Quick Strikes: The Lightning’s Brayden Point continues to excel, trades!, and the Syracuse Crunch play with puppies

(...for a good cause)

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point continues to have a banner season. Thanks to his performance during the past week, he’s the team’s Player of the Week.

Meanwhile, in Syracuse, Alex Barré-Boulet was the Crunch’s Player of the Week.

Coach Ben Groulx of Syracuse Crunch may have unintentionally started a new organizational craze: Pulling the goalie and putting him back in on the fly. What started during one of Syracuse’s game this past week was copied during the Lightning’s own contest this past Sunday night against the New York Islanders.

“We were trying to win a hockey game,” he (Jon Cooper) said. “It’s in the rules to do it. We had our guys out there. We had our looks. We had some really good looks.”

If you missed the collision that injured Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman Sunday night, Scouting the Refs has you covered.

Rooney was skating backwards in the neutral zone, when he was run into the the blueliner. Hedman was watching the play to his right as he headed towards the Lightning bench.

With the trade for Jan Rutta this past week, the one that sent Slater Koekkoek to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Koekkoek hot takes have been running rampant. Here’s one from The Hockey Writers.

In many ways, there was almost no chance for Koekkoek to meet expectations with the Lightning. From being selected too high in the 2012 Entry Draft to getting buried under a constant stream of new talent within the organization, he wasn’t able to get the playing time needed to become an NHL starter. However, there’s never been a question about his character, as he has handled this scenario like a true professional, never demanding playing time or a trade.

Koekkoek made his debut with Chicago in their game last night.

Did someone say PUPPIES? The Syracuse Crunch have created a calendar that they are selling for $20. $5 from every calendar sold will go to the Humane Society of CNY. The calendar features players like captain Gabriel Dumont, defenseman Cameron Gaunce, forward Dennis Yan, defenseman Daniel Walcott, defenseman Brady Brassart, forward Mitchell Stevens, forward Kevin Lynch, and more hamming it up with a bunch of puppies.

For those of you not in Syracuse: the calendar can be ordered online!

The Orlando Solar Bears took two out of their three games this past week. While they hope to keep their hot streak going, the Solar Bears are also offering a 5-game ticket deal.

Lightning prospect Sammy Walker scored a pretty nifty goal this past weekend.

Mike McKenna has a new mask worthy of his new start with the Philadelphia Flyers, and...yup. It’s got Gritty. Of course it does.

Moar puppies? As you wish! Here’s Frederik Gauthier with his.

Angry voices of authority seem to be everywhere in hockey. The latest is New York Rangers head coach David Quinn.

“You’re going to lose hockey games. But you better want to battle somebody. It’s just ridiculous,” Quinn said. “Three games where we feel good about our effort and our compete, and then we come out here and do that? It’s a freaking joke.”

Speaking of the Rangers, could a possible buyers’ market hurt their trade chances?

Though it’s not entirely clear just how far the Rangers are willing to cut into their roster for what will be their second-straight liquidation sale, names like Mats Zuccarello, Adam McQuaid, and potentially Kevin Hayes — all unrestricted free agents (UFA) this summer — are the most logical candidates to sell. The returns for each, however, could be affected, perhaps drastically, if the Rangers ride this train to the bitter end.

In a related story, the Rangers and the Nashville Predators completed a minor league trade yesterday. The trade sent Cole Schneider, the now former captain of the Hartford Wolfpack, away in exchange for Connor Brickley.

Oddly enough....

And now from an angry team on the East Coast to a frustrated one on the West: The Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks haven’t won a game in 11 contests, but aren’t considering removing head coach Randy Carlyle.

“At this time, I am not considering a coaching change. I am more focused on our players, specifically with who is going to step up in this situation. The way we played tonight was a step in the right direction, but we need much, much more. We have higher expectations for this group, and they should expect more from themselves.”

-Anaheim GM Bob Murray

The Ducks did, however, decide to make a move yesterday on the trade market, acquiring Devin Shore from the Dallas Stars in exchange for left wing Andrew Cogliano.

Trades? Did someone say trades? The Texas Stars are reportedly shopping forward Brett Ritchie.

TRADES? Did someone day TRADES? The Edmonton Oilers appear to be preparing for an actual fire sale.

Josh Gorges has announced his retirement from hockey. Happy travels!

The Foote family - Cal Foote, his father Adam Foote, and brother Nolan Foote - have all made their impact on the Kelowna Rockets.

On Oct. 21, the Rockets relieved then head coach Jason Smith of his duties after the team’s horrid 4-10 start. The next day, general manager Bruce Hamilton announced Adam Foote would take the reins as head coach.

Foote, along with is wife Jennifer, had been seen and heard around Prospera Place on a regular basis as supportive hockey parents. They acquired a residence in Kelowna, a home for the family while Cal and Nolan chased their hockey dreams.

But now it’s also about work.

And now...The pay walled section

-Joe Smith covers the story behind the numbers that current Lightning players are wearing this season.

-Smith also did a piece on Mikhail Sergachev and how his game has advanced since last season.

-Sean Shapiro chimed in on the Shore/Cogliano trade.