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Lightning Round: Alex Killorn appreciation post and a Taylor Hall trade appears imminent

Also, prayers for Oskar Lindblom

Winnipeg Jets v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images

After an historical regular season last year, when the Tampa Bay Lightning finished with 62 wins, it still seems a little bit frustrating to see the team this low in the standings in December. While the Bolts have been playing pretty well overall lately and even the goaltending, which has been problematic this season, has been on a rising trend in the last few games, we can focus on some positive things. One of these things is Alex Killorn and his play do far this season.

This is already the eighth NHL season with the Lightning for Killorn. He has played more than 500 games with the team and even though it feels like he’s always been there, it also feels like he’s a little bit underappreciated by the Lightning fanbase. His brightest moments so far were the 2015 and 2016 playoffs, when he scored 18 and 13 points respectively. But mostly I’ve been hearing a lot of complaining among the fanbase about his production and his salary (in 2016 Killorn signed a contract worth $4.45-million per season).

While we all should agree that points aren’t necessarily the best way to show the impact a single player having on a team, Alex Killorn has always been a player putting up about 40 points per season, which is a solid number for a third liner who can move higher in the lineup if needed. During last season, Geo also wrote an article about Killorn’s ability to play on the penalty kill, but it seems like Killorn is ready to take his productivity the the next level this year.

So far, he has 24 points in 28 games. He already missed two games this season, so assuming that he stays healthy for the rest of the season, he’s on pace for 68-69 points in 80 games would be his career high by a large margin. Killorn has also been criticized for never reaching the 20 goal mark. With 9 goals in the middle of December, he has a pretty strong opportunity to finally hit that number. Killorn currently has eight points in the last five games and points in 11 of his last 15 games. His advanced statistics are also pretty good. According to Evolving-hockey.com, he’s ranked third among Lightning players in WAR behind only Brayden Point and Kevin Shattenkirk.

He’s currently scoring with a 15.3% shooting percentage and given his career average percentage at 10.5%, his productivity will likely see some regression. It’s also fair to mention that Killorn’s probably benefiting from playing with Anthony Cirelli, who’s slowly becoming of the best two-way forwards in the league.

Other Hockey News

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers released a statement that 23 year old Swedish forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which is rare type of bone cancer that in many cases, is very treatable. Lindblom will miss the rest of the season and we wish him all the best in his treatment and recovery.

Taylor Hall was healthy scratched right before the yesterday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche and it started a new round of speculation about his trade. Per Pierre Lebrun, Taylor Hall has not been traded yet, and the New Jersey Devils simply want to avoid the risk of him getting injured while they’re having conversations with potential trade partners.

Bob McKenzie also mentioned that the Arizona Coyotes showed the biggest interest in the Devils player so far.