Quick Strikes: Serena Williams, Dave and Busters, and Jim Benning

What’s hockey? Never heard of it. Happy Wimbledon, World Cup, and Baseball (probably) day!!!

The Bolts

Raw Charge got an exclusive interview with Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares about his three hours with Steve Yzerman. There is no video or photo evidence because for some reason he wouldn’t let me come to his house (we both live in Mississauga, Ontario). Here’s what he said about those magical Yzerman hours. [Raw Charge]

JT: Sure, we were in a conference room at CAA headquarters. It was myself, Pat [Brisson, his agent], Steve Yzerman, Julien Brisebois and Jon Cooper. They brought a laptop and nothing else. I remember we had to close the curtains because Lou Lamoriello kept peeking in through the windows.

Nothing beats a good summer mural!

It’s the summer so I’m allowed to include stuff like this now. Eric Blankenship is the Vice President of Marketing for the Lightning and he’s a generally fun follow. His latest thread on his trip to Dave and Busters is particularly fun!

Lexi, Serena Williams is sport-Beyonce. You have to exclude her in every “favourite” or “best” conversation because it’s unfair to everyone else around her. (P.S. Lexi and JT will never not be in the Bolts column, it’s the rules.)

Acha has been an amazing mentor, friend, and blog-mom since I first joined Raw Charge as the Quick Strikes writer. You can read about all the things she and the rest of my SBN family  helped improve in me (because I couldn’t have done any of it on my own) in her very special edition of the Quick Strikes! I promise I’ll fix that c key. At least my grammer’s not an issue anymore!!! [Raw Charge]

The second Hardev stepped into SBNation, his boundless energy came with him, and soon he was not only doing our links, but things for Tom Hunter’s Mile High Hockey blog — and then there came a day when Species at Pension Plan Puppets needed a cowriter for Toronto Marlies coverage, and there was no looking back.

The Prospects

The 2018-19 regular season schedule for the Syracuse Crunch has been released, so Alex and Tracey decided to do a deep dive into the logistics that impacted the schedule, advantages that the Crunch have and have lost, and trends as the AHL has evolved over the years. [Raw Charge]

One of the biggest changes in the schedule this season took the form of a concerted effort by the league to really bring down the numbers of dreaded 3-in-3 weekends. In general, the AHL is a weekend league, with team owners preferring Friday/Saturday/Sunday games over games during the week. This usually led to a fair number of exhausting weekends where teams would be in action all three of those days.

Oleg Sosunov is tall. Like, really tall. Like, really REALLY tall. He’s #21 on our Top 25 Under 25 rankings. [Raw Charge]

With Sustr now moving on to the Anaheim Ducks as an unrestricted free agent, Sosunov has become the Lightning’s resident giraffe. The Moose Jaw web site still lists him at 6’8”, but puts his weight at 235 pounds. He’s got a bit more bulk than Sustr had and does play a more physical game on the blue line.


The Game



flops onto floor, defeated.

[The Athletic]

The Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL are attracting some serious talent into their organization. How are they doing it? Spoiler alert: The Pegula’s are awesome. I really liked reading this article. It’s very well written and insightful into what’s going on in women’s hockey. [Buffalo News]

“We definitely have more of an organizational structure,” Greco said. “We have a general manager, then coaches, then we have team managers that help with day-to-day activities. Before, the coaches had to plan everything and sometimes they lost sight of the game. The extra support the Pegulas have offered this team made us an all-around better team. There’s more tools and assets to help us be a world-class team, a professional team.

Ilya Kovalchuk has returned to the NHL. He explains why. [Sportsnet]

“When I was making my decision, it was all about hockey, because I have three, four years left in my tank where I can really play at a high level,” Kovalchuk told reporters Saturday, according to NHL.com’s Dan Greenspan. “L.A. has a great group of guys, great goaltending, great defence. They have one of the best centres in the league.

In some personal news, a shocking number of my family and friends are grieving the loss of a loved one, pets included, yesterday and today. So I just want to say that I love everyone who reads this, who reads to the end. Thank you for giving me a reason to wake up at 6am and do something meaningful everyday. Especially you, TCann!! Haha.