Quick Strikes: Eddie Pasquale has his night, the NHL goes to Seattle, and a rundown of the Atlantic Division

The former Atlanta Thrashers draft pick gets his first NHL start and win!

The Bolts

This was Eddie Pasquale’s night. His first start. His first win. The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t make it easy, as they needed a comeback and a shootout to dispose of the Detroit Red Wings on the second half of a back-to-back. But they won. He won. It was long overdue. [Raw Charge]

The story of this game was Eddie Pasquale making his first appearance in the NHL after playing 235 games in the AHL over eight seasons. Yes, he allowed five goals tonight. That shouldn’t be a surprise. This isn’t a situation where he would be expected to put up a shutout.

But he did enough to keep the team in the game and give the skaters in front of him a chance to win the game, which they did. And when his moment to shine in the shootout arrived, he pounced.

Pasquale spent a long time in the minors, and as a result, made a lot of friends who are very proud of him right now. Here’s just a few congratulating him on his first start and win. It’s very sweet.

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov are becoming a dynamic duo, and their chemistry is only growing. I must say, as good as they are, I can’t help but feel bad for Steven Stamkos after he got dumped by Kuch for the younger and hotter version of himself. [Tampa Bay Times]

“You watch (Kucherov), you watch Pointer, when you’re on a roll like this, you just demand the puck,” Steven Stamkos said after the 5-1 win over New Jersey. “It’s fun to watch. I’m glad they’re on our team.”

Kucherov and Point combined for a seven-point night in the win. In all, the duo has assisted each other on 15 goals this season, of their combined 32 goals. Kucherov has had the assist in 11 of those, meaning he has set up half of Point’s goals this season.

The Atlantic

I’ve added this section to the QS because not only were all eight Atlantic Division teams playing on Tuesday night, but all were extremely exciting games. Want proof? Check out Lauren’s tweet.

You saw the Atlantic’s top team complete a 6-5 shootout victory over the Red Wings (6th).

The now seventh-place Florida Panthers put on a clinic at home against the falling fourth-place Boston Bruins. The Big Bad B’s are now one point ahead of Montreal and six behind Buffalo. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

The aforementioned Montreal Canadiens (5th) also put a beatdown on their opponent: the last-place Ottawa Senators. Habs win 5-2 and put themselves in the final Wild Card spot in the East. For now. [Silver Seven Sens]

And finally, the superstars were out in the marquee game of the night: The Toronto Maple Leafs (2nd) vs. the Buffalo Sabres (3rd). Long story short, Americans Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in their first big matchup as two competitive teams. Matthews put his team ahead first. Eichel put his team on his back, tying the game before putting his team ahead in quick succession. But Auston would have the last laugh at the last gasp in overtime. [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Prospects

The young Syracuse Crunch are back atop the North Division standings in the AHL, and it feels so good. Check out a review of their week including roster moves, injuries, and recaps of the games played. [Raw Charge]

On Monday the Lightning/Crunch reassigned Mitch Hults to Orlando. Such is life for an AHL forward on a team stacked with a lot of talented players up front. One day you’re a healthy scratch, the next day you’re centering Cory Conacher and Andy Andreoff. then two days later you’re catching the 7:20 A.M. flight to sunny Florida.

To go along with Justin’s AHL recap, Trace put together a summary of how the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears fared over the past week. [Raw Charge]

On paper, it looked like a normal two game weekend set between the Orlando Solar Bears and their South Division rival, the Norfolk Admirals. But one could say it was the past meeting the present, as the new Lightning affiliate faced off against an old one (albeit from a different league).

For five years, Tampa Bay’s AHL prospects called Norfolk home, a time period that culminated in a record-breaking 28 game winning streak and a Calder Cup championship in 2012. The Lightning’s AHL affiliate than switched to Syracuse.

Spoiler alert, we’ll be talking a lot about the upcoming NHL expansion draft in 2021 for the newest franchise: The Seattle We-Don’t-Know-Yets! Until then, have a look at what AHL savant Patrick Williams had to say as to what the expansion means for the NHL’s #1 affiliation league. Patrick knows a lot more than I thought someone at this stage of the expansion process would know, so major respect to him. I hope I can get there one day. [THREAD]

The Game

The NHL has officially agreed with a group of rich people to put a team in Seattle, Washington. It’s honestly been long overdue. The pricetag for the new franchise that will start playing games in the 2021-2022 season was a cool $650 million. Of course there will be an expansion draft, but let’s deal with that at a later date. The Lightning will be good and will have to give up a good player, that’s the most-likely scenario.

Here’s a one-article cheat sheet from ESPN, I think Emily Kaplan did a great job explaing all aspects of the new deal that was officially agreed to on Tuesday afternoon. [ESPN]

Expansion Draft? Yes, exactly the same. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has stated several times that the new Seattle franchise will benefit from the same expansion draft rules that the Golden Knights used. Even after Vegas made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final during its inaugural season, Bettman said in May that he had received “no pushback whatsoever” from other league owners about repeating the same process for Seattle.

Highlight of the Night: Ryan Reaves sending the karma back at Tom Wilson. The first clip is hilarious and harmless, but the second one is bad. How do we feel? Are we allowed to laugh? Have we gone too far? You tell me.