Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy breaks Nikolai Khabibulin’s single season shutout record

This is the best Lightning squad we’ve ever seen in the regular season.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally beat the Boston Bruins! In a hands-down victory to boot! [Raw Charge]

Lightning forward Brayden Point had a great game. He opened the scoring, and was all over the ice throughout the game. He’s a goal scorer, but the way he facilitates play is incredible. He’s like an NBA “point” guard out there: draws in defenders, finds the open man, connects on great passes, and is just an exciting player to watch.

With the win, Andrei Vasilevskiy has broken Nikolai Khabibulin’s single-season franchise record for shutouts in one season with 7. Vasy now has 8 in 2017-18.

Oh, look! A new franchise record for points in a season!

The team seemed very pleased with their effort after the game. Cooper and Victor Hedman especially.

A look at Anthony Cirelli’s first steps in the NHL and a progress report on his audition with the team. [Raw Charge]

The early returns have been very good; he did push Paquette out of the lineup, although the injury to Adam Erne has allowed Paquette to step back in. On a side note, I think this break has pushed Paquette, who maybe had gotten a little too content in his position. He’s stepped up his game the past four games and has been playing a better north-south game.

The Lightning have more than a few former New York Rangers on their team. Is that a winning strategy? [ESPN]

When Zuccarello looks over at the Lightning, it’s not just McDonagh he sees. It’s five members of the Rangers’ Stanley Cup finalist from 2013-14 that, almost unbelievably, have ended up together on Tampa Bay this season: Defensemen McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman, along with forwards Ryan Callahan and J.T. Miller.

Speaking of quotes and almost winning a Stanley Cup, Victor Hedman’s quote about the Sedin’s is t-shirts are made out of.

The Prospects

The Adirondack Thunder have clinched a playoff spot, making it an organizational trifecta for post-season berths! The week 25 review: [Raw Charge]

As the Thunder were enjoying a rare Friday night off, they also had to do a little scoreboard watching. Worcester played host to Brampton, while fourth place Wheeling headed to Toledo to face the Walleye. All that needed to happen was a loss from either Worcester or Wheeling and the Thunder were in. The Railers would win, but the Nailers would lose. Which means...

Even as a 19-year-old, Cal Foote made people feel like he’s a wiley old vet when he’s on the ice after his first practice with the Syracuse Crunch. [Auburn Pub]

Although it’s not set when Foote will make his pro debut, Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx was impressed with the 19-year-old on day one. ”I like his calm out there. He seems to me that he looks like an old pro,” Groulx said. “I like that.”

The Syracuse Crunch are inching towards a franchise record in wins% in a season. It’ll be a challenge, but something that is very possible. [Syracuse Crunch]

The Crunch won two of three games in Week 26, pushing their winning streak to seven games before dropping the final game of the weekend. With six games remaining over the final two weeks of the season, the Crunch’s magic number to lock in home-ice for the North Division Semifinals is at two. The Crunch (43-20-3-4) are in second place in the North Division with 93 points. If the Crunch finish with at least six points over the final six games, they will set a new franchise record for points percentage in a single season.

The Game

Twitter is exploding over whether this call for goalie interference is correct versus how overly dramatic Nashville fans are getting because the call didn’t go their way. [Sportsnet]

On Tuesday night, we saw how it can dramatically affect the push to actually get to the playoffs, with a goalie interference call against the Nashville Predators that may have just kept the Florida Panthers in it — and their Eastern Conference foes out (for now, anyway).

Just going to leave these here as well...




If someone ccould buy me this, that’d be great.

Habs fans are telling you to cheer for the Winnipeg Jets in the playoffs. Interesting. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

For the first time since coming to Winnipeg the Jets do not have a fighter playing every game and their fourth line is now a legit checking line after the acquisition of Paul Stastny. Due to years of higher picks, the Jets have accumulated many fast, skilled forwards including Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, and Laine. They are a lot of fun to watch and can create something out of nothing.

Highlight of the Night: Taylor Hall had a four-point night, capped off with this powerful snipe on a penalty shot. He looks like a man on a mission.