in his career. Nikita Kucherov scored 40 goals two seasons ago (and is three away now). Steven Stamkos has done it four times (also hitting 50 and 60) and is currently two off of 40.

And here’s Victor Hedman, giving him his due:

This was a pretty cool Stephen Whyno piece about the rest of the schedule: Schedule helps Lightning keep focus after winning Presidents’ Trophy [The Spec]

With no blueprint for how to play hockey games that don’t matter, they’re glad that eight of their final nine games come against teams currently in playoff position and turning this into a dress rehearsal for what could be a long run.

”It helps with the teams that we have left on the schedule,” forward Adam Erne said. “They’re all going to be playofflike games, and I think we have a playoff mentality and we know that we can’t just flip a switch once playoffs start. We want to prepare ourselves for the first round.”

And in this same vein, Bryan Burns lays out what’s left in the Lightning’s season: Nuts and Bolts — The final homestand begins against the Bruins [NHL.com]

The Lightning and the Bruins are playing their third of four meetings this season and the second of two at AMALIE Arena...The two teams will play twice over 13 days to close out the regular season...Tampa Bay and Boston have split two prior meetings this season.

The excellent Diane Nearhos discusses what went into TBL’s latest three losses: What do the Lightning’s three losses have in common? [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

Thrice in the last five weeks, however, Tampa Bay has ended up down three goals and unable to comeback. Those three games have also been the only losses in that time frame.

What does the trophy situation look like at present? THN says that basically it’s Andrei Vasilevskiy’s to lose: The leading contender and the long list of candidates for the Vezina Trophy [THN]

On top of his winning ways, though, Vasilevskiy is vying for the league lead in save percentage (.928), he’s near the top in goals-against average (2.33) and he’s tied for second with six shutouts. The big, young goalie – he’s still only 24 – also has a flair for clutch saves at important moments and he’s a regular on the highlight reel.

OK, I admit I was amused by this article, especially because the team has a pretty good track record against item #3 specifically: Three reasons why Toronto Maple Leafs are biggest threat to Lightning [Puck Prose]

You’ll never guess #3!

Family game night doings prove that these boys need to get out more, maybe think about non-hockey things. JUST KIDDING, please just do the hockey.

The Prospects

Atte Tolvanen had his professional debut last night when the Syracuse Crunch played against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He lost the match 4-1, but stopped 26 of 29 shots.

Honey Badger will get Syracuse to maintain home ice in playoffs, or else:

Here’s Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx explaining how it’s going to happen:

And here’s what Ben Thomas does on his time off:

The Game

Starting your day on a lovely note: