Quick Strikes: the Tampa Bay Lightning are becoming near-unstoppable

Yes, I did slide a Drake quote in on a Sunday morning.

The Bolts

Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev, and Yanni Gourde all shone fir the Tampa Bay Lightning in their win over the Winnipeg Jets. From a Canadian Bolts fan, this game was an instant classic. Saturday Night, two teams at the top of the league carrying oodles of star-power, and Bob Cole, baby. [Raw Charge]

“Tampa Bay trailed, then led, then trailed again in this game. That kind of roller coaster can mess with a team’s emotions and, in turn, their mentality. Tampa Bay never stopped playing their game throughout the evening.”

Video: Halfway through the game against the Jets, Cedric Paquette scored a goal that was reviewed to be illegal after head coach Paul Maurice challenged the call for goaltender interference. Here is the official explanation for the call given by the league. [NHL dot com]

“Rule 69.3 states that goals should be disallowed if ‘If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper's vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.’”

Madeline Saft was honore by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a Community Hero of Tomorrow because of her dedication to bringing Clothes to Kids. Thank you Madeline and good luck with university! [NHL dot com]

Having Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman all available to throw over the boards for a powerplay, makes the coaches job so mucch easier. [Tampa Bay Times]

"In all honesty," Cooper said, "they got a really good feel for each other right now. When you’ve got a unit, you can’t really focus on one guy because if ‘Kuch’ isn’t shooting it, ‘Stammer’ will. If Stammer’s not shooting it, Hedman will. You got Vlady down by the net who can make plays. There’s just threats all over the place.”

Fanpost: Thunderette Jodi checks in on the pulse of the season so far for the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Raw Charge]

“Since Yanni Gourde has been playing so well, it made me think of something I jotted down on October 30 during a game against the Panthers. Rick Peckham said Yanni was "a one-man storm of gnats." That pretty much sums him up.”

The Bolts are littered all over the end-of-season trophy races. Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Hart, Vezina, Jack Adams, you name it, they’re there. [ESPN]

“Officer Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky] is 14-7-1 and leading all goalies in in even-strength save percentage (.930) and in goals-against average (2.10). But the nod here goes to Andrei Vasilevskiy. He has faced more shots than Bobrovsky, and has a better low-danger shot save percentage (.985), while putting up stellar numbers overall (18-4-1, .930 save percentage).”

The Prospects

Turn the six upside down, it's a nine now. The Syracuse Crunch beat the Belleville Senators 6-0, winning their 9th game in a row. [Syracuse]

“The victory gives Ingram his third consecutive win between the pipes for the Crunch. The rookie netminder turned aside all 18 shots he faced for his first professional shutout, while Alexander Volkov paced the Crunch with two goals and two assists.”

Alexey Lipanov chilling with his new Barrie Colts buddy! [Barrie Colts]

He Otto get arrested for ruining that goalie’s life.

Boris Katchouk notched the game winner for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in their win over North Bay. Full prospect report here: [Bolt Prospects]

“Raddysh capped a 3-2 1st period for the Otters, scoring his 15th of the season, but the 2nd and 3rd would belong to the Sting. Sarnia would pour on a 5-1 scoring run in front of 2700+ at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.”

The Game

Matthew Tkachuk is getting called to the principal’s office, AGAIN. [Sportsnet]

“They would sit down with him and show him some positive videos, some negative videos, and say, ‘Look we don’t mind you playing on the edge, but you have to know where that line is,'” Johnston added. “They hope with a face-to-face meeting, it can reinforce the message sent with those suspensions.”

Hockey-Rat Sr. Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins laid a high hit on future Tampa Bay Lightning center - just kidding, he’s still an Islander for now - John Tavares and could face supplemantal discipline. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

In the same game, David Backes headbutted my namesake Andrew Ladd and got tossed from the game for it. Marchand seems to be infecting the room. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Erik Karlsson on the way out? Reportedly, the Ottawa Senators have requested the no-trade lists from all of their players that carry a no-trade clause in their contracts. The league’s best defenseman is among that group of players. [Sportsnet]

“The tactic is similar to what the Senators did in 2011, said Friedman, when they asked for players’ no-trade lists before dealing away Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly and Alex Kovalev.”

Highlight of the Night: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche has some of the softest hands I’ve ever not seen on a baby. Blistering speed, silky smooth moves, and the deftest of shots. [Reddit]