Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning injury update edition

and will the Lightning be able to turn things around in time for the playoffs?

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will be a game-time decision for the game against the Boston Bruins. [NHL dot com]

Stamkos wore a regular jersey and skated with a handful of Lightning players during the optional practice before the team boarded a flight Wednesday afternoon for Boston. Stamkos said he felt “okay” after the skate and will see how the injury responds to the workout before deciding whether to play in the Bolts’ pivotal Atlantic Division showdown in Boston Thursday.

Will the Lightning be able to right the ship in time for the playoffs? The team sure thinks so. [Tampa Bay Times]

“You can’t give up when it’s going bad,” Brayden Point said. “If you work through it when it’s going bad, eventually we’ll find it. It’s a stretch where it’s not going so good. It’s bound to happen at one point. You can’t play 82 perfect games. I think we’re not in the same groove that we were, but we’ve got time to get it back.”

The Atlantic Division, we want that. [Tampa Bay Times]

Win tonight and you can bet the swagger will return to the Lightning, a team many consider a Stanley Cup contender. It will have to be a ton better than the group that has lost three of its past six, including Monday to Arizona, among the league’s bottom dwellers.

You have to see Yanni Gourde’s pre-game rituals. The rookie runs the show at the pre-games for the Lightning now. [NHL dot com]

The lights dim, the music starts, the Tesla coils fire and that night’s starting goaltender leads the Lightning onto the ice to start pregame. The players spend a few minutes skating around and shooting at the net. Once it’s time to begin line rushes, Gourde is the player tasked with collecting all of the pucks, centralizing them in one area inside the net and dishing them out three or four at a time to center ice.

Our friendly beat writer Joe Smith has left the Tampa bay Times and will be joining the brand new Athletic Tampa Bay. I too will be announcing my new job with a tweet+article titled “Why I’m joining the Athletic.” Jokes aside, huge congrats to Joe!

The Prospects

The Syracuse beat the Binghamton Devils 5-1. AGAIN. [Auburn Pub]

The Crunch netted three goals in the first period and cruised to a 5-1 win over the Binghamton Devils at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday. Syracuse has won six straight and has points in 15 of the last 16 games. Syracuse’s Carter Verhaeghe recorded a pair of power play markers in the first period. The forward has four goals in his last three games.

Mitchell Stevens and Jonne Tammela both left practice due to injury and did not skate in yesterday’s win over Binghamton.

Meanwhile, Sault Ste. Marie sweeps Saginaw to move onto the second round.

The Game

The Canucks needed some advice from a winning team. We haven’t even won a Cup (yet) but Raw charge gave it a try. [Nucks Misconduct]

Question #2

Canuck fans have a long history of cheering for players who have minimal talent, but a lot of “potential”. Can you point a player on the Lightning that fits that mold and explain why Canuck fans should fall in love with him?

31 Thoughts from Elliotte Friedman. Need I say more? [Sportsnet]

10. Florida GM Dale Tallon fought off any urge to move Henrik Borgstrom this season. They were trying to get Ryan McDonagh and there’s no doubt the Rangers asked.

“He is an NHL-ready player,” said Montgomery, his college coach. “The key will be his consistency of competitiveness. He’s so creative, he can make plays from the middle of the ice. If he wants to be good defensively, he can be.”

Zdeno Chara is staying in Boston for another year and why wouldn’t he, he’s making $5 million bucks plus bonuses! [Sportsnet]

Chara’s new contract calls for $5 million in salary next season and includes an easily achievable $1.25-million bonus if he plays 10 games, according to a source. The Bruins captain can earn an additional $250,000 bonus if the team qualifies for the playoffs in 2018-19 and another $250,000 if it wins the Stanley Cup.

Highlight of the Night: Auston Matthews gets #30, Zach Hyman gets in the way.