Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning player evaluations after 20 games

Mikhail Sergachev is “elite”

The Bolts

Another 10 games have gone by. Let’s see how the Tampa Bay Lightning are doing. [Raw Charge]

“Big picture: the Lightning are still in great shape. They are 15-3-2, which is the best record in the league. They’ve had fluff pieces written about them at almost every major news outlet. Their first line of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov is becoming a national talking point. But we like to dig a little deeper.”

20 games later, the Bolts are the best team in the NHL. Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns hands out some early season awards. [NHL dot com]

“And Namestnikov is poised for his most productive season in the League. He currently shows nine goals, one less than he scored all of last season, and ranks tied for 26th in the League for scoring.”

In the second year of his seven-year contract, Alex Killorn looks like a much more effective player. But why? [Raw Charge]

“So, what has changed for Killorn this season that has made him more effective? Being placed on the third line with Tyler Johnson, being the net-front presence on the first power play unit, and ice time usage.”

Offense from the defense is key when it comes to winning Championships. Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, and Mikhail Sergachev are leading the charge when it comes to scoring from the back-end. [Tampa Bay Times]

“‘He’s elite,’ Cooper said [of Sergachev]”

Be quiet and accept my currency.

The Lightning are one of only eight teams to not have played in an outdoor game. If that were to change, who do you think they should play? Could they play at home? Have your say on Reddit!

The Prospects

Callen Foote stars in this week’s prospect report. [NHL dot com]

“Foote was named the WHL's First Star of the night on Friday, posting four assists and earning Second Star of the Game honors in Kelowna's 7-4 win over Lethbridge. Three of his four assists were primary assists, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal. He continues to lead all Rockets' defensemen with 21 points and five goals.”

He’s right about the chocolate Timbits, they haven’t been the same for a long time. Bacon is dangerously average? I’m not so sure about that one.

The Game

The division rival Ottawa Senators have recalled top defensive prospect Thomas Chabot from the Belleville Senators of the AHL. [Silver Seven Sens]

“Chabot, who currently leads all Belleville Senators blueliners with seven points in twelve games, had a brief taste of NHL action early this season. His three games saw him earn two assists, although he was sent down due to concerns with the defensive side of his game.”

The Vancouver Canucks have recalled Swedish defenseman Philip Holm from Utica in a transaction that both benefits the team as well as keeps Holm from requiring waivers. [Canucks Army]

“If he had remained on the NHL roster after 2pm today, he would’ve been required to be placed on waivers to be re-assigned to the Comets. It’s unlikely that he would be claimed, but with the Canucks appearing to get healthy soon, the organization likely didn’t want to take the risk. If the Canucks do recall Wiercioch at any time in the rest of the season, he will become subject to waivers to go back as the time on roster is cumulative.”

Still want to trade for a forward, Lightning fans? Pension Plan Puppets will show you how to make your trade ideas sound logical! [Pension Plan Puppets]

“Step 1: There Has To Be A Good Reason For A Good Player To Move

This is a very important first step. The Kings are not going to trade Drew Doughty for shits and giggles. The scenario where they trade him during this season is basically that he goes on television, does the Ron Burgundy thing, and tells the entire city of Los Angeles to eat shit.”

Audio: Bob McKenzie of TSN went onto Montreal radio and spoke about GM Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens being on the hot seat. One of the names brought up in the conversation might be familiar to Bolts fans. [TSN]

Another quick little note from Uncle Bob regarding whether the KHL has the same freedoms regarding the Olympics as the NHL does in terms of releasing their players.

Alexander Radulov speaks out about leaving Montreal. [Sportsnet]

“‘Everybody called me and made me feel like they really wanted me here,’ said Radulov. ‘[Stars coach Ken] Hitchcock called me twice on June 30 … We talked for 30 minutes.

‘I was on the phone all day. It made me feel really good.’”

Highlight of the Night: Souix Falls’ goalie, and Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin has a goal celebration for the ages.