Quick Strikes: The Lightning get ready to “ride the wave.”

Surfing analogy or new playoff cliche? You be the judge!

The Headline

-Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn went all surfer logic on the approach his team needs tonight:

-Head coach Jon Cooper wants his players to trust their skill.

More Lightning

-Geo somehow managed to pull some thoughts together about the Lightning’s loss to the Blue Jackets Sunday night. Bless him. How did it go? Well...

The Lightning have shit the bed.

Simple as that. In an absolutely must win game, they came out and got three shots on goal in the first period. Ok, maybe they’ll go into the intermission and some yelling will happen. Some paint will be peeled. And they came out and actually got 11 shots on goal in the second period.

-Victor Hedman’s status for tonight’s game is doubtful.

-A social engagement might be just the ticket for tonight, so those local will definitely want to catch this watch party.

The Crunch

-The Syracuse Crunch have a first round date with the Cleveland Monsters. That series gets started Friday, when the farm club of the Blue Jackets comes to town. Later on this week, our own Justin will be doing a Q&A with Elaine Shircliff of Jackets Cannon! (Warning: For obvious reasons, viewer discretion is advised before clicking that link)

-Speaking of Elaine and her coverage of Cleveland, she did a nice write up of the game the Monsters won to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the North.

Back in February, a play off birth didn’t seem possible. It appeared Head Coach John Madden was going to have an unsuccessful three years with the team. Once March rolled around, the Monsters went on a tear and put themselves into playoff contention with many of the players Madden has coached since day one with the Monsters.

-Going into the playoffs, the Crunch has a motivational hashtag phrase:

-Locals looking to buy tickets are in luck, as the front office has extended hours this week.

-Here’s the full schedule for round one (reminder - the first round in the AHL is a best-of-five affair):

-Want to watch the Lightning’s prospects but can’t make it to Syracuse? Do we have a deal for you!

-Looking for Crunch gear? Here’s a discount code!

-Carter Verhaeghe has one more accomplishment to claim: Crunch Player of the Week.

The Solar Bears

-The Orlando Solar Bears received some players from Syracuse in the past week, and have split their first round series so far.

The Others

-Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been suspended for the remainder of round one:

-(insert video game “boing” here)

-The Philadelphia Flyers have a new head coach: Alain Vigneault.

-The New York Rangers continue to make organizational changes. This time, they’ve swept out the coaching staff in AHL Hartford, including former Crunch defenseman Joey Mormina.

-Former Syracuse goalie Mike McKenna has debuted his podcast, Six Degrees of Mike McKenna.

-The NHL is going to Seattle. Next, there’s a group that wants the NWHL to go there, too!

The Games

Carolina 5, Washington 0 (Washington leads series 2-1)

The Hurricanes returned home and put a beating on the defending Stanley Cup champs. Warren Foegele scored twice as did Dougie Hamilto while Petr Mrazek stopped all 18 shots he faced.  [Canes Country]

Jaccob Slavin found Jordan Staal in the slot, and he made a smart decision passing the puck to a charging Dougie Hamilton, and Dougie wired a wrist shot right by Braden Holtby to increase Carolina’s lead to 3-0. The crowd went wild - and that’s almost certainly an understatement. The sellout crowd (plus standing room only seats) went bonkers. They supplied the Canes a true home ice advantage all night.

Toronto 3, Boston 2 (Toronto leads series 2-1)

With Nazem Kadri suspended for the rest of the series, Auston Matthews stepped up with a goal and an assist to lead the Maple Leafs to victory in front of their home crowd. They were the young center’s first points of the postseason and they came at the perfect time. All five goals came in a back-and-forth second period. [Pension Play Puppets]

Trevor Moore, Crunch fans may remember him from the playoffs last year, had the game winner:

Nashville 3, Dallas 2 (Nashville leads series 2-1)

It was the third straight close game for these two teams as Pekka Renne stopped 40 shots to pick up the win. Prior to the game, it was announced that Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle, two of Nashville’s deadline pickups would both be out injured for the rest of the series. Tyler Seguin tied the game at the 8:15 mark of the third period with his first goal of the series, but Nashville jumped back ahead less than three minutes later as Mikael Granlund (also a deadline acquisition for Nashville) bounced a shot off of Ben Bishop and into the goal. [On the Forecheck]

Shortly after [the first Nashville goal], Viktor Arvidsson and Nick Bonino were both sent to the penalty box, so Nashville had to kill a 5-on-3 opportunity that lasted over 90 seconds. However, Pekka Rinne came up big for the Preds, and kept Dallas off the board.

Colorado 6, Calgary 2 (Colorado leads series 2-1)

Cale Makar played in his first career game for the Avalanche. It went well. He also scored on his first career shot. Can’t really get much better than that. Colorado buried Calgary with 56 shots (a franchise playoff high for a regulation game) and six of those shots beat Calgary goaltender Mike Smith (rough night for ex-Lightning netminders). Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and an assist to lead the way. [Mile High Hockey]

The rest of the third period was a bit of a joke. The referees had had enough of the Flames’ shenanigans and spent the next 18 minutes kicking Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and Garnet Hathaway out of the game. Zadorov was also sent to the showers early for his tussle with Hathaway at the end of the game. Credit to the referees for identifying who the aggressors were in these instances and only giving the harshest penalties to those in white and orange.