Quick Strikes: Brayden Point continues to shine with his 30th goal of the season

And there were a LOT of trades in the last 48 hours.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs played one of the best hockey games we’ve seen this season: [Raw Charge]

Speed, skill, pace, great goaltending, big name players making plays, etc. This game had everything you could hope for in the modern NHL—it was here on full display. Sure, the Lightning lost, but they weren’t going to win at the absurd rate they had been at for the past month and a half. Think about it, prior to this evening’s game, the Lightning had only lost three times since snapping Buffalo’s 10-game winning streak on November 29th—THREE TIMES. So, losing for the fourth time in a month and a half span is still impressive.

Brayden Point scored his 30th goal of the year last night, becoming the first player this season to have both 30 goals and assists:

Alex Killorn was mic’d up during the game, which was a lot of fun to hear:

Aside from the loss, there was concern surrounding the health of Tyler Johnson. He missed the third period due to an undisclosed lower body injury:

ESPN writers gave their picks for the Stanley Cup Final in June — the Bolts were favourites in the East: [ESPN.com]

Tampa is demonstrably the best team in the NHL, with a plus-58 goal differential and incomparable depth. They were built to win this season, and so far their foundation is sturdy.

In honour of the QMJHL’s 50th anniversary season, the league has been revealing its all-stars from the past five decades. Nikita Kucherov and Alex Barre-Boulet were both named to the 2010’s all-star team: [QMJHL]

Kucherov left his mark on the League, despite having suited up for only 47 games, by posting 87 points in those contests.

The Prospects

Joe Smith (of the Athletic) travelled to Syracuse for a week and a half to watch the Crunch, including getting a chance to sit down with head coach Benoit Groulx and watch a Bolts game with him! Groulx spoke about his experience coaching current Bolts in Syracuse, with the exception of Point: [The Athletic]

“I had him penciled on my first line in Syracuse,” Groulx says, smiling. “He never showed up.”

Joe also joined a Crunch broadcast while he was up north:

Meanwhile, Groulx was on an ESPN radio show to talk about the team so far this season.

The Orlando Solar Bears have invited fans to dine with their players:

Connor Ingram continues to show why he is the Roberto Luongo of AHL Twitter:

The Game

El Nino is now a Hurricane:

The Philadelphia Flyers made a minor-league trade with the Buffalo Sabres:

Mike McKenna, who already had an awesome helmet, now also has Gritty’s autograph:

Voting has opened for NCAA hockey’s most coveted individual award — the Hobey Baker Trophy. 81 players were nominated for the fan-voting process, including the Lightning’s own Ryan Lohin. A couple of SB Nation sites made their case to vote for their team’s prospects:

On Evan Barratt and Ian Mitchell: [Second City Hockey]

Blackhawks prospects Evan Barratt and Ian Mitchell are among 81 players eligible for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in men’s college hockey.

On Cale Makar: [Mile High Hockey]

Not only has Makar been the most dynamic defender in college hockey this season, but he’s been the leader of a team that is reaching heights they’ve never seen. A big reason why Makar went back to school for a second year was that he wanted to help build the UMass program into a national powerhouse - and he’s been doing just that.

After Alan wrote a great piece on empty calorie scoring in the NHL, fellow SB Nation writer Kaitlyn took a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ roster to see if they had any: [Pensburgh]

Olli Maatta not regularly contributing on the score sheet but still finding ways to contribute to win games goes right along with his career M.O. Bryan Rust is also a player that comes as no surprise. His contribution is one of the biggest reasons for why his contract was extended last summer.

The NHL has decided to provide its coaches with the ability to track stats during games:

The Anaheim Ducks went on a trade frenzy this week, capping it off with a couple of extremely early morning trades that unfolded yesterday:

And with that in mind, I feel like it’s necessary summarize Anaheim’s complete overhaul of their roster in the last month: