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Quick Strikes: Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy’s case for the Vezina Trophy

Plus: So. Much. Crunch. Stuff.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Headline

-Award season is right around the corner, and with the season the Tampa Bay Lightning have had, it certainly isn’t surprising to hear their players in the mix. Yesterday, Matt argued Andrei Vasilevskiy’s case for the Vezina Trophy.

Only Darcy Kuemper is even close to Vasilevskiy’s overall numbers and Vasilevskiy’s HDSV% is still the seventh best among these goaltenders. The amount of shots a goaltender faces is impactful and the sizable gap between Bishop and Lehner compared to Vasilevskiy alters the conversation between the three goaltenders.

More Lightning

-”Awww, careful.” - Anton Stralman.

-Tampa’s passing is super good, y’all.

The Lightning create shots from the slot from their passing sequences more efficiently than any other team. It’s one aspect of their offensive game and they can do this through patience and off-the-puck movement in a variety of situations. Teams won’t have a chance against them in the playoffs if they aren’t mindful of these scenarios.

Syracuse

-The Syracuse Crunch are ending their season with a bang with a string of promotional games and events. Next up for their fans to getting hyped for the annual Pucks for Paws Night.

-The Crunch continued its chronicle of Daniel Walcott’s recovery yesterday with part two of their video series. There’s nothing too graphic here, but those who get queasy easily might want to skip the staple-snipping parts.

-Despite the schedule demands of a month where Syracuse is playing a whopping 16 contests, the team is doing pretty darn good.

-Sadly, the Crunch weren’t able to make it to 10-3-1-0 last night. The team fell in the shootout:

It was the second loss in a row for the Crunch since they clinched a playoff spot. They didn’t play poorly against a Belleville team that is scrapping for every point, but they most definitely could have played better. There will be plenty for Coach Groulx to go over in practice on Thursday.

-Other than the loser point, the organization also had something else to celebrate: Ryan Lohin’s pro debut.

-Are you a Crunch season ticket holder who likes your seat prices the way they are? Listen up!

Orlando

-Orlando Solar Bears goalie Clint Windsor has become a surprise key part of the team’s playoff push.

As recently as 10 weeks ago, Windsor was out of hockey, looking for work after an unexpected heave-ho from the team he’d been starting for in Denmark. He came to Orlando as an insurance policy, winning his first start and then waiting 40 days for his next game.

Others

-When teams look to acquire depth and experience at the trade deadline, there’s generally a reason for it. The Buffalo Sabres ignored that logic, and their post-deadline numbers reflect it.

-Alexander Yelesin has decided to pursue a career in the NHL and will not re-sign with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Is the New York Rangers a good fit for him?

There’s a good chance that Yelesin was not given serious consideration when he was eligible for the NHL draft due to his below-average frame. Now that he has 128 games of KHL regular season hockey behind him, there are some who think he could be a nice depth addition to an NHL blue line.

-Speaking of the Rangers, is their goalie drama looming with Henrik Lundqvist? Mayyybbee.

In this week’s Off the Post Joe and Eric discuss the Top-10 Rangers from 1994 until present day, Henrik Lundqvist and the potential upcoming goaltending controversy, opportunities for offer sheets in the upcoming season, and much more. How much more? Well, you’re going to have to listen in to find out.

-The prospects of the Washington Capitals are helping out the Hershey Bears in big ways.

On Jan. 12, the season’s midpoint, Hershey was 16-20-0-2 and in last place in the Atlantic Division.

A 16-0-0-1 run turned that around. Hershey has won 20 of its past 29 games (20-4-3-2) to make its way back into the playoff picture. Hershey has 79 points, tied for third-best in the Atlantic Division.

-The Boston Bruins and the Providence Bruins have re-upped their affiliation.

-The American Hockey League continues to produce results. Their 100th grad from the 2018-19 season skated in their first NHL game last night.

-Elite Prospects has been posting a semi-regular series on their Twitter account about odd requests and schemes that players try to get their profile and stats looking good. This one is a gem: