Quick Strikes: What will the Tampa Bay Lightning do at the NHL trade deadline?

Here’s hoping the answer is, nothing.

The Headline

Yesterday, all our local media wrote about what the Tampa Bay Lightning might do at the NHL trade deadline (coming up on Monday February 25 at 3 PM). The consensus is that nobody really knows, but our staff at Raw Charge has some solid speculation. Justin came through with a thoughtful piece about who might move from the Syracuse Crunch, and Hardev pointed to a potential target of Wayne Simmonds again. The Tampa Bay Times and Athletic both had trade deadline related stories — TBT delved into trade deadlines past, and TA into how the current players feel.

But it’s a sign of how tight and loyal the Bolts’ front office is that the only people who really know what’s going on are JBB, Steve Yzerman, and their staff.

NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Atlantic Division rumor roundup [Raw Charge]

The team has about $8 million worth in cap space at the deadline to add anyone they want. It could be a Wayne Simmonds, who networks have been praying happens so they can talk about it, or someone else. But the reality is there’s not much news out there on the Tampa front, and after judging it ourselves, it doesn’t look like there should be.

Which Syracuse Crunch player could move at the trade deadline? [Raw Charge]

The two players that would most likely be considered untouchable would be Cal Foote and Connor Ingram. Foote, a rookie defenseman, is one of the organization’s most important prospects. The Lightning defense is going to go through some changes in the next year due to the salary cap and the fact that they have three unrestricted free agents. Foote could fill one of those roles. Even if he doesn’t break camp with them he could, like Erik Cernak did this year, play his way onto the roster due to an injury call up.

Lightning trade tales: What comes after ‘you’ve been traded’ [Tampa Bay Times, paid content probably]

“That’s the hardest part. People forget we’re humans with families,” said Lightning forward Ryan Callahan, who suggested a version of the above scenario. “Obviously, we’re paid very well. We’re very lucky with what we do, but that’s the tough part about this job. You’ve got families. You’ve got emotions. It’s not as easy as just picking up and leaving.”

How Lightning players deal with trade rumors [Tampa Bay Times, paid content probably]

Former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop remembers talk of about six different teams in the lead up to the 2013 deadline when he was traded to Tampa Bay. Edmonton, Columbus, Calgary and Philadelphia were among the ones he heard. The best way to handle the rumors, Bishop said, is to remember that’s all they are. You can’t know which to take seriously, so you should take none seriously.

Mailbag: Why Lightning players would be ‘happy’ if they stand pat at the trade deadline [The Athletic, paid content]

“I think that’s what you worry about,” wing Alex Killorn said. “When you get certain guys on paper, it may seem like they can fit perfectly on a line or on a certain aspect of the team, but you never know how it’ll work out until you play together.

How’s a traded player on the ice for a new team so quickly? NHL travel coordinators share their secrets [The Athletic, paid content]

“We literally looked at the game clock and it said 40 seconds when they walked out to the ice,” he said with a laugh. “And they were ready to go.”

By the end of the night, the Penguins nipped Ottawa 5-3 and Bjugstad chipped in two assists.

“As exhausting as and draining as that day could have been,” Britt said. “All of that excitement instead turned it into a high energy game.

The Bolts

Nice certainty about playoffs, but who’s gonna be our dance partner?

There’s still a lot of Kucherov love going around, even something from DEADSPIN, no joke.

Nikita Kucherov’s Season Is Unlike Any We’ve Seen In A Long Time [Deadspin]

The Lightning, as a unit, play some of the most beautifully in-sync hockey I’ve ever seen—particularly on the power play, where they’ve scored a league-best 29.8 percent of the time. But Kucherov is the versatile maestro of this force of nature, and his presence in the right circle with the man advantage is the scariest sight an opponent can see.

Facts and Figures: Kucherov continues historic season with Lightning [NHL]

The 25-year-old forward reached 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) in Tampa Bay’s 62nd game. That’s the fewest needed to reach triple figures since Mario Lemieux got his 100th point (44 goals, 56 assists) in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 61st game during the 1996-97 season; Lemieux’s 100th point was an assist on Glen Murray’s game-tying goal in a 3-2 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 8, 1997.

But forget about the Beyonce of the Triplet Line for a minute and ponder with us. Who’s the best Andrei, Andrej, Ondrei, and Ondrej ever to play in the NHL? [Raw Charge]

Well, it’s just three players all from the Czech Republic, so this should be easy. Palat has 279 points over 406 games played in the NHL. The younger Kase has 73 points in 149 games, but he has continued to rise up with the Anaheim Ducks. I don’t foresee him overtaking Palat in this ranking, but stranger things have been known to happen. Ondrej Pavelec is the only Ondrej goaltender as well so he’s the automatic pick. In 398 career games, Pavelec has 156 wins. Not the greatest, but at least he’s had a fairly long career for a goaltender.

Wysh, you had me at the word Sauron. Wysh List: It’s time for Tampa Bay’s journey to be rewarded [ESPN]

They’re the juggernaut we need. They’re the steamroller we deserve. I want them to run through the Stanley Cup playoffs like Sauron ran his mace through the Last Alliance of Elves and Men in “Lord of the Rings.”

The Prospects

The Crunch needed overtime to find the back of the net, but the one goal was enough to beat the Toronto Marlies [Raw Charge]

Tonight was a lesson in how to win a game when things aren’t going your way. The penalties sucked the flow out of the game and Coach Groulx thought they lost their focus a bit. It was a tightly played game where a mistake or two could swing the outcome of the game. Take away the penalties and Syracuse played as mistake-free of a game as they had all year.

The Game

Will Matt Duchene ever be happy? It would be tremendously ironic if the Blue Jackets suddenly went into a rebuild the second he landed on the team. At least Jackets beat the Senators 3-0 last night, in Duchene’s first night in a Jackets’ jersey.

The comments, though:

I love marking this day:

And this is pretty cool too:

It’s always worth re-upping these stories:

And I will leave you with this word of wisdom from JvR: