Quick Strikes: Auston Matthews joins the rank of Atlantic division injured

Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat will hopefully be back long before Matthews.

The Headline

You knew that Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman would miss the next two games of the upcoming homestand, but did you know that Auston Matthews will be out for a month? (Okay, the news was kind of hard to miss.)

So what happened? Matthews separated his shoulder after a hit from Jacob Trouba during the third period of a game against the Jets on Sunday. The injury will not require surgery — it was much like the injury he suffered to his OTHER shoulder last season. But he will have to go on IR. Katya at PPP has a good breakdown of what this means for the Leafs’ lineup.

Here’s today’s news from Bryan Burns about Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat. [NHL.com]

Hedman took a hard hit from the Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves during a second period power play and helicoptered into the boards. He sat out the remainder of the Vegas game and didn’t play the following night when the Lightning fell to Arizona 7-1. Also, Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat, who sustained a lower-body injury in the victory over Vegas and didn’t play in Arizona, remains day-to-day. Cooper said the team should have more information on the severity of Palat’s injury today. His status for the upcoming homestand remains in doubt.

The Bolts

Waaay too much good press for our team this week. I want us to hit a rough patch so that nobody feels like they can coast through the next 20 games. (Maybe this is just me, but I always dislike too many people ranking the Bolts first — I’d rather be the scrappy underdog.)

Atlantic Division Update: Tampa Bay Lightning find their spark again [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Brayden Point leads the Tampa Bay Lightning in points with nine. Seems a bit low for a team on a comeback run. It should be noted that the Lightning cannot win against the Arizona Coyotes. They faced them again this weekend and fell 7-1! 7-1 to one of the worst teams in the Pacific! Interesting how that works. Regardless, they beat out the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche this week as well. It wasn’t all bad news.

Lightning Odds Increase Making Them Popular Among Punters [The Spread]

Tampa Bay has been incredibly consistent over the last four years while it’s top-class talents have evolved into a league-crushing force to be reckoned with. The Lightning have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons – with 2016/17 disrupted by an injury plague – and appear poised to go all the way this season.

The 7-Eleven Power Rankings: Lightning back on top [TSN]

The Lightning have the league’s best penalty kill (95.1 percentage), allowing just two power play goals in their 7-2-1 start to the season, and are this week’s best team in TSN`s 7-Eleven Power Rankings, according to consensus rankings formulated by the TSN Power Ranking panel of Ray Ferraro, Jeff O’Neill, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button and Darren Dreger.

Okay well at least we have Alan’s ten-game report to bring our feet back to the earth. [Raw Charge]

In total at 5v5, the Lightning are playing well. They’re hovering around the top five in expected goal share. The coaches will likely have some small things they would like to improve but, overall, things are going well to start the season.

On special teams, the Lightning power play shows a similar profile to their 5v5 offense. Again, their lack of activity around the net drives down their expected goals but their shooting talent is making up for that so far.

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Lightning’s Yanni Gourde following path of ex-teammate, ‘role model’ Jonathan Marchessault [The Athletic, paid content]

Jon Cooper has coached both Marchessault and Gourde with the Lightning, noticing similarities between their drive and the chips on their shoulders.

“Their work ethic, it’s exceptional,” Cooper said. “For small players to survive, you have to have that. I always say, smaller players have to play themselves on teams, big players have to play themselves off teams.

The Prospects

Solar Bears Week in Review: No bones about it [Raw Charge]

The Orlando Solar Bears finished the month of October on a high note: a three game winning streak, including a weekend sweep of the Florida Everblades. Combine that with sweet Halloween jerseys, and they definitely are headed for treats, not tricks.

Connor Ingram is a treasure:

The Game

Please consider joining our donation to our friends at Pensburgh, who are finding ways to help the survivors of a hate crime in their own neighborhood. [Pensburgh]

Ouch, poor Bish! NHL won’t change restrictions on goalie pads [ESPN]

Several starting goaltenders have already voiced displeasure. “You honestly don’t want to get hit in the arm. It leaves bruises,” Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop told ESPN recently. “It’s like wearing a shin guard on your arm, and the pucks are coming 100 mph. It hurts.”

NHL And MGM Resorts Announce Sports Betting Partnership [THW]

As a result of this partnership, MGM Resorts will also be an official resorts partner for the league. This will allow them to market its own products, services and the like to the NHL through their platforms and vice versa.

Also interesting to note in regards to this partnership is the fact that MGM Resorts will also have access to enhanced NHL proprietary game data that will be generated by the NHL’s new tracking system that is currently in the works.

So, y’all gonna take the over on TBL?