Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning close out first half in style

Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Cal Foote, and some other minor moves as well.

The Bolts

Nikita Kucherov is insanely good. Steven Stamkos is insanely good. The Tampa Bay Lightning are insanely good. [Raw Charge]

Nikita Kucherov scored once and set up three other goals, bringing his point totals on the season to 69 in 41 games, and point total in his career to 400; becoming the first member of his draft class to reach that mark. Kuch also extended his streak of multiple points in a game to seven. He only needs one more to tie Vincent Lecavalier for the franchise lead.

Along with Stamkos and Kucherov, Brayden Point deserves to be at the All-Star Game in San Jose, California this winter. He still has a chance to make it, but it’s slim, because the NHL’s rules for this event are silly. [Tampa Bay Times]

What Point has done this year is score more than 20 goals and surpass 50 points before the season’s midpoint, which was reached with Thursday night’s game against the Kings. He has done that while centering the Lightning’s shutdown line against opponents’ top forwards, such as the Devils’ Taylor Hall, the Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and the Oilers’ Connor McDavid.

The Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the Humboldt Broncos last week. This is definitely a video you need to watch.

The Prospects

Some people continue to wonder why top pick Cal Foote isn’t in the NHL with the Bolts yet. Coach Benoit Groulx shed some light on those inquiries, adding context for a situation that cannot be explained on HockeyDB. [Syracuse]

“Confidence is a huge thing. We talk about it in the room,’’ Foote said. “It’s having audacity, and that’s one of the words we talk about. Just be willing to make a bold, risky play that’s high risk but good reward. To be able to have confidence out there and to gain more confidence is a thing that I need to keep on doing.’’

Olivier Archambault has been sent to the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears. The 25-year-old winger has been having trouble getting in the lineup and producing ever since his injury. Some icetime and confidence should do him some good.


The Game

People of colour get bullied and heckled heavily in minor hockey circles. This is one such story, but one of growth, understanding, and compassion. [Washington Post]

“It happened in Hagerstown earlier in the season, too,” Apollon said. “The n-word. The basketball chants. We had a team chat and he explained the history of how it happened before.”

There were a pair of minor moves in the hockey world. Nothing big, but worth noting.

First, Jared Coreau was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to the St. Louis Blues for future considerations.

Then, the Manitoba Moose added Jimmy Oligny before trading Tye McGinn to the Chicago Wolves for future considerations.

Off the ice, the New Jersey Devils extended head coach John Hynes to a “multi-year” extension. I tried looking for how long it is, but no one felt like sharing that info. Hynes has been the coach of New Jersey for three years.

Lastly, the Toronto Maple Leafs had to call up two of their three AHL goalies because both Frederik Andersen and Garret Sparks got injured. How long will the Leafs’ #1 and #2 be out? People don’t expect it to be long, but honestly who really knows anymore. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Both Michael Hutchinson and Kasimir Kaskisuo have been called up to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the AHL on an emergency basis ahead of today’s 2 p.m. game against the Minnesota Wild. Hutchinson is expected to get the start. He has already played four games in the NHL this season for the Florida Panthers.

Alan highly recommends this Senators vs Canucks game recap “for the lols” so here it is. Hope you lol as much as we did. [Silver Seven Sens]

Ah, the new year. A time for reflection, for commitment to self-improvement that will ultimately be abandoned, for fresh starts. And, apparently, a time for spending over an hour standing outside the media room at the Canadian Tire Centre waiting to find out if you and your colleague will be allowed in, because the Sens’ email system isn’t working properly and everybody’s on vacation so nobody is sure if you’re actually allowed in the press box or not.

Highlight of the Night: “Imitation is the best form of flattery” - Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.