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Lightning Round: We’ll see y’all on Monday

Happy Christmas Eve! With no hockey on tap until next week, we’re locking up the office (don’t worry we left plenty of food for the office gator) and taking the next couple of days off. We’ll be back on Monday with our usual dose of coverage, plus a preview of the IIHF Men’s Under-20 World Juniors Championship (featuring three Tampa Bay Lightning prospects!).

We hope all of y’all out there are having a safe (and warm) Christmas holiday. For all of those that don’t celebrate, have a great Saturday and Sunday.

Lightning / NHL News

Checking in on the Under-20 prospects in the system [Raw Charge]

The next, next wave of Lightning players are currently still in junior and college hockey (for the most part). We took a quick look at how their seasons are going so far.

To approach 500 goals, Stamkos had to adapt [Tampa Bay Times]

You don’t last in the league for 15 years without adapting. You definitely don’t get close to 500 goals without changing your game. Steven Stamkos had constantly changed and improved how he plays the game. That’s why he’s heading to the hall of fame.

Recharge: Episode Three [You Tube]

Lightning’s Duke can prove doubters wrong at 2023 World Juniors [The Hockey Writers]

This could be a breakout tournament for the Lightning prospect.

Mason Shaw suspended for two games [Department of Player Safety]

Minnesota Wild forward Mason Shaw started his Christmas holiday a little early as he was suspended for two games for kneeing San Jose Sharks Evgeny Svechnikov.

Carter Hart leaves with injury [Twitter]

Hart wasn’t even supposed to be in the game, but after rookie Samuel Ersson struggled, Hart came in, but couldn’t finish the game after a collision in his crease.

Avalanche win, but lose even more players to injury [Mile High Hockey]

Apparently the deal for the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup last year involved having every single player on their roster getting injured. Val Nichushkin is the latest Av to suffer an injury.

ESPN NHL Power Rankings [ESPN]

9. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 8

Points percentage: 64.06%

Next seven days: vs. MTL (Dec. 28), s. NYR (Dec. 29)

The Lightning lacked confidence early this season, but that chapter is hopefully closed. Tampa Bay is being led by a red-hot Nikita Kucherov — who’s fourth in league scoring — and a rejuvenated Andrei Vasilevskiy. When the Lightning’s stars come out, they’re hard to stop.

The results of JFresh’s Annoying Fanbase Survey are in. Yup, it’s Toronto.

Nike Canada Employee identified as man with world junior hockey players before alleged group sexual assault [The Globe and Mail]

According to the application, the complainant told police that M.M. [the Nike employee] was buying rounds of drinks for some members of the team who were celebrating at Jack’s Bar after being honoured at a Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf event.

Finally, congratulations to Alex Ovechkin. With two goals last night, he moved past Gordie Howe on the all-time goal list and now only has one name ahead of him – Wayne Gretzky.

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