Will the Tampa Bay Lighting be buyers, traders or stand pat at the deadline? That’s the biggest question facing general manager Steve Yzerman as March 1 approaches.
With the season that they’ve had for most of the season, there’s a lot that we as fans would like to see happen, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top three.
The Lightning will play in their 57th game of their season on Saturday. Not a single player has played all 57 games. Alex Killorn has missed the least number of games with two games. And only nine players have missed at least 50 games. That’s a lot man games lost, a lot of line juggling and just a lot of instability/inconsistency on the roster and the team. It shouldn’t be an excuse, and it’s not, because injuries are part of the game, but it also means decisions shouldn’t be made rashly, which makes those decisions all the more difficult because you’re playing a game of "What if."
Let the numbers speak for themselves:
JT Brown: 5 points in 43 games
Braydon Coburn: 6 points in 54 games
Jason Garrison: 7 points in 52 games
Andrej Sustr: 8 points in 54 games
Cedric Paquette: 9 points in 48 games
Anton Stralman: 14 points in 47 games
Vlad Namestnikov: 20 points in 52 games
Anyone not named Victor Hedman or Anton Stralman should be free game to put on the trade market. (Even though we noted Stralman in the list of secondary scoring, he’s still playing big quality minutes.) Raw Charge writer loserpoints has written a lot about how abysmal the stats — and frankly, our eyes — Jason Garrison and Andrej Sustr have been this season. Sure, with the Lightning winning as of late, the defense overall has tightened up. But at other times, it’s been downright painful to watch.