Quick Strikes: Hey Shaq, Bolts play HOCKEY

At least he might get some free tickets!

There was not much out there today about the Bolts, given that they’re in far-off places, but luckily Raw Charge is going to fill the void today! Look for the CrunchCast, a Syracuse game recap, the preview for tonight at the Sharks, and the infamous 91 days of Stamkos. Until then, here’s the news.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning Team Report: Analytics show a few bright spots. "To change course now would require significant changes and probably an overdose of luck. Bishop is capable of going on a run that steals ten or twelve games. Steve Yzerman is capable of pulling off a deal that helps the team. Maybe Jon Cooper is capable of adjusting something in the team’s system that would yield better results." [Raw Charge]

Desperation a powerful motivator for Lightning defense. "One week after Tampa Bay lost four straight, giving up a combined 22 goals, it has tightened up its defense considerably. The Lightning has allowed just seven regulation goals in the past four games, including Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Ducks." [Tampa Bay Times]

Ducks slip by Lightning in overtime. "The Lightning played their second straight game without All-Star defenseman Victor Hedman, who fell ill before Tampa Bay’s game at Staples Center. Hedman had played in each of the Lightning’s first 44 games, leading the club in assists, ice time and blocked shots. He is the NHL leader in assists among defenseman with 31." [Associated Press]

The League

Brad Marchand says there’s ‘no question’ that NHL players would accept gay teammate. The Bruins are a no-good, horrible, terrible -- okay, Marchand is pretty cool sometimes. [Fox Sports]

Would firing Claude Julien be a top-3 stupid move for the Cam Neely Bruins? So um, don't let us stop you from doing anything that'll make the Bruins worse. [SCOC]

NHL adds crazy shot accuracy event to All-Star Skills Competition. "So the NHL and the NHLPA do away with the hockey equivalent of the NBA slam-dunk competition in favor of the hockey-equivalent of the NBA three-point shooting competition." [Puck Daddy]

NHL linesman shakes off a puck straight to the head. "The scary moment came when a Preds player tried to blindly dump the puck into the zone and accidentally fired it into the side of Cameron’s head." [Fox Sports]

2017 Draft: Nolan Patrick tops midterm rankings. "No. 2 on the list is center Nico Hischier (6-1, 175) of Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He leads QMJHL rookies with 30 goals, 30 assists and 60 points in 36 games." [NHL]

NHL head coach John Tortorella says there’s ‘not a chance’ LeBron James could play hockey. Shhhh, Torts. [Fox Sports]

Silverman: A Return To A High-Scoring NHL? Capitals-Penguins Gives Reason To Hope. "Even though the Pittsburgh Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup champions and loaded with big-time talent, including Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, you didn’t anticipate them scoring eight goals Monday." [CBS]

And this is very cute:

Watch: NHL all-stars featured in spoof of ‘Friends’ intro. Cute, but what are the odds Crosby even shows up? [Sportsnet]