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Quick Strikes: Lightning’s Kucherov, Cirelli, and Vasilevskiy continue to sparkle at Worlds

Plus: Player grades and other off season fodder.

Finland v Canada: Group A - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

The Lightning

The World Championships roll on, and those with the Tampa Bay Lightning are certainly not slacking in representing their country. Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Anthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak all played well yesterday. Overall, the Bolts are looking pretty dang good.

Here’s the stats from Worlds for all Lightning players to date:

Speaking of Cirelli, he was the subject of a feature by Diana C. Nearhos of the Tampa Bay Times.

Cirelli scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot, in his NHL debut on May 1, 2018. The dynamic offensive start almost matched Nikita Kucherov’s eye-catching debut, though the sharpshooter took it a step further by scoring on his first shift.

Since then, however, Cirelli has gone the other way, making his mark as the Lightning’s top defensive forward.

Another Bolt doing well is Mikhail Sergachev, who was also the next up yesterday for our player grades series.

Overall, I’d argue Sergachev definitely improved, but his sophomore campaign did pose some growing pains for the young Russian. Sergachev’s offensive output slightly dropped compared to his rookie season, while his propensity for getting a bit too cute in the defensive zone still lingered from time to time. However, his ability to effectively transition the puck into the offensive zone in addition to his improved defensive play should be enough to view Sergachev’s season in a positive light.

Mari Faiello of the Tampa Bay Times wondered about Alex Killorn’s future in a feature yesterday.

It’s the same style of play he has shown Tampa Bay for seven seasons. He’s one of the core players that has consistently shown up for Tampa Bay.

The problem, however, may lie in the fact he’s in a middle group. Good not great, his hefty contract lingers in a time where the franchise looks for cap money to re-sign emerging superstar Brayden Point.

Lightning Made Hockey paid a visit to Gulf Elementary School yesterday. Lucky kids!

The Solar Bears

Who has the best hockey smile in the ECHL? The Orlando Solar Bears want you to vote for Alexander Kuqali.

The Others

Slater Koekkoek has earned himself another year with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Pride Tape is celebrating their third anniversary:

“The name is Vlad. Vice Regent. Vlad.”