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Quick Strikes: Spending the holidays with the Lightning’s Yanni Gourde

-Joe Smith of The Athletic knows just how to get subscribers who are fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning into the holiday spirit. He published an article yesterday where he brought fans into Yanni Gourde’s home, giving us all (well, “us all” with a subscription, anyway) a special look at his family and their home together.

This is a special Christmas for the Gourde family. It’s Gourde’s first as a father, as Emma arrived during the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in May. There’s a lot to be thankful for this holiday, which comes just a few months after Gourde’s life-changing contract: a six-year, $31 million extension signed in mid-October.

-Speaking of the holidays, the NHL.com got into the spirit of things in their usual punny way:

-Mike Gallimore put together this nifty little chart that compares the Lightning’s current pace to their previous five seasons.

-The Syracuse Crunch had a lot to say about their wacky comeback win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night. Head coach Ben Groulx, defenseman Cameron Gaunce, and goalie Eddie Pasquale broke down the important moments:

-The Orlando Solar Bears announced that they collected over 8,000 teddy bears for charity during their teddy toss game Friday night!

-USA Hockey’s final roster for the World Junior Championship sadly does not contain Lightning prospect Sammy Walker:

-The Czech team for WJC is shaping up, and still includes Lightning prospect Radim Salda.

-Jimmy Vesey’s future with the New York Rangers is less than certain. Could he be used in a trade to further the team’s rebuild? Mike Murphy at Blue Shirt Banter explored Vesey’s value.

This season Vesey has continued to something that should make him a desirable asset to Stanley Cup contenders — he’s scored goals at 5v5. Vesey is second on the Rangers with six goals at 5v5 this season and his 0.83 goals per 60 at 5v5 is third on the Rangers behind Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. Last season, 14 of Vesey’s 17 goals were scored at 5v5, which put him on par with some noteworthy wingers in the league including Alexander Radulov, Micheal Ferland, Jakob Silfverberg, Adrian Kempe, and Brandon Saad.

-San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has been suspended 2 games for an illegal check to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Austin Wagner.

-The Toronto Maple Leafs took another giant inclusive leap forward in the staffing area again over the weekend with the announcement that they’ve asked Ailish Forfar to help out with video work.

-Buffalo Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, who left the KeyBank Center press box on a stretcher during the third period of the team’s game Saturday night, is doing well.

-Last night, the Carolina Hurricanes honored the Hartford Whalers by wearing throwback jerseys.

“The motivation was primarily around [the fact that] it’s interesting, it looks great and it’s a way do something different,” Dundon said. “It’s a long season and we’re in the entertainment business and this is going to make this night different and enjoyable and connect with fans whether it’s in Hartford or anywhere else. So, I hope they enjoy it.”

The reaction to the evening was rather mixed, and I think Alan summed up many people’s thoughts well:

-In the ECHL Saturday night, it was a battle of the Lightning’s former ECHL teams when the Brampton Beast visited the Adirondack Thunder. Tracey was there and put together an album.

We’re not quite on holiday yet, we have a few articles coming out today, but we here at Raw Charge would like to wish those of you celebrating Christmas a very merry holiday. Have fun, be safe, and much love to you and yours from all of us! To everyone else, have a wonderful week! – Alex

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