Quick Strikes: Stamkos calls Kucherov “a one-man wrecking crew”

A Q&A with Stamkos, Gourde’s OT winner set to the tune from Titanic, and Yzerman offers his thoughts on the season.

The Bolts

If you think you liked Yanni Gourde’s OT winner before, just wait until you hear it set to the tune of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

Steven Stamkos did a Q&A about fantasy football, his favorite rinks, and the emergence of teammate Nikita Kucherov. “He's been a one-man wrecking crew for us lately. With the injuries we've had and the guys who have gone down, he's been relied upon heavily and he's found a way. It seems like it's either him [scoring], or he's involved on the power play somehow.” [ESPN]

The Tampa Bay Lightning have perfected the art of the come-back win. “‘We've got a left hook here, and an uppercut here, but guys won't go down,’ coach Jon Cooper said. ‘You look at the two-month stretch of this resilient group. This group is showing it right now.’ If the Lightning does manage to make the playoffs, remember these other comebacks.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Ever since owner Jeff Vinik bought the team in 2010, the Lightning have been dedicated to giving back to the people of the Tampa Bay area. Here’s just another example of that commitment.

General Manager Steve Yzerman discussed playoffs, injuries, and several young Bolts including Andrei Vasilevskiy. “He’s a young goalie. I think he’s still only 22. I don’t think he has 100 games in the league yet. He’s relatively inexperienced. He’s performed well in every situation we’ve put him in... I believe he’s got the physical and the mental make-up to be a really good starting goaltender for a long time.” [Raw Charge]

A look back on the 2014 draft. “Anthony DeAngelo only lasted two years in the Lightning organization before being traded to Arizona, but what other defensemen were available?” [Raw Charge]

The Prospects

A lot of prospects participated in the CHL playoffs last night. I’m just going to cover the highlights of players who contributed goals or assists (and also goalie Connor Ingram).

Dennis Yan (#11 in white jersey) scored a hat-trick as his Shawinigan Cataractes defeated Val-d'Or Foreurs 6-3. Yan was named first star of the game.

Mathieu Joseph (white #21) picked up three assists and Bokondji Imama (white #51) scored two goals and an assist for the Saint John Sea Dogs en route to a 5-2 victory over the Rimouski Océanic. Joseph was named first star of the game while Imama picked up third star honors.

Goalie Connor Ingram stopped 37 of 38 shots (0.974 SV%) to help his Kaloomps Blazers defeat the Kelowna Rockets 4-1. Ingram was given second star honors for his performance. Video highlights unavailable.

The Game

“The U.S. women's national hockey team and USA Hockey agreed to a landmark new contract on Tuesday to avert the players' boycott of the IIHF World Championships that begin Friday and significantly address the women's protests about compensation and the federation's inequitable treatment of its girls' and women's programs.” [ESPN]

Sadly, the NHL continues to show that it’s not interested in understanding or preventing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition that arises from repeated concussions. “The NHL has reportedly refused to fund any head trauma research. In January, USA Today reported the NHL has not given money to any of the four centres leading research into neurodegenerative diseases and earlier this year, the NHL retained a medical expert in its concussion litigation who argues chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, does not exist as a disease.” [TSN]

“Sidney Crosby has a ‘reputation’ in the NHL. If you’re anti-Crosby, he whines and dives and gets special treatment on a daily basis, and if you’re a certain NHL owner, you think he can get away with murder. If you’re pro-Crosby you can argue that he takes way more abuse than normal players in the NHL... But Crosby is a shining example of what can happen when dangerous plays are not called and the consequences of inconsistent punishments have in the league.” [Pensburgh]

Andrej Nestrasil plays for the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, but it sounds like this may be his last season with them. “In an interview with Czech newspaper Blesk, Nestrasil blasted the Hurricanes organization, expressing his displeasure with the lack of opportunity given to him after returning from his injury.” [Canes Country]