Quick Strikes: Brayden Point named Canada’s player of the game

J.T. Brown’s Twitch streams, Alan’s sad piece on Bolts defenders, Namestnikov’s uncertain future in Tampa, and all the Worlds highlights from yesterday’s games.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown recently started engaging with fans using the streaming service Twitch. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his experience. “I thought it would be a fun way to interact with others through gaming. Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I play Xbox quite a bit, Twitch is a way for me to let people see a different side that they wouldn’t see at the rink.” [Raw Charge]

Alan concludes his player evaluation series with a close look at the Bolts blue line. Spoiler alert: It’s not great news. “The Lightning still have a bright future but they have lots of questions to answer this summer. Several key forwards need new contracts. They need to sort out their defense and find a way to create three pairs that are all capable of at least treading water.” [Raw Charge]

Igor delivers another insight Russian-to-English translation. This time it’s Vladislav Namestnikov, who admits that he’s unsure of his future contract status. Namestnikov is a pending Restricted Free Agent. “It will depend on many factors. The NHL Expansion Draft is in two months. No one knows what might happen. Many players are to be re-signed. So it’s difficult to make predictions.” [Raw Charge]

With the expansion draft looming, General Manager Steve Yzerman insists that no final decision has been made about which players will be protected from the Vegas Golden Knights. “For what it's worth, Yzerman said they haven't decided on their protected list, which must be turned in by June 17. ‘We're not there yet,’ Yzerman said.” [Tampa Bay Times]

“Paul Mara stood on the outskirts Friday afternoon as the Olympic roster for the U.S. Women’s team was announced during a televised event at Amalie Arena. The former Tampa Bay Lightning first-round pick in 1997, back in the building for the first time since his playing days ended, is now full bore in to his second career as a coach. That new path will lead him to Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February for the 2018 Winter Olympics as a member of Team USA women’s hockey team.” [Lightning Insider, subscription]

The Worlds

With ten members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participating across four teams at the IIHF World Championship, we'll be keeping a close eye on Canada (Jon Cooper, Alex Killorn, and Brayden Point), Russia (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and prospect Nikita Gusev), Sweden (Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman), and Switzerland (Tanner Richard).

Canada defeats Belarus 6-0.

Point scored two goals. Killorn has yet to find the score sheet at this tournament.

“Point was named Canada's player of the game after scoring his second and third goals as part of Canada's ‘Kid Line’ while his linemates Mitch Marner and Travis Konecny each collected two assists on a line that is showing impressive early chemistry. ‘The kids are all right,’ added coach Jon Cooper after the game. ‘I can't sit here and pinpoint one guy that has been the engine that's driven that bus. All three of them have just meshed together. I know that any time our team has maybe had a little bit of a lull, that line has sparked us.’” [TSN]

Russia defeats Germany 6-3.

Kucherov scored two goals, Gusev picked up a goal and an assist, and Namestnikov was held off the score sheet. Vasilevskiy saved 26 of 29 shots (0.897 SV%).

Kucherov spoke to the media after the game. Official translation by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, with a few edits for clarity by our resident translator Natalia.

We played well during the first fifty minutes and were quick to go from defense to attack. That helped us calm the Germans down a bit. Germany's actions? It's ice hockey, sometimes we see dirty plays. You have to keep yourself under control and continue playing. As for my two goals, I don't know, you don't look at who the opposing goalie is: [Thomas] Greiss, [Carey] Price... You just try to play your own hockey and score as much as possible.

A photo gallery of Russia’s victory yesterday, courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

Sweden lost 4-3 to the United States.

Hedman used his powerful shot to score a beautiful goal and Stralman picked up an assist for Sweden.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch are up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series against the Toronto Marlies. Crunch defenseman Matt Taormina knows they’ll be facing a hungry team when they head to Toronto tonight. “You can't allow a team to get back into it and get the momentum. Big swings. It's playoff hockey. We just have to make sure when we're up like that (on Saturday), we have to bury them. We have to control what we're doing and make sure we don't give them any opportunities.” [Syracuse.com]

Anthony Cirelli (#22 in white) scored a goal, Taylor Raddysh (#17) netted two assists, and Erik Cernak (#14) picked up an assist as the Erie Otters fell 4-3 to the Mississauga Steelheads. Erie leads the OHL Championship series 2-1.

The Game

Concussion spotters are supposed to remove any player from the game when they show signs of a possible concussion after receiving a hit to the head. I know that’s a pretty vague job description, but you would think they’d pull Sidney Crosby (who suffered a concussion last week) after he went head-first into the boards. Crosby continued to play.

“Is there still a chance that NHL players could go (with the league’s blessing) to the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang? IIHF president Rene Fasel hasn’t thrown in the towel. ‘I am ready to swim across the Atlantic if it needs to be. But there is a limit I cannot cross. And if the NHL decides not to come, then so be it.’” [Puck Daddy]