Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay, Boston, and Toronto all lose to keep Atlantic Division race close

and #HockeyIsForEveryone

The Bolts

On a night where the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs both lost, the Tampa Bay Lightning threw 51 shots at the New Jersey Devils but goaltender Eddie Lack came out on top after playing the game of his life. Lightning lose 4-3. [Raw Charge]

Devils forward Miles Wood committed an egregious hit on Vladislav Namestinkov soon after. Leaving his feet to hit a defenseless player worthy of some significant time off the ice, if not an ejection (the refs on the ice decided it was worth two minutes). Andrej Sustr followed after Wood, attempting to support Vladdy, but managed to have his visor split open and slice his face. He would come back later in the third with a a few stitches.

More on the Vladislav Namestnikov hit can be found here and more on the Andrej Sustr injury can be found here.

If you want to read Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts but are like me and only care about the Lightning, how about a nice edition of “Raw Charge Thinks about Thoughts”. [Raw Charge]

That being said, a package of Nash and Ryan McDonough could be worth a couple of familiar names like Vlad Namestnikov or Brayden Point (that sound you heard was Saima swearing a thousand plagues on Mr. Yzerman for even thinking about trading our precious young forward).

If you’re a Stanley Cup contender, “usually you’re adding a piece, not a cornerstone.” says Chris Kunitz. A lot of the time, the flashy move isn’t the best move to make for a team. [Tampa Bay Times]

The big fish at last season’s trade deadline was defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and the Capitals paid a hefty price for him: a first-round draft pick, a conditional second and a prospect. Washington was eliminated in the second round by Pittsburgh.

The Prospects

If you’re going to a Syracuse Crunch game, you’re pretty much sure to see a goal for the good guys. Until Saturday night when the Crunch left their game against the Charlotte Checkers goal-less for the first time this season. [Syracuse]

The Syracuse Crunch suffered its first shutout of the season in a 2-0 loss to the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday at Bojangles’ Coliseum. Crunch goaltender Eddie Pasquale turned aside 24-of-25 shots, while Alex Nedeljkovic recorded the shutout with 23 saves. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.

Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh had a goal and two assists in the Soo’s 7-1 win over the Sarnia Sting.

Alexey Lipanov went scoreless in the Hulk themed “Superhero Night” Sudbury hosted against Hamilton.

Cal Foote scored in Kelowna’s 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton.

Stats and summaries on the rest of the prospects can be found here. [Bolt Prospects]

The Game

If you missed Switzerland’s Alina Muller’s beautiful end-to-end rush in the quater-finals, here is a gorgeous animation made by @alyssastweeting.

Washington Captials winger Devante Smith-Pelly fought Connor Murphy in the third period of a blowout win by the Chicago Blackhawks. While in the penalty box, four “fans” started chanting  “Basketball. Basketball. Basketball.” at DSP. [Washington Post]

Smith-Pelly is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL, and he and defenseman Madison Bowey are the only black players on the Capitals. This is far from the first incident of racism in the NHL. In a 2011 preseason game in London, Ontario, a fan threw a banana at Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds during a shootout attempt. After Joel Ward scored a Game 7 overtime playoff winner for the Capitals in Boston in 2012, his social media was flooded with racially charged language and death threats.

Coach Barry Trotz’s response and explanation of what transpired. “There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. Athletes in our country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.” [Washington Post]

Bolts fans, I know you are all the best in the world, but make sure you never do this.

On a brighter note, Eugene Melnyk is excited about being the only person in the Ottawa Senators front office in three months. I’m paraphrasing but I think I portrayed Eugene’s words correctly. [Ottawa Sun]

Eugene Melnyk will be taking a hands-on approach as his tries to get the Ottawa Senators back on track. The National Hockey League club has taken a huge step backwards after making it to the Eastern Conference playoff final against the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring, and the organization confirmed Feb. 9 that president and CEO Tom Anselmi was leaving after only 12 months on the job.

Speaking of the Sens, Nick Kypreos on Hockey Night in Canada reported that there’s a high chance Erik Karlsson gets traded before next Monday’s Trade Deadline. Kyper does have a penchant for exaggerating (re: Josh Leivo) so take this “report” with a grain of salt. [SB Nation]

I keep getting told the same thing, and that is “don’t be surprised if Erik Karlson’s traded within the next nine days.” Now Chris, you mentioned last week, we know where the Ottawa Senators stand, they want to get the message out that he’s unavailable. But as one general manager told me yesterday, “if you’re not prepared to make him the highest paid player,” — and their is a belief that he could get there — “then why would you not explore the maximum value on his return?”

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot blew up at the media when his team got the short end of the stick on goaltender interference again. I guess Edmonton media is rubbing off on Cam. [Copper and Blue]

Highlight of the Night: Matt Murray robs Zach Hyman with the glove after “Stone Hands” makes a slick move to get Murray down and out.