Quick Strikes: Lightning lose to the Preds, Crunch get ready to play

Syracuse is hopeful that they will get some players back to healthy status.

The Headline

The Tampa Bay Lightning prepped to face the Nashville Predators yesterday. Hydration is important in such a situation.

Unfortunately, the day started out with some not great news on the injury front.

Right before puck drop, news broke that Viktor Arvidsson wouldn’t be suiting up for Nashville.

Lightning forward Tyler Johnson had quite the milestone during the game.

Play itself was intense, as Matt Esteves observed.

Sadly, it also wasn’t going the Lightning’s way during the first.

I won’t harp on it too much, but this shot pretty much shows it all.

The second period was proving to be just as frustrating as the first, BUT THEN-

The second ended with a victory still well within reach.

Unfortunately, the Bolts just couldn’t bridge the gap and ended up losing 4-1.

Meanwhile, the Crunch is getting ready to face the Belleville Senators this weekend. In a weird twist of the schedule, the Sens will play in Syracuse Friday and Saturday.

The game should have marked the return of goalie Mike McKenna to Syracuse for the first time since June of 2017 when he played for the team, but it looks like that is no longer a possibility.

The weekend should see the return of one of the Crunch’s injured players, though. Defenseman Ben Thomas should be good to go.

Thomas, who had yet to be assigned to Syracuse due to his injury, was assigned yesterday, further signaling his state of readiness.

One defenseman doesn’t exactly help the Crunch’s forward situation, though, and with centers Gabriel Dumont, Kevin Lynch, and Mitchell Stephens out, Boris Katchouk is shifting to that position for the weekend.

Other Lightning News

The Bolts will be celebrating Martin St. Louis’ introduction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 21st.

In this article behind The Athletic’s paywall, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are mentioned specifically as being some of the best shooters in the league at turning mid-percentage chances into goals.

Yesterday, Hardev summed up all of the important headlines and factors feeding into the NHL’s Eastern Conference.

The Lightning’s strong October start mirrors their start last season, but some of the contributing factors and challenges mark a difference.

Overall, the biggest improvement for the Lightning, when compared to last season, is their defensive play. Even when they were setting franchise records in October last year, the team had a suspect defensive corps. Now, this unit has become one of their strongest features.

Other Crunch News

Earlier this week, Justin claimed that the Crunch has yet to find their identity. Seems like head coach Groulx agrees.

The Crunch’s military appreciation night next Sunday is featuring different packages for people to purchase to honor those still serving and those who have served.

Power Rankings are currently not kind to the last-place Crunch. Only the lowly Ontario Reign are behind them, according to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blogger Jason.

The Crunch is getting ready for their annual bubble hockey tournament. Fans can sign up to compete against Crunch players and win prizes.

Solar Bears News

The Orlando Solar Bears are letting fans vote for the “coolest player of the month.” In the running is organizational goalie Martin Ouellette. He’s got my vote!

Solar Bears defenseman Michael Brodzinski is the ECHL Plus Performer of the Month for October. He led the league with a +10.

Happenings in Hockey

Lauren Boyle, wife of Brian Boyle, has been announced as the Hockey Fights Cancer Ambassador for 2018.

Speaking of Hockey Fights Cancer, the AHL and its clubs are also going all for the fight for a cure.

Columbus goaltending prospect Elvis Merzlikins has an awesome last name and an awesome sense of humor.

Yesterday, the Predators placed Tyler Moy on Unconditional Waivers for the purpose of mutual contract termination.

I...don’t...know...what’s happening here, but I know Auston Matthews, so...

Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks would like a new award to be created for best defensive defenseman. I agree. Let’s get it done. Other things discussed in that article for ESPN: go-to goalie in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, whether or not a player needs to be in the playoffs to win the Hart Trophy, career longevity goals, and more.

If you could create a new award to give to NHL players, what would it be?

Josh Manson, Anaheim Ducks defenseman: Defensive Defenseman. I’d like that. That’d help me, I think, because I don’t think I’m going to do some damage in the offense category, but I might in the defensive category. I won it in college, and I felt it was nice because I wasn’t going to win the offense one, but I still got credit.

FYI: The waiver claim order has shifted now.

Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic chimes in with his own version of Elliotte Friedman’s weekly 30/31 Thoughts column. He’s titled it 31 Stats. That’s about all I can tell you, but I’m sure it’s great.

Let’s not go down this road, okay?

The AHL announced their award winners for October. Rochester Americans forward Victor Olofsson, Springfield Thunderbirds forward Henrik Borgstrom, and San Jose Barracuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau all cashed in thanks to their performances throughout the month.