Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning “couldn’t get going emotionally” in loss to Sabres

The USWNT was honored before the game for Hockey is for Everyone month.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning introduced a new player to the lineup on the same night that Nikita Kucherov missed his first game of the season due to an upper-body injury. Oh, and the Lightning lost to the Sabres 2-1 in OT. [Raw Charge]

The next chance came soon after when Rodrigues blasted a shot that ringed off the cross-bar. You would think the puck hit the post and not the cross-bar by how high Vasy lifted his left leg to try and get a piece of it. There are times with Vasy where I see the calm, cool, relaxed style of Carey Price in him. And then there are moments when he goes Full Hasek.

The Lightning played like a shell of their former selves mere days after putting on an incredible performance to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where did the passion go? [Tampa Bay Times]

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Girardi said. “We really preached that point before the game, before warmup, before we went out for the first period, and after the first and after the second. Just couldn’t get it going emotionally, it seemed like. We got to take the point and hurry and get to Dallas and play (Thursday) against a really talented hockey team.”

Before the game, the US Women’s National Team was honored at the arena for their gold-medal victory at the Olympics.

The post-deadline podcast has arrived! Matt and Geo sit down and talk about their reactions to deadline day and how the roster has been taking shape. [Raw Charge]

Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, and let’s not forget the whole slew of former Bolts who joined forces in the Big Apple dating back to the John Tortorella years. The Lightning truly are the “Rangers of the South.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Monday’s trade-deadline addition of D Ryan McDonagh and C J.T. Miller gives the current Lightning five former Rangers. The others: D Anton Stralman, D Dan Girardi and RW Ryan Callahan. And let’s not forget F Brian Boyle, a former Ranger who played 21/2 seasons with the Lightning before being traded to the Maple Leafs at last year’s deadline.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch have signed goalie Olivier Mantha to a one-year AHL contract and will be assigned to the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL. The undrafted 25-year-old is fresh out of getting his degree at the University of Alaska-Anchorage where he also posted a .903 SV% in 31 games for the school.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Mantha completed his career at Anchorage with 3,449 saves, the most of any UAA goaltender. He also set school records in career save percentage (.908) and career minutes (6973:22) and finished fourth in goals against average (3.01) and sixth in wins (28).

The Crunch traveled to Toronto to play the Marlies at 11:00am on a Wednesday — still not sure why — and beat them 4-3 in overtime! Mathieu Joseph scored the game winner. [Syracuse]

The Marlies opened scoring before Anthony Cirelli recorded two to give the Crunch the lead in the second period. Dennis Yan added another in the third, but Toronto scored back-to-back and tied the game in the final minute to force overtime.

Eddie Pasquale earned his fifth win with the Crunch, turning aside 44-of-47 shots. Garret Sparks stopped 35-of-39 between the pipes for the Marlies. Syracuse was held scoreless on three power play opportunities and went 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Week 20 is in the books for the Adirondack Thunder, they finish February on a high note with an overtime win over the Wheeling Nailers (yes, that’s a real team). [Raw Charge]

Seventeen and a half hours later, the Thunder were back at it to finish off a busy week—and the month of February—with a visit from the Nailers. Sholl would get the start in net, while defenseman Colton White came down from Binghamton. Mathieu Brodeur was also returned to the Thunder after a PTO stint with Utica, but was not in the lineup. For a team that was playing its fifth game in the last seven days, and its third in the last three, the Thunder would come out flying in the first period with a pair of goals.

The Game

What if Wakanda had an Olympic Team? yolo_pinyato, T’Challa, and Shuri investigate. [Raw Charge]

Shuri: This player Evander Kane is supremely talented but.....

T’Challa: But what......

Okoye: *grumbles*

T’Challa: Understood.

The hypothetical nation wouldn’t have been able to even ice the roster they put together because the NHL didn’t go to the Olympics. Gary Bettman seems fine with his decision, by the way. [Globe and Mail]

Not having players in South Korea meant there was no “disruption to our season,” Bettman said. It also ensured players remained healthy for the run to the playoffs.

”The fact our teams would have come back in varying conditions, some teams more banged up and tired than teams where there weren’t that many players at the Olympics, we’re very comfortable with it,” he said.

The Vancouver Canucks are going to be hosting the 2019 NHL Draft, the NHL announced Wednesday. Maybe they’ll actually have some draft picks to use that year! [The Province]

Vancouver last hosted the draft in 2006, the year the St. Louis Blues selected defenceman Erik Johnson first overall ahead of Jordan Staal (No. 2 Pittsburgh), Jonathan Toews (No. 3 Chicago), Nicklas Backstrom (No. 4 Washington) and Phil Kessel (No. 5 Boston).

Linden said hosting the draft leading into their 50th season was a great fit, especially with management saying they’re focused on young players.

Highlight of the Night: Mat Barzal doing Mat Barzal things.