Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Coach Cooper finds the rule changes an interesting challenge

Also, Victor Hedman does the honorary coin toss for the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team.

The other day I listened to the latest Puck Soup podcast (the episode entitled The Dumbest Person Alive), in which Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo discussed the recent rule changes. They came to the conclusion that the League was simply trying to make the games higher scoring by giving more 5-on-4 chances. But yesterday, the league dialed the calling of penalties waaaaay back, leading to confusion among the fans and players alike.

This lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning's own reaction to the rule changes, neatly summarized by Joe Smith: Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown. "The slashing, your stick is one of the only tools you have to check," Cooper said. "You have your body, but in some instances, you check with your stick. Now you're kind of taking that away from players as well. So how are you going to check? That's part of the game; contact is part of the game." [Tampa Bay Times]

What are you doing, Victor Hedman? You can't play hockey on grass! (Did you know that if Hedman were to play soccer, he'd want to play the Striker position?)

In case you enjoy reveling in preseason victory, here's the Predators' side of their 3-1 loss. Nashville Predators: Young players impress but fall in preseason tilt. [Predlines]

And more stuff happened during that game than just Stamkos and Winning. Our excellent organization also played a montage of best-of Brian Boyle, wishing him luck with his cancer treatment. Go watch it (again) here. [NHL.com]

Yesterday, after finding out about the latest cuts to the camp roster [read here], GeoFitz4 and JustinG took a stab at who might make the team out of camp. They're thinking, probably Steven Stamkos. 'In all seriousness through two games in the preseason, Sergachev and Adam Erne are doing everything they need to make the team. If Sergachev keeps playing like he did against Carolina, and still gets sent down, I want Mr. Yzerman to come out and flatly say, "Look, I really, really want that second round pick" and then glare at everyone until they avoid eye contact and move onto the next question.' [Raw Charge]

This was a big moment, 25 years ago. Manon Rheaume realizes her NHL debut was ‘not just another game’. "Rheaume, from Beaufort, Que., became the first (and still only) woman to play in an NHL pre-season game, and the first woman to play in a major North American pro sports league, inspiring countless female hockey players in the process." [Sportsnet]

Will you guys be watching the US Women’s National Team tomorrow night?

The Game

What’s more likely: Maple Leafs miss playoffs or reach Cup final? “Auston Matthews flew down to [Andersen’s] house a bunch times in the summer and the two went out and golfed and hung out. So he’s really bonding with the team now and I think that’s helped him as well.” I think this means the Leafs win the Cup. [Sportsnet]

Our own El Seldo reviewed NHL 18, but not for us. NHL 18: A review from a casual gamer. "Okay, so is NHL 18 good for a casual to moderate game player like myself? It has strong points and has some downsides." [PPP]

Wait, what? NBC will not air national NHL games during Olympics. “The television network has announced they will go dark with NHL coverage across all platforms between February 7th and 26th, the dates during the Olympic Games. During this time last season, NBC aired 20 games over that period.” Up yours, Bettman? [RMNB]