With one month left in the regular season let’s take a look at playoff picture. The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently sitting at the second place in the Atlantic Division. The margin between them and the closest teams is big enough to confidently say that the Lightning will likely finish second place.
While the position of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the end of the regular season is pretty clear, it’s not very obvious who will be their opponent in the first round of postseason. The Toronto Maple Leafs, currently sitting at the third place in the standings, have lost three consecutive games during their trip to California, earning just one point out of six. These three losses allowed the Florida Panthers to get closer, as of this morning they are just three points behind of the Leafs with one game in hand. In two weeks both teams will face each other and this game might crucial for their playoff chances.
The Athletic’s projection model written by Dom Luszczyszyn has the Toronto Maple Leafs as the most likely Lightning matchup for the first round with 79 percent probability, while chances to face the Panthers are at 13 percent. The data are updated on Saturday morning, so given yesterday’s Panthers win over the Montreal Canadiens, their chances have probably slightly increased. The Florida Panthers are also in the race for one of the wild card spots with four other teams from the Metropolitan Division.
Lightning Org News
As in the previous game, the Bruins outshot their opponent, although this time the Lightning controlled the game in terms of expected goal share. The Lightning took an early lead in the first period after shorthanded goals by Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev also became the second Lightning defenceman who reached the 10-goal mark this season. He also set a career high in goals in a single season. Andrei Vasilevskiy faced 38 shots and allowed three goals.
Victor Hedman played just about five minutes last night, according to head coach Jon Cooper, Hedman got hurt during the first period and couldn’t return on the ice, staying on the bench till the end of the game. He will be reevaluated later.
Cooper said Hedman got hurt in the 1st period but didn’t provide any detail to what extent. “We’ll have to evaluate. He couldn’t go. He tried to go for one shift there (in the 2nd period).” #Bolts #TBLvsBOS— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) March 8, 2020
The Syracuse Crunch responded for Friday’s loss to the Toronto Marlies with a 2-1 win over them on Saturday night. Taylor Raddysh scored a game-winning goal.
Other Hockey News
The Florida Panthers retired Roberto Luongo’s number before yesterday’s game against the Canadiens. He became the first player in the Florida Panthers organization to have his jersey retired.
The IIHF officially cancelled the upcoming Women’s World Hockey Championship due to threat of Coronavirus.
BREAKING: Amid growing concerns over the threat coronavirus poses, the IIHF has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Women's World Hockey Championship in Canada.https://t.co/z4x2xRBBf9— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 7, 2020
The NHL also closed dressing rooms to media due to concern of spreading Coronavirus.
Starting today, @NHL will close dressing rooms to media, on recommendation of Centers for Disease Control (@CDCgov) in effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. NBA, MLB + MLS are expected to follow. Media availabilities will be conducted in formal press conference area.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 7, 2020
Prior to the International Women Day, the members of Seattle’s team shared to Sportsnet how they’re a building a diverse NHL team.
“For Seattle to have the foresight to think it doesn’t have to be a male dominated job — they’ve really set a standard.”@CammiGranato and @AlexMandrycky chat with @SNChrisSimpson about how @NHLSeattle_ prioritized inclusion and diversity. #UnitedBySport | #IWD2020 pic.twitter.com/sI8sAjzmBe— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 8, 2020
The NHL announced that NHL Draft Lottery will be held on April 9.