Quick Strikes: The Tampa Bay Lightning are in a League of their own

Paul Kariya and Dave Andreychuk are in the HHOF, Jagr still a living legend, and Brian Burke is at it again.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning are ranked tops in NBC Sports’ Power Rankings of NHL teams. The division rival Toronto Maple Leafs are the next Atlantic team on this list, ranked fourth after a 4-0-0 week mostly without Auston Matthews.[NBC Sports]

“At times this season the Lightning have looked like an on-ice version of the Harlem Globetrotters and have just been toying with their opponents. Entering the week the Lightning have the best record in the league (three points ahead of the next best team) and own a plus-25 goal differential. That is 11 goals better than any other team in the league.”

Dave Andreychuk finally made his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night. “In 2001, [Andreychuk] was ‘sitting in his cabin two or three hours north ready to retire’ when his wife convinced him that he still had a chance to play.” [Raw Charge]

The shiney new HOFer then went on to play an exhibition game with other inductees, including Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and former Lightning great Wendel Clark. [Raw Charge]

“On Sunday, 31 former players got together at the Air Canada Centre to play a game that bore a closer resemblance to a Wednesday night beer league game than the NHL and Olympic games that made them famous. Divided into two squads, Team Kurri, representing the world, and Team Messier, representing Canada, the 29 men and 2 women entertained an enthusiastic crowd in Toronto for the Haggar Hall of Fame Legends Game.”

Hockey Youtuber Matthew Henriques (@MattJLHenriques) joins our senior Matthew here at Raw Charge, Matthew Esteves, on the Charged Up Podcast to talk Bolts, careers in hockey, and the media. [Raw Charge]

People are only just starting to realize how good Vladislav Namestnikov is, and it’s about time. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Namestnikov scored Sunday for the fourth time in the Lightning’s three-game California sweep. His nine goals are one shy of last season’s total. He might be playing the best hockey of his career.”

The Prospects

Two players, Matthew Spencer and Connor Ingram, have been returned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL after spending the week in Adirondack. [Raw Charge]

“Ingram's last game was a shootout loss in which he picked up a point for the team and made a hefty number of saves. The Post Star lauded him: ‘Brampton scored a power-play goal in the first period, but that was the only goal surrendered during regulation and overtime by goalie Connor Ingram. He stopped 37 of 38 shots.’“

In a corresponding move, the Syracuse Crunch have returned goaltender Nick Riopel back to Adirondack after having him on loan with the team for thr week.

This week’s prospect report sees Boris Katchouk not only continue his six-game point streek with the Soo but will also see him wear the captaincy when Team OHL plays Tesam Russia in the Canada/Russia Series. [NHL dot com]

The Game

One of the NHL’s true Greats, Paul Kariya, has finally been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. [Sporting News]

“[Teemu Selanne and I] will always be brothers," Kariya said. "In this life and the next."

But What If... Paul Kariya’s career didn’t end so abruptly? [The Hockey News]

“What if Paul Kariya had played in an era when the NHL took concussions more seriously? What if he had played at a time when he could have exploited his immense speed and skill to the fullest instead of playing during the Dead Puck Era™ when teams were encouraged to hook and hold in order to limit the effectiveness of star players?”

Brian Burke spoke to the Toronto Media... About the Toronto Media. [Sportsnet]

“When I see the Leafs play, I’ll stop and talk to the guys [I brought there]. You still take pride in the guys you leave,” Burke said. “I’m down to two in Vancouver—just the twins.”

Highlight of the Night: What is old is new again. Calgary Flames first-round-pick Mark Jankowski recieves a lovely set-up from a man who was playing before you were even born, kid, in Jaromir Jagr, before a slick move to slide the puck in past St. Louis’ Jake Allen. [Reddit]