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Quick Strikes: Jonathan Marchessault scores his 100th point against the Tampa Bay Lightning

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have set a high bar for themselves this year: a championship or bust. Should we feel sympathetic when they give up a multi-goal lead while taking five – or in Colorado’s case, eight – penalties in back-to-back games? No. They are the Tampa Bay Lightning. We hold them to the standard of winning every game, every period, every shift. No more playing down to the opponent. [Raw Charge]

“The Tampa Bay Lightning lose 4-3 in regulation to the Vegas Golden Knights. Shea Theodore winning it on the power play with 2.3 seconds left in the game.”

Dirk Shadd is a photographer that covers the Lightning. Check out his best photos of 2017! You might see some great blue and white memories in there. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Tampa Bay Lightning are at the bottom of these “Power Feelings” edition of the Yahoo Sports power rankings. [Yahoo Sports]

“Of course, Tampa only has eight losses period, so there ya go.”

(It’s nine now).

Shoutout to all the Bolts fans who made the trip to Vegas. Love the support!

The national media is finally figuring out what we’ve known for years. Nikita Kucherov is not only good, not only great, not only exceptional, but one of the best players in the world. [SB Nation]

“McDavid vs. Crosby had become one of the NHL’s most interesting debates, for good reason. They both play the same position, and put up some of the best numbers in the league. McDavid might be the fastest player in hockey history. Crosby might be the most well-rounded. Even an Erik Karlsson defender would admit the conversation focused on those two forwards.

But now we’re nearly midway through the 2017-18 season, and a new challenger has emerged.”

Yanni Gourde has a great story to tell. Watch The Hockey Guy tell the underdog story of Tampa’s 25-year-old rookie.

The Prospects

The NHL website picked up the Crunch’s 10-game winning streak. Great bit of publicity for the boys in the AHL. [NHL dot com]

“Kevin Lynch scored a goal in both games in Week 11 and he is tied for the second-most goals on the Crunch with seven. He scored an insurance goal Friday against Providence and then pulled Syracuse within one with a third-period marker Saturday, giving him goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his 122-game AHL career.”

The junior leagues have sent their kids home for winter break, the Lightning’s five prospects are heading to the World Juniors, and two Bolt prospects win silver for USA. [Raw Charge]

Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Cal Foote, and Brett Howden all made Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships. They play their first pretournament game Wednesday night in London, Ontario against the Czech Republic.”

The Adirondack Thunder are still playing, however! The Thunder split their four games this week in thrilling fashion. [Raw Charge]

“Eric Neiley would then score his 10th on a late power play for a 3-0 advantage through one period, chasing Reading starting goaltender Tyler Parks out of the game in favor of Mark Dekanich.”

Former Syracuse Crunch goaltender Michael Leighton has been traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Josh Archibald and Sean Maguire. The Crunch should be seeing more of Leighton with him in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton now. [Pensburgh]

“Then they get veteran goalie Michael Leighton (who GM Jim Rutherford has had before) basically for 24-year old goalie Sean Maguire. Maguire’s been mostly a 4/5 type guy in the organization and played more ECHL games than AHL, so at least this is a slight upgrade to get a 3 or 4th goalie in the organization in Leighton.”

The Game

The Penguins made another trade yesterday, sending a conditional fourth-round pick to Dallas for Jamie Oleksiak. Some Stars fans are happy, others are not. [Defending Big D]

“Oleksiak has been, for a while now at least, a polarizing player within the Dallas Stars fan base. For some, Oleksiak represents an abject failure by the Stars to draft and develop defensemen that are solid at the NHL level. For others, Oleksiak represents untapped potential…”

Wes McCauley is one of the funnest referee’s in the league. The way he silences the crowd of MSG is something out of a movie.

He has such a flair for the dramatic.

The Buffalo Sabres are so bad they can’t even score on themselves.

Patrick Marleau has six kids. “Four at home, and two on the road.”

Speaking of Toronto, they hosted the 100th birthday of the NHL this afternoon! They celebrated with a day game where they invited the next generation of hockey players to skate with them in the pre-game. It was a great moment, especially for Leafs fans. A better moment was Mike Babcock recounting all the chirps little Mitch Marner got from his teammates.

Highlight of the Night: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov goes inside-out short-side for a very pretty goal against Ben Bishop and the Dallas Stars.

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