Quick Strikes: Peter Budaj recalled by Tampa Bay Lightning, will remain on IR

and Alex Ovechkin becomes fourth fastest ever to 600 career goals.

The Bolts

Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning have been able to find market inefficiencies when it ccomes to undrafted free-agents and european prospects. But where does he stack up relative to the league when it comes to late draft picks and the success rate of them? [Raw Charge]

Of all picks in the data set, there have been 5,595 games played and 1,627 points scored. The Lightning’s draft picks make up 11% of those games played. 11 teams (not counting the Vegas Golden Knights for obvious reasons) have gotten less than 100 games played from their draft picks. Only four have gotten more than 100 points.

Are the Bolts playing Andrei Vasilevskiy too much? [Raw Charge]

Recently, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times wrote a piece that stated pretty plainly that Andrei Vasilevskiy is “exhausted” from his first season of shouldering a starting goaltender’s schedule. The inspired me to take a look at Vasilevskiy’s games played over the course of the season. Last season, Saima took a similar look at Vasy’s workload. But what has changed since Vasy became a starter?

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Final? Well that seems to be the obvious choice. [Sports Illustrated]

The Bolts are 9-0-1 in their last 10, and big deadline get Ryan McDonagh has only played once. Boston is a challenger as the top team in the East right now, but Tampa Bay looks and feels like the more dangerous team.

What was once considered a weak spot on this roster has become an integral part of the the Lightning’s most recent winning streak. [NHL dot com]

It was also the 20th marker of the season for Johnson, who became the sixth Tampa Bay skater to reach the 20-goal milestone in 2017-18, joining Nikita Kucherov (34), Steven Stamkos (27), Brayden Point (27), Yanni Gourde (24) and Vladislav Namestnikov (20), who was traded to the New York Rangers four days after scoring his 20th of the season for the Lightning in Ottawa.

In roster news, the Lightning have called up goalie Peter Budaj following his conditioning stint in Syracuse. Budaj will remain on IR for the forseeable future and to keep the regular season roster limit gods happy. [NHL dot com]

Budaj, 35, played in two games with the Crunch last weekend, posting a 0-1-1 record to go along with a 2.95 goals-against average and .887 save percentage. He has also appeared in seven games with the Lightning this season, posting a record of 3-3-1 to go along with a 3.80 goals-against average and .878 save percentage. Budaj has won three of his past five starts with the Bolts. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound goaltender suffered a lower body injury on December 29 against the Philadelphia Flyers and has missed the past 22 games.

What should the Tampa Bay Lightning do with all its goaltenders when Peter Budaj returns from injury?

The Prospects

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds may have lost only their 12th game of the season over the weekend, but that didn’t stop Boris Katchouk from notching five points (2g, 3a) over the three-game weekend. Full prospect update. [NHL dot com]

Katchouk recorded five points (2g-3a) in the Soo’s three games last weekend to extend his point streak to five games. He scored twice in their 4-3 win over Kitchener on Friday, including his 100th career goal in the OHL, all as a member of the Greyhounds. He was named First Star in the win.

As mentioned above, Taylor Raddysh and Katchouk put up two assists each but ultimately fell 6-5 in the shootout to Owen Sound Attack. [Bolt Prospects]

Raddysh and Katchouk teamed up twice in the 3rd to help spur a Soo rally from a 5-2 deficit to tie the game and eventually force overtime and the shootout. The duo first setup Conor Timmins (COL, 2017 2nd round pick) on a power play marker, and then again on Morgan Frost’s (PHI, 2016 1st round pick) 5-5 equalizer and second goal of the game. Raddysh failed to convert in the shootout, but Owen Sound’s Maksim Sushko (PHI, 2017 4th round pick) beat Matthew Villalta (LAK, 2017 3rd round pick) to give the Attack the victory.

The Adirondack Thunder have been treading water lately but they haven’t slipped in the playoff picture so at least there’s that. [Raw Charge]

With only a handful of games remaining in the regular season, it’s time for the Adirondack Thunder to get into playoff position. After tasting first place for a few hours last weekend, the team looked to jump back into the penthouse with three big weekend games. Three points out of six later, the Thunder find themselves again in that familiar runner up position—but closer to getting that postseason invite.

The Game

Alex Ovechkin beccame the fourth fasted player in NHL history to schore 600 goals before his 1000th game. In an era where goals are a lot harder to come by, it’s safe to say The Great 8 is the greatest goalscorer of all time. THERE, I SAID IT! #600VI [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

RMNB has about four posts dedicated to all things #600VI, I highly recommend going through a few of the great stories surrounding the Great 8.

Greatest of all time.

Can the Great 8 catch the Great One? I wouldn’t put it past him. [ESPN]

Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 600 against the Jets, and now sets his sights on Jari Kurri (601), Dino Ciccarelli (608) and Bobby Hull (610) on the all-time list. But there’s a name a bit higher on the list that piques our interest a bit more: Wayne Gretzky, who holds the career goal-scoring record, with 894 tallies.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety made the right decision when it came to the Brad Marchand incident on Anthony Duclair. [The Hockey News]

So it could not have been easy for George Parros & Co. to watch this past weekend as everyone’s favorite miscreant, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, was at it again. In a Saturday afternoon game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Marchand was coming back into his own zone when he turned into the path of Anthony Duclair. In an effort to avoid the check, Marchand clotheslined Duclair, who left the game and didn’t return. Marchand received a minor for interference and was listed day-to-day with an upper body injury and wasn’t in the lineup when the Bruins faced the Blackhawks again the next day.

Highlight of the Night: Marc-Andre Fleury got his 400th career win last night. An amazing person on and off the ice, it’s so good to see players like Flower get rewarded with lifetime achievement milestones like this.