Quick Strikes: Syracuse Crunch make the ECF

Vasilevskiy shares his thoughts on Team Russia and the Syracuse Crunch are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals!

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning fans may get the chance to see their captain on the ice soon. Stamkos is expected to participate in the CHL alumni game. He played for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL prior to being drafted by the Bolts. “Steven Stamkos, Aaron Ekblad, Jeff Skinner, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique and many more will take to the ice for two twenty-minute periods on Saturday, May 27th at 2pm in the main bowl at the WFCU Centre.” [Mastercard Memorial Cup]

Update: Despite the Memorial Cup press release, Joe Smith contacted Stamkos (or his agent) to verify the information, and was told that he will not be playing.

Photo breakdown: Vasilevskiy with the no-look save. A scramble around the net has the Lightning netminder all twisted up. “It’s the off-season. Things have slowed down a bit in regards to news about the Tampa Bay Lightning. Therefore, we’re running a small series where Raw Charge writers break down a random photo in our archives.” [Raw Charge]

Scouting the 2017 NHL draft: Pile on the intelligent forwards like Nick Suzuki. “Suzuki is a medium-sized, medium-good skater with amazing hockey intelligence from the OHL.” [Raw Charge]

“What should we expect from Vasilevskiy as the go-to option for the Lightning? Projecting goaltending performances is an inexact science, to say the least, but we can make a few educated guesses based on how the netminder has handled his work to this point.” [FanRag Sports]

It's your turn to decide the best play of the 2016-17 Lightning season. “Every couple of days, we'll unveil a new matchup pitting one great Lightning highlight against another. Vote for the one you like best, and the play receiving the most fan votes will move on to the next round.” Voting for the current matchup ends at noon on Friday. [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Toronto Marlies 6-3 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals! “Toronto was a hell of a team,” Crunch head coach Ben Groulx said of the series. “We had to fight hard and when you win the first two games, you know that a team like that will bounce back. They pushed us to the limit, which is a credit to them, but also I think we have a hell of a team on our side. Our guys were outstanding.” [Raw Charge]

Here’s the schedule:

Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh was named to the OHL’s third all-star team.

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).

Cooper believes Germany will be a tough opponent. “They’ve got the big boy up front - Leon Draisatl who has clearly given them a lift. He’s surrounded by a bunch of skill guys and some good goaltending. It’s going to be a tough test for us.”  [Hockey Canada]

Kucherov translation courtesy of Natalia: “I'm always in a good mood when I come to play for the national team. There is a chance to win gold medals, and we will fight for them.”

Vasilevskiy had some tough words for Team Russia’s efforts after their 5-3 loss to the United States. “It’s one thing playing against Slovakia or Denmark. With all due respect, we should beat these teams, our roster has more class. But maybe we relaxed a little bit after those games and didn’t manage to adjust [against the Americans]. The USA is a serious opponent, but we didn’t keep control of the puck and we gave up stupid goals. It should be a lesson for us.” [IIHF]

Photos from practice, courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

The Game

Ottawa beat the Pens 5-1 last night, and now lead the series 2 games to 1. Hooks Orpik tells the tale. "A couple bad bounces and poor defensive efforts and the Penguins fall in a deep hole that they can't climb out of. The Ottawa Senators serve up a beating and take the series lead with a commanding win." His 3rd period recap hurts like I remember that one bad game in the Rangers-Bolts series hurting. [Pensburgh]

Here’s the game from Ottawa’s perspective. This was a statement game if I’ve ever seen one. The Ottawa Senatorscrushed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1, taking the lead 48 seconds in and keeping that lead for the whole game. There was no question who was going to win by the 12-minute mark of the game, when the Sens had already racked up a 4-0 lead and chased Marc-Andre Fleury. [Silver Seven Sens]

A lot of people are Mad Online about Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 trap. (We should really get Bolts fans to fanpost about their feelings since we've been through it.) Please see this whole thread from CommissarTaco:


Who knew Wil Wheaton was a Sens fan? Is it the red uniforms?

Enjoy tonight’s Preds vs. Ducks (a Very Mustard Series).