Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to shine for the Tampa Bay Lightning

J.T. Brown returns while Jake Dotchin stays at home

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning, the team with the second most goals scored in the NHL right now, are suddenly finding it hard to put the puck in the net. [Raw Charge]

“Over the past four games, the team has given up 15 goals against while scoring only nine goals. The Stamkov line of Vladislav Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have cooled off in this four game stretch, and the secondary scoring hasn’t been there to overcome the lack of production from the first line.”

Do you mind if we take a moment to appreciate how utterly dominant Andrei Vasilevskiy has been not only all season but when his team has needed him the most? Thank you.

Draft picks! Football! The Philadephia Flyers! All of this and more in the most recent Charged Up: A Raw Charge Podcast with Namita Nandakumar (@nnstats)! [Raw Charge]

Stamkos is positive that he and his linemates will find their scoring touch sooner rather than later. [Tampa Bay Times]

"Sometimes, in the game it’s hard not to get frustrated," Stamkos said. "But then you go watch, and say, ‘You know, we actually had some decent chances.’

"The play that made me laugh a little bit was when (Namestnikov) fanned on that chance in the slot (Saturday). It was the exact same play we had in San Jose, and if it goes in, everyone is talking about what a great play that was."

Injury Update: J.T. Brown returns from injury in time to face the Buffalo Sabres just as we are told that Jake Dotchin will not be on the road with the team for their upcoming trip.

Question for the comments. What do we think of the new defense pairings?

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch swept their weekend series against Rochester, Wilkes, and Barre and left with six points. Oh, Wilkes-Barre is in first place? That’s tedious, glad we beat them twice then. [Raw Charge]

“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here, but, with the offense as hot as they are and a rejuvenation between the pipes, Syracuse could be a real good team going forward. Time will tell the whole story.”

EXTRA! EXTRA! Get your prospect report here! [Raw Charge]

“It was a high-scoring week for a lot of the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects. Boris Katchoukhad seven points in three games, Taylor Raddysh had four in three, Otto Somppi had six in four; it was quite the week.”

The NHL put one out as well if you’d like to read it too. But read ours first because it’s better! [NHL dot com]

Nice save from Lightning ECHL goalie Nick Riopel!

The Crunch will be in Toronto once again this Wednesday to play the North Division leading Marlies. Here’s a little pre-scouting material from the enemy. [Pension Plan Puppets]

“It was the second of back-to-back games for the Marlies and Senators on Sunday; the Marlies won in a shootout on Saturday, but this game wasn’t anywhere near as close, with the Marlies dominating significant portions of the game.”

If any Crunch fans happen to be in the Toronto area and at the game, come say hello! I’ll be there too covering the game for Raw Charge!

The Game

Gabriel Landeskog was nailed with a four-game suspension for his cross-check to the head of Matthew Tkachuk. [Mile High Hockey]

Apparently, the Pittsburgh Penguins want to trade Ian Cole. [Pensburgh]

“So why trade Cole? Well, for starters the team basically signed a similar type of player in Matt Hunwick this summer at a similar salary ($2.25 million) that lasts through 2020. It’s easier to move on from Cole with Hunwick in the fold. Beyond that, Cole has never seemed to be a favorite of coach Mike Sullivan and has been a healthy scratch previously under Sullivan at times.”

Coaches’ Corner:

Paul Maurice of the Winnipeg Jets talks about not disclosing injuries to the public, but at the same time making sure that the players speak up when they are hurt.

A day following Mark Spectors “mentally weak” comments, Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs does an interview speaking about mental toughness and how mental illness has nothing to do with it.