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Quick Strikes: It’s locker cleanout day for the Tampa Bay Lightning

And on to the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 27, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Lightning 7-1.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be having their final media availability and locker clean out day tomorrow morning at 11:00 am ET. Hopefully questions regarding what happened and what is going to happen will be answered by the players, coaching staff, and GM Julien BriseBois.

If anyone hates themselves enough to keep reading about the first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Geo wrote a “Day After” article that you might enjoy. It’s cathartic. [Raw Charge]

I don’t really know that I have much more to say. The Lightning put themselves in an early hole allowing two goals in the first four minutes and were behind the eight ball all night, and all series really following the first period of game one. Give it to the Columbus Blue Jackets. They came up with a game plan to counter the Lightning and they executed it in all four games. The Lightning couldn’t overcome that plan, that effort, that execution.

Continuing on the self loathing theme, CBS wrote about other historic regular season teams and their catastrophic failures in the playoffs. Maybe it’ll be of comfort. [CBS Sports]

The Lightning aren’t the first NHL team to flame out after dominating the regular season. The Presidents’ Trophy winner has not won the Stanley Cup since the 2013 Blackhawks. Four teams have lost in the second round of the playoffs since then, but the Lightning are the first Presidents’ Trophy winner to get bounced in the first round.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch and the Columbus’ AHL affiliate Cleveland Monsters begin their five-game series on Friday night in New York. Here’s a good article on how the NHL series result might affect the AHL playoffs. [Syracuse]

Both Gaunce and Rutta were with the Lightning and were the only two players eligible to come back to Syracuse. Rutta would have required waivers to return but Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said on Wednesday that Rutta will not be put through that process. It’s possible that Rutta plays for his native Czech Republic in the upcoming World Championships.

And in case you missed it, the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs have technically started out west, but the majority of the teams will begin play on Friday. It isn’t too late to fill out your bracket!

In terms of prospects, Seldo has a potential goalie the Lightning might like to pick up this summer. [Raw Charge]

To admit my bias right off the bat, I live in St. Catharines, within walking distance of the IceDogs arena, and am a giant homer when it comes to OHL hockey. Dhillon is probably one of, if not the best goalies the team has had and it’s a shame he hasn’t been signed to a team yet. Dhillon has had his time with NHL teams; he’s attended rookie/development camps for the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins, and found some great moments from those camps.

The Kelly Cup playoffs are also well under way! The Bears are up 2-1 against the South Carolina Stingrays in their seven-game series.

The Game

NHL Awards nominees are starting to be announced. We’ll have one a day for the next few weeks. Starting off, the Selke voting.

The Maple Leafs dropped Game 4 to the Boston Bruins, evening the series at two. This is going to go seven, right? [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Toronto Maple Leafs outshot the Boston Bruins 42-31, they won the Corsi battle 70-43, they did everything right. Except shut down the Bruins first line. David Pastrnak scored twice, and Brad Marchand had three primary points (1g, 2a) in a 6-4, gut-wrenching Game 4 loss at Scotiabank Arena.

Over in the west, the Colorado Avalanche are one game away from upsetting the 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames. Their 3-2 overtime home victory was extremely entertaining to watch.