Quick Strikes: The Bye Week begins for the Lightning

It begins slowly. Very slowly.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s bye week has begun, and things have already slowed way down. Man. News was sparse, my friends. However, do not worry. Raw Charge already has a week of entertaining and provocative entries planned (you know you always wanted to get to argue over Ben Thomas’ Hogwarts house), so we have you covered.

The Lightning last played Saturday, so yesterday was filled with the usual reflections from players about their performance.

Lightning forward Yanni Gourde was pleased with his team’s last contest before the break.

Defenseman Victor Hedman echoed Gourde’s sentiments, and in particular applauded his team’s ability to refocus and win.

Balancing emotions through the second half of the season and into the playoffs is essential for any NHL team, and coach Jon Cooper likes what he’s seeing in the Lightning at this mid-point.

The Syracuse Crunch may have recently experienced a rough patch, but they are actually in a very similar position to last year’s team at this point (and that team went on to be one of the best in Syracuse history).

Some of you may have heard about the weather we’re having up here in New York, weather that cancelled Syracuse’s game in Binghamton this past Saturday. Well, the Crunch game for later today is still on, and there’s deals to be had if one is looking to get out of the house!

The Orlando Solar Bears have been putting together some great play as of late, and forward Chris LeBlanc is helping to lead the way.

Following a timeout called by Berehowsky, LeBlanc went to work. He proceeded to pick the pocket of a Stingrays opponent at center ice and carried the puck into the South Carolina end. He drove to the mid-slot before firing a shot that beat Defiel between the legs – a goal that his one-time volunteer coach in high school Mike Eurizone would have appreciated – for his fifth of the season to push the lead back to 6-3.

The Boston Bruins might need to do some juggling in goal. Tukka Rask suffered a concussion during their game Saturday night.

At the end of the day, losing Rask is quite simply awful for the Bruins. The potential long-term effects this could have on his career aside, the Bruins’ starter is the guy you want in goal during the team’s push for the playoffs this season. Unfortunately, he could be out for quite some time, which leaves the weight of Boston on the shoulders of Jaroslav  Halak.

Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators is enthusiastic about attending the NHL’s All-Star game.

“It’s going to be really exciting, but I don’t really know what to expect,” said Chabot. “To go out there and meet some new players you don’t know and top players on other teams…I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Colorado Avalanche recently demoted Tyson Jost to the AHL, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be there for long.

Thanks to their bye week being immediately after All Star weekend in San Jose, the Avalanche have nine days off between January 23rd and February 1st. While his Avalanche teammates are going on vacation, Jost will be going to California for an AHL road trip.

The Edmonton Oilers recently treated fan Kaylen Yeung to the experience of his life.

It was all part of Air Canada Fan Flight, a promotion that is run in partnership with all seven Canadian NHL teams. The program sees dozens of Air Canada employees – from flight attendants to pilots to ramp crew – surprise inspiring fans like Kaylen with flights and tickets to see their favourite Canadian teams play on the road.

Here’s a Fantasty Hockey update that focuses on goalies, including Robin Lehner of the New York Islanders.

Hilary Knight spoke about equality and the efforts needed to secure it in hockey - and to continue to ensure it -  to the CBC.

When we went public, we weren’t trying to secure a better standard just for ourselves, but for the generations of women hockey players to follow. We encountered some negativity, but most of the world rallied to our cause. It took guts. We were vulnerable. But we took heart when women everywhere supported us, and also had the backing of our male counterparts in the NHL, NFL, and NBA. Senators from 16 states got on board too.

The ECHL has decided to rename the Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award. They are now going to call it the “June M. Kelly Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award”.

During the early years of the ECHL, the Kelly tandem were the only employees of the League Office. As the administration and financial overseer of the League, June served as the backbone of the office, allowing her husband, Pat, to travel and build the League during its infancy.

It seriously seems like other country’s All-Star games are way more fun than our own. This segment in the KHL’s with Nikita Gusev is great.

It seemed like there was very little in the way of news today, so I just did a general search for “hockey” on Twitter. I found a series of tweets from Dartmouth Hockey about being snowed in. Apparently they got stuck in Ithaca (poor souls). The tweets are...enjoyable.