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Lightning Round: Atlantic Division update

Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to a 42-year old emergency goalie!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Boston Bruins39-12-12 – 90 points

The Boston Bruins winning streak ended last night with a 3-9 debacle against the Vancouver Canucks. The team suffered their biggest loss of the season, allowing more than six goals for the first time this season. While Ondrej Kase hasn’t joined the team yet and is expected to meet his new teammates today, the newest Canuck Tyler Toffoli already scored four points for Vancouver in two games, including two goals and an assist last night.

Per reports, the Boston Bruins aren’t done on the trade market yet. The team has already showed interest in bringing Ilya Kovalchuk from Montreal, but is working now on a potential Kyle Palmieri trade.

Tampa Bay Lightning – 40-17-5 – 85 points

The Lightning returning from the road trip with a little bit fewer points than someone might have expected. In three games this week they got one victory against the Colorado Avalanche and two losses in Vegas and Arizona. They’re currently five points behind the Boston Bruins, while having one game in hand. During the last game the Lightning also lost Erik Cernak to lower-body injury, with Jan Rutta and Ryan McDonagh already out, the team will probably want to try new players from the Syracuse Crunch on the blueline. However Cameron Gaunce showed that he can be a solid NHL player and fill different roles for the team.

The Lightning are not expected to make big trades before tomorrow’s Trade Deadline. Blake Coleman made his debut this week and is slowly adapting to the new team.

Toronto Maple Leafs – 32-23-8 – 72 points

By the time this article is published you will probably already know what happened last night in Toronto. The Carolina Hurricanes lost both of their goalies by the second period and had to bring an emergency goalie to play between the pipes in remaining time of the game. It was David Ayres, a 42-year old practice goalie and zamboni driver who works for the Toronto Marlies. He stopped 8 of 10 shots last night and earned a win for the Hurricanes.

The Leafs still can’t find consistency. During the last week they’ve lost to the Buffalo Sabres, lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday and shutdown them on Thursday. The Leafs are still on the third place in the division, but just because the Florida Panthers playing even worse.

Toronto is still looking for options to bring a right-handed defenceman as Cody Ceci is out till the end of the season and ready to sacrifice Tyson Barrie to make it happen.

Florida Panthers – 32-24-6 – 70 points

A week ago, the Florida Panthers started their road-trip to the West Coast. In the first two games they managed to beat the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, but lost two following games against the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights.

Their only hope to make the playoffs is for the Panthers is to catch the Toronto Maple Leafs who are just two points ahead of them. Both teams are very unstable and losing points in games where they suppose to earn them. Otherwise they won’t have a chance against four teams from the Metropolitan division battling for the two wild card spots.

Montreal Canadiens29-27-8 – 66 points

The Canadiens got swept against the Detroit Red Wings this season, losing all four games against them. if they could have won at least couple of this games, they would probably still be in the playoff race, but now their chances to make postseason are slowly disappearing. According to the Micah Blake McCurdy’s projection model, their chances were at one percent as of Saturday.

The Canadiens are expected to be sellers at the Trade Deadline. Ilya Kovalchuk is an obvious choice to be moved before tomorrow, the team is also looking for a buyer for Tomas Tatar and the Hurricanes are interested in defenceman Jeff Petry.

Buffalo Sabres28-25-8 – 64 points

The Sabres had a relatively good week, winning two games out of three, including a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team won’t make playoffs and have several pending unrestricted free agents which can be moved before the deadline to bring some draft picks in return. Some of the most interesting assets for the Sabres are Conor Sheary, who won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Jimmy Vesey. Some teams have also expressed interest in acquiring Rasmus Ristolainen.

Ottawa Senators – 21-30-11 – 53 points

The Senators held out Vladislav Namestnikov for the last two games, which indicates that the former Lightning player might be on the move again. Jean-Gabriel Pageau is also a very interesting asset for the Senators, during the current season he took a leading role of the team and per reports, the Senators offered him an extension

Detroit Red Wings – 15-44-4 – 34 points

The Red Wings have been officially eliminated from playoff contention this week. They are the first team since the 1995-96 Ottawa Senators to be eliminated so early in the season. Out of 15 victories this season, four came against the Montreal Canadiens and two against the Boston Bruins.

Lightning Org News

The Syracuse Crunch defeated the the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night, Alex Barre-Boulet scored one goal and assist, Dominik Masin scored a game-winning goal.

The Crunch have also hosted a Pride Night during their last game.

Before the game, the Syracuse Crunch announced that they signed Tyler Bird to a professional tryout contract. He played in 34 games this season for the Orlando Solar Bears and scored five goals and six assists.

Meanwhile the Solar Bears have been shut down 0-4 by the Jacksonville Icemen

Other Hockey News

Alex Ovechkin finally scored his 700th career goal but it wasn’t enough to earn a win over the New Jersey Devils

Zach Bogosian cleared waivers on Saturday, which allowed the Buffalo Sabres to terminate a contract with him

A loss to an emergency goalie caused a mental breakdown in one of the Canadian cities