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NHL Playoff Race: Lightning take a lower-body injury to their chances

Jake Dotchin wasn’t the only one that felt the pain last night.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

With the Lightning clawing their way back into the playoff picture since the trade deadline, and with the end of the season within sight, it’s time to start scoreboard watching.

For every game we review, we’ll determine a Best Case, OK Case, and Worst Case scenario for each game. For each review, we’ll determine which actually happened for the Lightning. With thanks to @ElSeldo of Pension Plan Puppets for the inspiration.

Last Night’s Games

The Lightning and Jake Dotchin both took a stick to the nuts last night. With an important game and a potential playoff spot on the line, the Lightning came out flat and got slaughtered by the Bruins. The Bruins also secured a playoff berth after missing the playoffs the past two seasons. The Senators picked up two points to ease their skid and eliminated the Hurricanes in the process.

The Capitals did the Lightning a favor by taking out the Maple Leafs to keep some semblance of playoff hopes alive, but it’s not looking good. The Maple Leafs are the only team that the Lightning have any hope of moving ahead of at this point. The Senators only need a single point over their next three games to secure a spot. The Maple Leafs only need two points in the next three games to punch their ticket.

The Lightning do take on the Leafs on Thursday, though. The Lightning will need to show up and win in regulation to keep the train going. It’s been a while since the Lightning have played irrelevant games at the end of season, but that can come as soon as Friday.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 0 @ Boston Bruins 4 - Worst Case
  • Washington Capitals 4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs 1 - Best Case
  • Carolina Hurricanes @ Minnesota Wild - Didn’t Matter
  • New York Islanders 2 @ Nashville Predators 1 - Worst Case (But does it really matter?)
  • Detroit Red Wings 0 @ Ottawa Senators 2 - Worst Case

Tonight’s Games that Matter

Take the night off. Relax. Go to the beach. Watch The Office. I don’t know. Whatever you like to do to de-stress. There’s only two games and they don’t matter to the Lightning’s chances.