Quick Strikes: Lightning at Calgary, Solar Bears don special Santa jerseys

Everything the headline says, and more!

-The Tampa Bay Lightning continued on their West Coast road trip last night, making a stop in Calgary to take on the Flames. Given the 9 PM EST start time, it was difficult for East Coast fans to stay up. No worries; we have the down and dirty on the Lightning’s shootout win!

-Victor Hedman is just the best. That’s all.

-Danick Martel, who netted his first NHL point the other night in Vancouver, is now up for Bolt Quote of the Year: “Ceddy screamed and I got scared.”

-While Tampa has been spending some quality time with the Western Conference, things in the Eastern have been rolling right along. Hardev spent some time visiting with the East yesterday, and pondered whether the Lightning have anything to worry about from the likes of Toronto, Washington, and...Pittsburgh?

Don’t look now, but the Penguins are marching. Sidney Crosby has 16 goals (38 points) in 31 games, including a goal and assist against the Capitals on Wednesday night.

(I had to)

-On Thursday, Matt dove deep into the greatness that is Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli, making a convincing argument that he just isn’t appreciated enough.

Entering the season, the Lightning fans and media were abuzz about the surprise arrival of Mathieu Joseph. The speedy winger endeared himself to fans with his relentless speed and forechecking. Given Joseph’s impressive start, many have forgotten another rookie the Lightning are putting on the ice. One who got his first taste of NHL action late last season and into the playoffs. I’m here to tell you that you might think you appreciate Anthony Cirelli, but you don’t appreciate him enough.

-Speaking of young players, you might have missed the fact that Tampa signed prospect Gabriel Fortier to his entry level contract Thursday. While this doesn’t mean much right now - it certainly isn’t anticipated that Fortier will get any NHL time in the near future - it does mean that the first round draft pick is officially in the fold.

-The Syracuse Crunch are struggling a bit lately. After putting together a points streak that lasted 13 games, the Crunch lost two in a row in regulation. Their latest loss, Wednesday night’s contest at Springfield, saw the Thunderbirds take advantage of Syracuse’s lapses. The Crunch is still fairing well, though, and stayed stable in Patrick Williams’ weekly rankings.

-The Crunch’s front office got into the holiday spirit this week, creating cards for military members. Fans can get into the action Saturday night:

-The Lightning organization has another baby in the family: Pete Angelidis!

-The Orlando Solar Bears are adding some holiday cheer to their teddy bear toss game with these festive jerseys:

-Here’s a better look at those jerseys:

-Carter Hart’s mom is so full of pride in these gifs, and it’s exactly what we all need to get through today.

-Patrik Berglund is officially no longer a Buffalo Sabre after clearing unconditional waivers yesterday. The drama between him and Buffalo could have been a large distraction, but the players did their best to move forward. (paywalled)

-John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars has had a long recovery road after having a hand basically surgically rebuilt. Sean Shapiro talked to him about the process for The Athletic. (paywalled)

-Södertälje is a city in Sweden that that has had a hand in turning out some amazing NHL talent. Carl Hagelin, Anze Kopitar, David Pastrnak and William Nylander all came through that city and played for their team. EP Rinkside took a deeper look at Södertälje SK.

-Looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the hockey analytic lover in your life? Check this out:

-Here’s another great gift idea, although it might arrive after Christmas: