Quick Strikes: These Points are very Palatable

and the Soo Greyhounds are heading to the OHL Final

The Bolts

Brayden Point leads the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Game 2 win over the Boston Bruins with a four-Point performance, including the primary assist on Ondrej Palat’s the game-winning goal. [Raw Charge]

Throughout game one the Tampa Bay Lightning felt as though they were the better team and let that one get away from them during the third period. As a result, Jon Cooper decided to make no lineup changes heading into game two against the Boston Bruins. It paid off as Brayden Point (who was criticized for being -5 in game one) had a four-point night to help the Lightning defeat the Bruins 4-2 in a tight-checking and chippy affair.

And to think, Point and Palat almost didn’t play in the game due to injury. [Tampa Bay Times]

“The one thing I can say about this group that for quite some time is if they’ve had an outing they have not liked, they usually bounce back. I’m not going to sit here and say that’s going to translate into a win, but they do raise the level of their game. We’ve played six games in the playoffs, and I would say 85 percent of everything they’ve done has been really, really good, and the 15 percent that hasn’t been great, a lot of it was in Game 1.” - Jon Cooper.

It took 14 minutes for Andrei Vasilevskiy to face even his first shot of the game. Not only did it not seem to bother him, contrary to what a lot of analysts say, but he came up big whenever the Lightning decided to not block a shot. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Obviously it gives you a boost when you kill off a 5-on-3 like that,” Callahan said. “I thought we had a really good first period, ended up being 1-1, but you look at it, think ‘They had a 5-on-3 and we’re still 1-1,’ it gave us some energy going into that second period. Obviously a big point in the game.”

Will you be at the Official Lightning Watch Party? Because you should be! [ABC News]

Wednesday’s Game 3 watch party will be at the Water Works Park. The party begins at 5:30 p.m. with live music, giveaways and much more. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

Friday’s Game 4 watch party, which is part of Tampa Riverfest 2018, will start at 4:00 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The puck will also drop at 7:00 p.m.

Tampa Bay’s new on-ice advertisements will not only bring in more revenue for the team, but also be able to attract a wider range of sponsors. [Tampa Bay Business Journal] (Subscription needed)

“There’s going to be some opportunities to attract non-Tampa based regional and national brands that normally might not have an interest in a hockey team in Florida, but will because of the impressions and metrics that are behind this.”

The Prospects

It took double overtime in Game 7, but the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are on their way to the OHL Final to play the Hamilton Bulldogs. Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk scored two in the 4-3 win. [Bolt Prospects]

Bolt prospect Boris Katchouk scored the Greyhounds first two goals and teamed with fellow Lighting prospect Taylor Raddysh to set up Morgan Frost (PHI, 2017 1st round pick) for the Soo’s third goal. The Rangers fought back after each Greyhound goal, knotting the game at 1-1, 2-2, and finally at 3-3 with just 52 seconds left in regulation. Katchouk earned First Star honors for his two-goal, three-point effort, and now leads the OHL playoffs in goals, points, and short-handed goals.

Katchouk’s first goal was a beauty.

The Syracuse Crunch’s newest foe has the league’s best defense and goalie on their side. [Syracuse]

The team’s scorers pumped helium into their confidence by popping home six goals in each of the three games. The only team in AHL history to score more in a three-game series was the Pittsburgh Hornets, which swept the Springfield Indians by a combined score of 22-2 in 1951.

The Crunch will need to keep matching that video-game pace if it wants to advance past the next round. Syracuse’s fast-break attack is about to slam into the wall that is the Toronto Marlies.

“We expect a game 7 against Syracuse.” - Andreas Johnsson of the Toronto Marlies. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Using the new-found life breathed into them by the Toronto completed a full 60 minutes of hard-working, defensively-sound, possession-filled hockey for a 4-0 victory over the Utica Comets, resulting in a berth in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs where they will meet the Syracuse Crunch for the second straight season. Syracuse beat the Marlies in seven games last season on their way to a Calder Cup Final loss.

The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that Lou Lamoriello will not be returning as the GM of the team next season.

Instead, he will become a special advisor for the next four years, as the contract he signed three seasons ago dictates.

Brendan Shanahan has not named a successor, but it is widely believed to be Marlies GM Kyle Dubas. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Lamoriello came on as Leafs GM in July 2015 and guided the Leafs through three rebuilding years — from a last-place finish to a divisional seed this season. We surveyed his whole reign here; Lamoriello unquestionably made a number of key moves to set the Leafs on their current path, and the foundation he helped assemble will be the backbone of the team for years to come.

In similar — but also very not similar — news, the Carolina Hurricanes “terminate the contract of Ron Francis.” The former GM and now also former President of Hockey Operations has now left the organization entirely. Joe Nieuwendyk — another former player — has also resigned from his role as a pro scout and advisor. [Sportsnet]

One of his biggest off-season acquisitions was a bust, with goalie Scott Darling coming in from Chicago and finishing with an NHL-worst save percentage of .888 in the first year of his four-year, $16.6 million contract.

The Hurricanes have several key vacancies in their management roster. They’re also searching for a coach after Bill Peters opted out of the final year of his contract earlier this month and subsequently was hired by the Calgary Flames.

It also appears owner Tom Dundon couldn’t make a deal for a replacement — a good one too — with Steve Greeley.

This seems like a couple of very messy departures in Carolina, what do you think? Leave a comment below.

The Vegas Golden Knights blew a 3-1 lead on the road in the third period, but found the game-winner off the stick of William Karlsson. [Knights on Ice]

The Golden Knights didn’t drive play consistently until overtime. When it came down to it, they succeeded. The thing is, while this series goes on, it’s going to only matter more. The Golden Knights need to start driving possession throughout the game.

It’s how they beat the Los Angeles Kings. It’s how they got more than 100 points in the regular season. It’s why they are where they are. They need to figure out how to beat the Sharks consistently and do so.

Highlight of the Night: The Vegas Golden Knights.