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Quick Strikes: the Tampa Bay Lightning will be picking 27th overall at draft in June

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And are the Colorado Avalanche for real?

2016 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: A general view of the draft table for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

Nothing much happened on the Tampa Bay Lightning front on Thursday, but we did get word from Matt Sammon that his radio network, Lightning Radio, had it’s best season ever! Love to see a “small market” grow in all areas.

In writing, we have our Player Grade for Anthony Cirelli up on the site. He, by all accounts, was a very impressive player for the Lightning in every regard. The Bolts should be so lucky to have him anchor the third line. [Raw Charge]

Entering the season, it was assumed that Anthony Cirelli would slot into the third center slot and be an effective player for the Tampa Bay Lightning. But after his first full season with the team, Cirelli wasn’t just an effective player, he was one of the more dominant defensive centers in the league. Offensively, it was a slow start for the young center, but he still ended up with a respectable 39 points (19G 20A) in 82 games.

Now that the Conference Finals are decided in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, we now know that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be picking 27th overall in the draft. We’ll have much more on the pick and what Lightning fans can expect from a player of that calibre in the coming weeks heading up to the draft in Vancouver.

Also, all aspects of the Ryan McDonagh trade have been fulfilled, meaning the trade is officially Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller for Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Tampa Bay’s 2018 first-round pick, and Tampa Bay’s 2019 second-round pick.

But you know what sucks? This.

The Prospects

Anyway, hockey is fun! At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

The Game

This section is long, so take a seat.

First, we remember the CWHL and acknowledge the final five players to crack the 100-point mark in the league where only 25 accomplished the feat. I can’t wait for hockey. The sport will be back very soon. [The Ice Garden]

In the league’s history hundreds and hundreds of skaters competed for the Clarkson Cup, but only 25 of them amassed 100 points during the regular season over the span of their careers. This select group has come to be known as the CWHL’s “100-Point Club”. It features recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford and many of the league’s brightest stars over the years.

From the World Championships, Canada’s John Tavares has left the tournament due to an oblique injury. As soon as the Maple Leafs heard about the injury, they packed up his stuff and sent him straight home to Mississauga. In other news, the Tampa Bay Lightning have eight players in the tournament that starts this morning.

Are the Boston Bruins the worst city in the NHL? There’s certainly some with that impression, and these Boston radio hosts aren’t helping that image any when one of them hung up on a Carolina writer who was being a guest on the show because of his southern accent. See, Kyle Wellwood, this is prejudice. [Deadspin]

What Toettcher did was very much a dick move, but also a good lesson on how it’s never worth it to be a guest on talk radio. You burn part of your morning calling in to a show where the hosts shout at you, shout at each other, or treat you like crap in any number of other ways, all for—what—“exposure”? A few thousand people are listening; you can get more exposure doing a tweet.

And speaking of the Bruins, they beat the Carolina Hurricanes in Game One of their Conference Final series. [Cane’s Country]

The Carolina Hurricanes knew that the Boston Bruins would present a challenge that they hadn’t seen thus far in the 2019 NHL playoffs, their skill and speed combination providing a formidable challenge. For 40 minutes, the Hurricanes looked like they had the answers. Then the third period came along, and some earlier missed opportunities combined with questionable officiating decisions to hand the Hurricanes a frustrating 5-2 defeat, snapping a six-game winning streak and dropping them in a 1-0 hole in the Eastern Conference Final.

The Colorado Avalanche are the NHL’s most-dangerous franchise, and it’s not because of the sliding snow. They are young, they are good, they have cap space a mile high, and they have a hoard of pick and prospects coming into the system. Keep your eye out on them. [Mile High Hockey]

This is a team that looked dead in the water for the first two months of 2019. They were able to turn things around without any major additions - until Cale Makar in the playoffs - and turned into a team that fell one game short of making the Western Conference Final. Maybe they overachieved in the playoffs, but Colorado is a team that has the potential to turn into a juggernaut really quickly.

How do you fix the Chicago Blackhawks’ defense? Dave from SCH approached the problem in a clever way that I think you might find interesting. [Second City Hockey]

The 2018-19 Blackhawks season was such a hectic roller-coaster ride that it felt like four different seasons within one. There was the opening month that saw Chicago leap out to a 6-2-2 start on some incredibly dramatic wins. Then there was the miserable ending to 2018, with the Blackhawks nose-diving to the bottom of the NHL standings. Chicago then exploded up the standings in 2019, with a seemingly unstoppable power play as the main catalyst. And when a late February slump appeared to end their playoff hopes, one final run pulled them back within striking distance of a playoff spot.

The Columbus Blue Jackets went all in this season, and they failed. So what now? [Jackets Cannon]

The team did not take off as hoped, instead squeaking into the playoffs as the eighth seed. There, they met the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round and swept the President’s Trophy winners in the first round for the first series win in franchise history. In the second round, the Blue Jackets fell in six games to the Boston Bruins as they were eliminated from the playoffs.

With the season over, it’s time to reflect on the deadline deals by Jarmo. Were those trades, in hindsight, worth it?

Highlight of the Night: This thread where the Bruins were gifted a goal due to some atrocious officiating is really something.