The Tampa Bay Lightning are not playing Dotchin in the preseason because of an unspecified rule violation.

The Bolts

Last night, Alex Volkov scored twice as Tampa Bay Lightning fell to Florida Panthers, 4-2. “Victor Hedman, the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning defense core, and a band of merry prospects were not quite up to the task of beating the predominantly NHL roster that the Florida Panthers sent to Amalie Arena. The Lightning lost to the Florida Panthers 4-2 in the fourth game of the preseason.” [Raw Charge]

So this is intriguing:

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What is going on with Jake Dotchin? Joe Smith posed that question to the organization, and got this puzzling response: “Dotchin, 23, violated an unspecified team rule, according to the Lightning. The infraction won’t impact his spot on the roster or standing with the organization. Dotchin has continued to practice, including Sunday afternoon.” [Tampa Bay Times]

This was nice to see: ’17 draft pick Alex Volkov has nose for the net. “Volkov continued his impressive preseason Sunday, racking up two goals in the Lightning’s 4-2 loss to the Panthers at Amalie Arena. Both scores involved driving to the net. The first came on a slick wraparound; on the second, Volkov darted to the crease and batted an Alex Killorn pass out of the air.” [Tampa Bay Times]

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Remember our piece about Nikita Kucherov, translated from Russian? Joe asked Kucherov about it yesterday, and got a “no comment.” Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season: “You can see the team came in with a different look than we maybe came into last year,” Kucherov said. “The way we’re practicing, everybody is focused. They’re hungry. You can see it.” [Tampa Bay Times]

But what does Canadian media think of the Bolts? 2017-18 NHL Team Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning. “A good bet to be this year’s comeback team, the Tampa Bay Lightning started 2016-17 with Stanley Cup aspirations after back-to-back seasons of reaching at least the conference final, but finished outside of the East’s top eight altogether.” [Sportsnet]

The Prospects

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The Game

How Paul Mara’s new coaching career came out of the red, white and blue. “After a few conversations that began in November, Mara joined the coaching staff for a two-game series against Canada in December where it was apparent how much of a fit Mara was with the team and staff, so he was named to the staff for the recently completed World Championships in Plymouth, Michigan, where the U.S captured gold.” [Lightning Insider, paid content]

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Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com