Quick Strikes: Hedman’s visor shatters, needs four stitches under left eye

Lexi Lafleur Brown is just as awesome as you think, the Tampa Bay Lightning deserve an outdoor game, Hedman gets a new scar, and the Erie Otters (featuring three Tampa prospects) are OHL Champions!

The Bolts

If you don’t already love Lexi LaFleur Brown, you will after you read this interview. “Lexi LaFleur Brown has a Masters Degree in Public Relations, is currently pursuing a PhD in Education, and is savvy when it comes to social media. She’s married to a professional hockey player (J.T. Brown, they met via Twitter) and she’s an athlete in her own right. And while she doesn’t currently have a job (‘Nope. Just going to school and being pregnant,’ she said), she’s someone who fits the growing paradigm of the outspoken hockey spouse who proves media assumptions wrong.” [Raw Charge]

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning ever get an outdoor game? “It will all boil down to the NHL taking a step outside of its comfort zone in order to include all of its franchises. As it seems, the NHL seems to favor its go-to teams—the Pittsburghs, and the Detroits, and the Chicagos—but it’s getting old, and it’s getting old fast.” [Raw Charge]

It's your turn to decide the best play of the 2016-17 Lightning season. “Voting for the first group in the Best of the Bolts Round of 16 starts at noon on Friday, May 12 and ends at noon on Monday, May 15. Each matchup is listed below and you can vote as many times as you'd like for your favorite play in each matchup.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]

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).

Sweden defeats Italy 8-1.

Stralman picked up an assist while Hedman was held off the score sheet.

You’ll have to forgive Hedman for his lack of offensive production; he was busy getting his face cut up after his visor shattered.

Reddit user /u/elgrandeslimbo was kind enough to translate a brief Swedish article from Aftonbladet.se about the incident. If you use this translation in any context, please credit the translator.

With about ten minutes left in the third period, Victor Hedman was in the neutral zone.

“I am not sure which it was, but a shoulder or elbow cracked my visor,” says Hedman with blood under his eye. “It is the second time this year that my visor cracked,” continues Hedman as he points to a scar under his other eye.

Doctor Björn Waldebäck takes Hedman to the medical area in the arena to give him four stitches.

“Make sure to do these [stitches] well, I already have a bad scar under my other eye,” says Hedman before Waldebäck puts the needle into his skin.

More practice photos from Team Russia, courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.  If you’re wondering why they’re walking around outside in full hockey gear, it’s because they have to take a bus and walk across the parking lot to get from the locker room to the practice facility.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch take on the Toronto Marlies in Game 5 tonight. The series is tied 2-2.

The Erie Otters feature three Baby Bolts - Erik Cernak, Anthony Cirelli, and Taylor Raddysh. Otters beat writer Victor Fernandes offered his take on the Lightning prospects. “I would say right now, that Cirelli is front runner for playoff MVP. Look at his scoring in the playoffs. Half of his goals have tied the game, gave them the lead, or won the game.” [Raw Charge]

Fernandes gave that interview before the events of last night’s game, in which the Erie Otters relied entirely on the Lightning prospects for their offense. Raddysh (#17 in yellow) had a hat-trick, including a game-tying goal with 1:15 left in the third period. Cirelli (#22) had two assists in regulation and then did exactly what Fernandes alluded to - he scored the game winning goal in overtime.

With this victory, Erie wins the OHL Championship and advances to the Memorial Cup Tournament. Because of their pivotal roles in the victory, Cirelli and Raddysh were interviewed after the game.

Question: Can you put into words just how you’ve been able, over the course of your junior career, to have so much success when it really counts?

Cirelli: I don’t know. [smiles] I just come to work every day. I just want to help the team win. Everybody’s been great to me, like I said. Playing with unbelievable players here - they made my job easy.

The Lightning have an impressive five prospects playing in the Memorial Cup tournament. Cernak, Cirelli, and Raddysh will represent Erie while Bokondji Imama and Mathieu Joseph will play for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Game

Former Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop just signed a six year, 29.5 million dollar deal with the Dallas Stars. We wish you the best of luck, Bish!

The Washington Capitals had their locker clean-out day. Several players mentioned that the structure of the team would be different moving forward. “Karl Alzner was forthright when asked about the degree of changes being made within the organization after another second-round loss. He acknowledged the possibility of things being ‘blown up,’ saying, ‘You can only get to the second round so many times before you think that something needs to be changed.’” [Japers’ Rink]

Your daily dose of adorable comes in the form of Jonathan Bernier’s son dressed up in his dad’s Anaheim Ducks goalie gear.