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Lightning Round: Boris Katchouk enters COVID protocol

Rookie forward tests positive prior to Lightning swing through Canada.

2022 NHL Stadium Series - Practice & Family Skates Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Tampa Bay Lightning getting ready to cross the Canadian border as part of their six-game road trip, all of the members of the traveling party had to get tested for COVID. Based on the results of those tests, Boris Katchouk has entered protocols and won’t be joining the team. for the Canadian portion of the trip.

As the league no longer conducts tests for asymptomatic players, the number of people in protocols has dropped dramatically. The Lightning have not had a player in protocols since Nikita Kucherov exited on February 10th. A handful of other NHLers have been in protocols over the last month or so, but nowhere near the numbers that the league saw around the holidays.

Katchouk had just returned to the line-up following a series of healthy scratches once the full compliment of Lightning forwards were healthy. He played 9:22 on Friday in the Lightning’s 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings and was part of a line that dominated puck possession while they were on the ice.

On the season, the rookie has appeared in 37 games and recorded 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) while averaging 9:48 a game. In his limited time he has thrown his body around, racking up 97 hits while posting a 52.4 CF% and splitting his zone starts almost evenly in the offensive and defensive zones.

His absence will leave the Lightning a little shorthanded over the next four games unless they recall someone from Syracuse (that player would also have to clear a COVID test in order to join the team). Taylor Raddysh has been getting the bulk of the starts on the fourth line and that will likely continue for the near future.

Lightning Round / NHL News

Three goals in 32 seconds is the difference [Raw Charge]

The Hawks managed to keep Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Steven Stamkos from scoring goals. The Lightning still managed to score six goals. Depth, baby, depth!

Video sessions, meetings to replace practice [Tampa Bay Times]

Since they are going to be on the ice roughly every other day playing games, the Lightning will be reducing the amount of time they’re on the ice practicing. Non-game days will be filled with video sessions. It’s a strategy that worked well during last-season’s abbreviated schedule.

Jason Robertson is on a heater [Defending Big D]

He may look like he’s not old enough to drive a car, but Jason Robertson is absolutely tearing up the NHL right now. He recorded a hat trick in his second consecutive game as the Dallas Stars beat the Minnesota Wild, 6-3, on Sunday. He’s up to 29 goals and 25 assists on the season. In 101 games with the Stars the 22-year-old has 100 points (46 goals, 54 assists).

Jagr raising funds for Ukranian refugees [ESPN]

Jaromir Jagr announced that Kladno will move their final regular-season home game against HC Sparta Prague to the O2 Arena in Prague. Instead of playing in an arena that hosts just over 5,000 fans, they will play in one that seats almost 18,000. The proceeds of the ticket sales will go to helping refugees from Ukraine that have relocated to the Czech Republic.

Red Wings claim Olli Juolevi off of waivers [Winging it in Motown]

The Detroit Red Wings added a young defenseman to their organization as they claimed the number five pick overall from the 2016 draft from the Florida Panthers. The Finnish blueliner has yet to see his offensive skills translate to the NHL level, but should get a decent shot in Detroit.

Angela James sounds off on state of women’s hockey in North America [The Hockey News]

With members of the PWHPA talking about creating their own professional league, the Hockey Hall of Famer voiced her disappointment in their plans:

“Why can’t you work out these differences instead of suppressing and handcuffing the elite athletes in the progress of the pro game already made. Women’s hockey is bigger then the PHF and the PWHPA, together we can make history,” she wrote.

“The best women players in the game deserve to be competing at a pro level in ONE league.”

It is worth noting that James does have an ownership stake in a group that has reportedly just purchased the Toronto Six, one of the teams currently competing in the PHF.