Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning earn seven-game home win streak for Christmas

And have the best start to the season in franchise history.

The Bolts

As usual, props go out to Tampa Bay Lightning’s beat reporter Bryan Burns for compiling a list of facts for journalists after each game. I like posting some of the more interesting notes here in Quick Strikes. Via Bryan:

The Bolts extended their home win streak to a season-long seven games and are now just two home wins short of tying the all-time mark of nine set Jan. 2 to Feb. 12, 2016.

The Bolts extended their home win streak to a season-long seven games and are now just two home wins short of tying the all-time mark of nine set Jan. 2 to Feb. 12, 2016.

Tampa Bay continues to pace the NHL for wins (26), points (54), ROW (24), points percentage (.771) and goal differential (+131).

The Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history with 54 points through 35 games, nine points better than the 45 points put up by the 2010-11 team (20-10-5) and the 2013-14 team (21-11-3).

After last season, reading these kinds of records feels...nice.

Vasy earned his fourth shutout of the season yesterday. "As the third period progressed this game had a feeling it was going to end off a fluky goal or go to overtime (then all bets are off). Luckily, Tampa has a wonderful young center called Brayden Point, and Point often makes magical things happen—because he’s Brayden Point." [Raw Charge]

Lightning journal: Kucherov in elite company with points pace. "It’s his compete level all over the ice that I think is paying dividends for him now. He’s elite. It’s all I can say. If you’re going to talk about the top players in the league, you’d be remiss if you don’t mention his name." [TBO.com]

Tampa Bay Lightning F Vladislav Namestnikov quickly becoming a target. "One of the most underrated players of the season has been Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov has been flying under the radar for most of the season, quietly making plays happen from behind the veil of Stamkos and Kucherov. As of late, Vladdy has been stepping out of the shadows and truly forging a path for himself." [Bolts by the Bay]

The Prospects

Syracuse Crunch stumbles in loss to Utica: 'Tonight they kicked our butts'. "These guys (Syracuse) went on a 10-game winning streak and it wasn't a fluke. They were playing the right way. I think we're getting a little bit away from that, a little bit too fancy. Sometimes when you get too much confidence you start forgetting the little things that got you there." [Syracuse.com]

Watch Syracuse Crunch player shoot puck to reveal gender of baby (video). "Jessica is due in May. Kevin said neither he nor Jessica knew the baby's sex before Saturday night. The couple gave permission to their doctor to reveal to the Crunch whether it would be a boy or girl, and the team took it from there to set up the event." [Syracuse.com]

Have a happy NHL Christmas!

Garrioch: 'Twas the night before Christmas, and there were presents for the Sens.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through Eugene Melnyk’s house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even Tom Anselmi’s mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
in hopes that Santa Claus would deliver a playoff spot there.

[Ottawa Sun]

A bet's a bet: Predators coaches wear Christmas suits after team sweeps road trip. "If the Predators collected five of six possible points on their recent Canadian road trip, then the players could wear festive suits to and from Dallas, the site of their final game before the NHL's mandated three-day Christmas break. Laviolette agreed."  [The Tennessean]

There is no better Christmas gift than a sad Habs fan, amirite? About last night ... sheepish performance by punchless bunch. "In the spirit of Christmas, let’s not dwell on what we saw transpire in Edmonton, where the Oilers completed a season sweep of their two games against the Canadiens." [Montreal Gazette]

Christmas gift ideas for the Montreal Canadiens. "Jonathan Drouin: Some time in Tampa for the holidays to escape the Montreal winter, catch up with old teammates, and, you know, stay." [THW]

Or maybe a better gift is a sad Wings fan? Christmas offers Detroit Red Wings a chance to regroup, refocus. “It’s Christmas, we’ve got a three-day break,” Dylan Larkin said. “It could be good for us to get away, get time with family. Regroup, come back, and after Christmas, we have to close out these games. A lot of games we are right there, but what we’re doing isn’t enough.” [Detroit Free Press]

From all of us here at Raw Charge to all of you, have an excellent holiday season and we’ll see you on the 26th!