Quick Strikes: Steven Stamkos says Tampa All-Star Game is “a little bittersweet”

Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos reflects on the growth of hockey in the area and the Syracuse Crunch lose in double overtime.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning All-Star Game: Gary Bettman and Jeff Vinik discuss nuts, Bolts, and pirates. “What sets Amalie Arena apart is the amount of funding and resources Mr. Vinik has poured into it to make this a world-class facility, which allows a signature event like the NHL All-Star game to come here and be a great experience without dipping heavily into community resources.” - Rob Higgins, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Sports Commission. [Raw Charge]

Captain Steven Stamkos has mixed emotions about Tampa hosting next year’s All-Star Game. “It's a little bittersweet,” Stamkos said. “If there's the Olympics, then the (All-Star Game) doesn't come to Tampa, so it's a double-edged sword. If it comes to the point where there's no Olympics, I couldn't think of a better place to host the game. We've proven the hockey market that we are, how great we are. I think it'd be a great time.” [Tampa Bay Times]

2016-2017 Breakdown: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins. “The Boston games were a microcosm of what the Lightning were this season. Flashes of brilliance (January 31st’s back and forth battle, and March’s thrashing win) and a steady dose of disappointment (every other Boston game). Tampa Bay’s goaltending never seemed to be much of a factor either. The Bruins never scored less than 3 goals in any of the five games played and the combination of Bishop, Budaj, or Vasilevskiy never stood out as the de-facto anchor for Tampa Bay during those games.” [Raw Charge]

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch lost another heart-breaker in double overtime. The Grand Rapids Griffins now have a 2-0 series lead. “The contest was the first double overtime game in the Calder Cup Finals since 2005, when Chicago beat Philadelphia in Game 2.” [Syracuse.com]

On a happier note, listen to this fun interview with Slater Koekkoek.

The Game

The Nashville Predators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 to earn their first victory in a Stanley Cup Final game in franchise history! “The Predators just won their first ever Stanley Cup Final game, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in an electric atmosphere. If you were here for it, you won’t forget it.” [On the Forecheck]

The Nashville Predators have some of the most engaged, entertaining fans. There have always been goalie chants in the NHL, but this is on a whole new level. You do you, Smashville.

Jack Eichel likes direction Sabres are heading under Botterill. “He’s going to try and bring in the winning culture that obviously Pittsburgh has had and instill that on us,” Eichel said, “just having an open relationship and trying to keep everyone informed, let everyone know where they are in different situations. It will be important for us. Communication’s a big thing, and he seems like a great communicator.” [Buffalo News]

How a life-changing diagnosis led one goalie to an unexpected NHL job. Jordan Sigalet was himself a force between the posts in his early 20s. Then one morning he awoke with numbness in his foot. “I was a 23-year-old college athlete, prime of my life, invincible,” says Sigalet. His mom, on the other hand, didn’t like the sound of it—and told him to go to the team doctor, who ordered an MRI. “When he said multiple sclerosis,” remembers Sigalet, “I looked at him like he had 10 heads. I didn’t really know what it was.” [Maclean’s]

Ilya Bryzgalov has been covering the Cup final for the Player’s Tribune. His twitter is especially hilarious.