Quick Strikes: NHL unveils three-day festival, Fitz and The Tantrums for All-Star Weekend

and Dan Girardi doesn’t miss a beat

The Bolts

Tyler Johnon’s hat trick gives the Tampa Bay Lightning the edge they needed to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes. [Raw Charge]

“I don’t think enough can be said of Johnson’s resurgence over the past month. He has been nothing short of incredible. Kucherov and Stamkos have gotten the headlines this season, but Johnson definitely deserves some love. His December was probably the best month of hockey he’s ever produced (from a points perspective).”


Dan Girardi didn’t even miss a game, says he feels “lucky” to be okay after taking shot in neck. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Very scary moment,” Girardi said. ”It was definitely a weird feeling. Just kind of hurt everywhere. My arm was numb. Not sure if there was any damage. It was just a wait and see. But I got really lucky.”

The NHL will be hosting a free All-Star Pre-Game fan festival for three days in AMALIE Arena’s Silver Parking Lot and Cotanchobee Park. [NHL dot com]

It will include “a myriad of free hockey interactive games, attractions and music; special appearances by current and former NHL All-Star players; the Fourth Annual NHL Mascot Showdown™, a mini-version of the NHL All-Star Game featuring 27 NHL Mascots™; NHL memorabilia and trophy displays including the iconic Stanley Cup®; an exhibition showcasing the history of hockey in Florida; live television and radio broadcasts; a wide assortment of food options; and dozens of other dynamic activities.”

A poster with all the information can be found here (it has a great color scheme).

The Friday night of the All-Star Weekend will feature a concert headlined by “Fitz and The Tantrums” [NHL dot com]

“Brimming with imagination, energy, and genre-smashing scope, Fitz and The Tantrums defied the odds to become an indisputable phenomenon, a chart-topping, show-stopping modern pop combo unlike any other. Critics have called their live show ‘captivatingly crazy’ and praised the band for its ‘irrepressible energy: hopped up rhythms, shout-it-out choruses, and hooted background vocals.’”

What might the All-Star rosters look like? Joe Smith predicts. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Vegas, baby. The expansion Golden Knights should get two forwards, including former Lightning’ Jonathan Marchessault. Marc-Andre Fleury might have gotten a nod if he hadn’t been limited to 12 starts.”

The Prospects

Back to some genre-smashing hockey, Lightning prospect Jonne Tammela’s rights were traded from the Peterborough Petes to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. I say rights because Tammela is currently rehabbing a knee injury with the Syracuse Crunch and not in the OHL. He is allowed to go back for an overage year at any time. [Raw Charge]

“In the Greyhounds, he would be going to one of the best teams in the three CHL leagues, joining fellow Lightning prospects Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh. With this team being a power house, it’s very conceivable they could be going to the Memorial Cup.”

So, do you know what went on with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder this past week?

No? Well, I have good news for you!

Yes? Blasted, you win this round. Smarty pants.

[Raw Charge]

“Blackwood would pick up his first Thunder win, stopping 28 of 30 shots. Henry added two assists, while Conacher got a point in his 5th straight game with a first period assist. In the four games this week, he finished with three goals and four assists.”

Dramatic finishes in back to back games resulted in the Syracuse Crunch starting 2018 undefeated. A week 14 in review. [Syracuse Crunch]

Daniel Walcott had assists in both games over the weekend to build a career-high three-game scoring streak. He missed 11 games with a lower-body injury before returning Dec. 30. He has points in three of the four games since returning and has six points (1g, 5a) in 21 games.”

Syracuse Crunch goaltenders Nic Riopel and Louis Domingue have a family history that you will not believe. [Syracuse]

“I remember talking with my GM. He was telling me that, ‘Hey Rio, I’m looking for a good goalie at the draft and can’t really find any. Do you have any suggestions?’’’ Riopel recalled after Crunch practice on Tuesday. “I suggested you should go have a look at (Domingue). He saw him, he liked him, drafted him in the first round. We became on the same team for about two years.’’

The Game

31 Thoughts is out from Elliotte Friedman. This edition talks about the end of Jaromir Jagr’s career, potential trades surrounding the New York Islanders, and a prime-time NHL Trade Deadline? [Sportsnet]

3. These things take a little bit of time (remember Vadim Shipachyov) so it might take a few days to get clarity, but Jaromir Jagr’s NHL time is coming to an end. On one hand, it’s sad to see, but I think Jagr’s earned the right to be seen in a more positive light.

You can look and say, “Ugh, this is tough to watch.” I prefer to look at it as, “What an incredible accomplishment that he got an NHL contract at age 45 — even if it didn’t work.”

The Nashville Predators sign three of their underratedly solid depth defensemen to sub-million dollar contracts. I swear, David Poile is a magician. [One the Forecheck]

“Both Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber signed identical two-year contracts, woth $650,000 next season and $700,000 in 2019-20. Meanwhile, Anthony Bitetto signed a one-year contract worth $650,000 next season.”

Who owns the most depressing NHL team in Canada? [Down Goes Brown]

“No, not the Stanley Cup. We all know that thing never lands north of the border anymore. No, we’re talking about something that fits better with the modern-day Canadian NHL psyche: the title of Most Depressing Team In The Nation.”

Wes McCauley is a professional through and through... But it doesn’t mean he can’t have fun once in a while. [Yahoo Sports]

“Sometimes I just get caught, you know,” McCauley said, sheepish, in an interview over the phone. “I’m just caught up in the game. When I’m out there, i’m into it. I enjoy it. It’s not really a job – it’s what I love to do.”

Highlight of the Night: Kyle Connor played Robin Lehner like a snare drum.