Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning return to Amalie after 20 days between home games

I’m excluding the All-Star break because I want to and this is my article.

The Bolts

What do you think Steve Yzerman is going to do? Will the Tampa Bay Lightning chase Ryan McDonagh at the NHL trade deadline? Where do the New York Rangers even stand? These are some of the questions we at the site tried to answer in a RawTable. [Raw Charge]

Saima: I’m diametrically opposed to any deal involving Brayden Point - and to a lesser extent, Mikhail Sergachev. It’s hard to judge any hypothetical trade without knowing the cost. Can someone tell me if McDonagh is actually any good?

A little under eight years ago, Jeff Vinik became the owner of the Bolts. Personally, it’s been one of the best ever moves made in hockey. [NHL dot com]

February 6, 1993 - The inaugural season’s All-Star

Brian Bradley became the first Bolt to skate in an All-Star game, representing Tampa Bay at the 1993 game held in Montreal. Bradley would go on to set Bolts records for goals and points in a season that wouldn’t be broken until the mid-2000s.

Honey, I’m home! Lightning return home after a lightyear long eight-game road trip to play the Vancouver Canucks tonight at AMALIE. [NHL dot com]

“It was definitely long,” said Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi, who missed the last three games of the Western Canada swing with a lower-body injury. “…It takes a toll. It’s a lot of travel, but it’s part of the game. A lot of teams are dealing with that. Not a bad record after those eight games but didn’t finish too well. We need to have a good first game here playing at home tomorrow.”

Nikita Kucherov has been snake bitten lately. What has he been doing to snap out of it? [Tampa Bay Times]

“You think, ‘I just had a Grade A chance and I couldn’t bury it, and this guy scores from behind (the net),’  Kucherov said after Wednesday’s practice at Amalie Arena. “I just might as well shoot it from my goal and it might go in.”

Kucherov, who remarkably still leads the NHL with 66 points, is frustrated.

Practice lines can reveal a lot about a team. Who’s feeling hot, who has the trust of the coach, is the team feeling desperate for goals or think they have the depth. So, without further ado, the practice lines.

The Prospects

Shane Conacher has been returned to the Adirondack Thunder of thr ECHL. This most likely indicates that Kevin Lynch and Mathieu Joseph are close to returning to the Crunch’s lineup.

Mitchell Stephens was moved up from his 4th line role to start the season into the top 6 due to injuries. It doesn’t look like he’ll find his way back to the bottom line ever again. [Auburn Pub]

With a glut of healthy forwards and Tampa Bay not calling for reinforcements early this season, Groulx had the rookie center the team’s fourth line. Once the inevitable injuries happened, Stephens earned more time on the Crunch’s scoring lines. With a point in 12 of the last 15 games, Stephens has become one of Syracuse’s most consistent contributors offensively.

You Can Play Night is happening on Saturday, February 10th. Check out the promo that the Crunch cut below.

The Game

Alex Burrows was deservedly suspended for 10 games for his attack on New Jersey forward Taylor Hall. [NBC Sports]

Burrows was offered an in-person hearing for his actions (he waived that right) which meant the NHL was eyeing a suspension of at least six games. It is pretty clear based on the severity of the suspension that he crossed the line in a pretty unacceptable manner.

31 Thoughts by Elliotte Friedman is back for another week. There is a lot of trade talk in this edition. [Sportsnet]

12. Quote of the week is from Steve Yzerman, asked what he learned about his team without Victor Hedman: “I like our team better when he’s healthy.”

Highlight of the Night: Tim Schaller might as well send Anthony DeAngelo a retirement cake after the move he put on him. [Reddit]