Quick Strikes: Jonathan Drouin reflects on the way he left Tampa for Montreal

and Darcy Tucker sets a franchise record in the most Darcy Tucker way: with his fists

The Bolts

Does Tampa Bay Lightning defensive stud Mikhail Sergachev have a shot at the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year? [Raw Charge]

“There have also only been 13 rookie defensemen to score 40 points or more since Malakhov’s 50 point performance. Dion Phaneuf had the best performance of that group with 20 goals and 49 points in 2005-06 for the Calgary Flames. Phaneuf finished third in the Calder voting behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Talk about some tough competition there.”

Sergacvhev is growing up on the ice and off of it. “It’s a joy to see his life come together.” [Tampa Bay Times]

“Bold. Poised. Skilled. Confident. Mature.

“Those attributes are easily spotted on the ice, where Sergachev has blossomed into a top-four defenseman on the league’s top team. The five winning goals and 23 points are more than anyone expected when Sergachev was acquired [from the Montreal Canadiens].”

The key to coming out of a long break is to sweat out all of the junk food!

Jonathan Drouin wishes he had been more patient when it came to the way he left Tampa Bay for Montreal. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Yeah, maybe being more patient in my decision-making, where I'm young and stubborn and want to do my own thing, and what I did. And just the way it turned out. But at the end of the day being patient. But I've said it before, I don't regret what I did, it got to me to my hometown team and a lot of good players to play with.”

No, no. I’m sure the standings don’t have anything to do with him regretting his decision at all.

Head coach Jon Cooper spoke about the Sergachev-Drouin trade, saying it was purely business. [Tampa Bay Times]

"In the end, money comes into play in this league," Cooper said. "And to sit here and think we had any understanding of the way the trade was going to work out … the bottom line is Jo is the one that was going to bring the most value."

This week in Lightning history saw Darcy Tucker set a franchise record and Phil Esposito become immortalized. [NHL dot com]

“Lightning forward Darcy Tucker let his emotions boil over against Tampa Bay's in-state rivals. In a 6-1 loss to the Panthers, Tucker accrued a franchise record 49 penalty minutes. The final count: two fighting majors, two minors for roughing, three 10-minute game misconducts and one spearing major.”

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch returned from their Christmas break in style, defeating their bitter rival the Toronto Marlies by a score of 5-4 in a thriller. Call-up Dennis Yan came up huge for the better blue and white team. [Syracuse]

“[Dennis Yan scored twice and] also added an assist in his first game back from injury since Dec. 1 for his first professional three-point performance. Mathieu Joseph put up two points with a goal and a helper, while Matthew Peca tallied two assists...”

Here is head coach Benoit Groulx’s post-game press conference.

Cal Foote doesn’t want to walk in his fathers Foote-steps. He wants to make his own on the international stage. [Hockey Canada]

“There are always little puns and one liners out there,” says Cal Foote, a defenceman with Canada's National Junior Team. “I’d like to say I’ve probably heard them all.”

Oh, Cal. I can’t wait to meet you one day.

Taylor Raddysh scored in Canada’s 6-0 win over Slovenia. He potted a second but it was taken back due to a teammate being offside.

Let’s take a look at the Lightning’s prospects halfway through the season in this week’s prospect roundup. [NHL dot com]

D Oleg Sosunov, Moose Jaw Warriors

Drafted 178th overall (6th Round) in 2016

“Sosunov is one off the team lead in scoring for defensemen with 16 points in 34 games.”

This past week saw the Crunch lose big, win even bigger, and lose a heart-breaker heading into the holiday break. Matthew Peca and Carter Verhaeghe both carry six- and nine-game scoring streaks respectively. [NHL dot com]

“Crunch captain Erik Condra returned to the Syracuse lineup Friday for the first time since Nov. 15. After missing 14 games with a lower body injury, the Trenton, Michigan native put up three points (1g, 2a) in his return. He then followed that by scoring the only Crunch goal Saturday.”

Nick Riopel is easily my favourite ECHL player. He must be a riot on roadtrips.

The Game

Arizona coyotes “forward” Zac Rinaldo has been suspended six games for his sucker-punch on Colorado Avalanche rookie Samuel Girard. Is that enough? Let me know in the comments! [Yahoo! Sports]

“Looking around Hockey Twitter, one would think that many are unhappy with the call, whether it be those who believe it’s not nearly enough of a message sent by the league and, on the other hand, those who believe that Girard put himself in a perilous situation.”

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner thinks there is a conspiracy against him and his city. Sure, Robin, THAT’S what’s wrong with the Sabres. [ESPN]

“Lehner claimed that it wasn't the first time this season that the NHL had ‘predetermined’ that the Sabres would lose a late-game video review. The NHL took a goal away from the Sabres in a Nov. 26 game against the Montreal Canadiens, as it was determined that forward Sam Reinhart made contact with goalie Carey Price before the puck crossed the line late in the third period.”

Elliotte Friedman has released another 31 Thoughts and this one contains Kris Letang trade rumours, a Tampa bay Lightning 3v3 team at the All-Star Game, and Anthony Duclair potentially needing a fresh start. [Sportsnet]

“26. A lot of the Calder love surrounds Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, Clayton Keller and Sergachev, all deserving, but watch for the Charlie McAvoy acolytes. They’re out there, making themselves known, especially as Boston rises in the standings.

“27. A major reason for the Bruins’ surge? Patrice BergeronBrad MarchandDavid Pastrnakhave outscored opponents 10-0 in almost 200 five-on-five minutes.”

Highlight of the Night: It makes me so happy to see Mathew Barzal do this to someone like Robin Lehner. The utter disrespect is amazing to see.