Time: 5:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Pizza Palace
Broadcast/Streaming: SunS, FSDT
Opponent SBNation Site: Wingin’ it in Motown
The Lightning head to Detroit after winning on the road in Boston yesterday. The team will have to combat a serious hangover effect if they want avoid dropping points against the worst team in the NHL. In nearly every way, this is a classic trap game.
The Lightning beat one of the best teams in the NHL in the Bruins last night. The game, which was a possible future playoff series preview, got out of control in terms of physicality with multiple line brawls. Expending that type of physical and emotional energy will inevitably lead to an adrenaline dump after the game.
To compound the impending hangover, the Red Wings are terrible. It would be difficult to find motivation against such a weak opponent on a normal day. But on a day immediately following what happened in Boston? It seems almost certain that the Lightning will struggle to get up to normal game speed tonight. And just for fun, the time changed last night meaning the team’s normal routine will likely be disrupted.
Yes, a good team should still find a way to win against a bad team no matter the circumstances. But in terms of trap game warning signs, this one is setting off all the alarms. So get your hangover cures ready. We’re gonna need them.
Once the game starts, the Bolts may also be facing some roster issues. Victor Hedman didn’t play much last night after suffering an injury in the first period. If he can’t go tonight, and it seems likely he won’t, the blue line could be in trouble. Ryan McDonagh is set to return soon but if he remains out against the Red Wings, the defensive group this afternoon will be rough.
To start, they’ll only have two left-handers in Mikhail Sergachev and Braydon Coburn. So one of Erik Cernak, Kevin Shattenkirk, Zach Bogosian, or Luke Schenn would have to play on their off side. My guess would be that Shattenkirk would move over allowing Sergachev and Cernak to be the first pair. But no matter how the coaches arrange this group, they’ll only have one pair where they can count on both players and at least one pair that will be borderline unplayable.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Blake Coleman - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Barclay Goodrow - Mitchell Stephens - Tyler Johnson
Pat Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde
Steven Stamkos (injured)
Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak
Kevin Shattenkirk - Zach Bogosian
Braydon Coburn - Luke Schenn
Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Darren Helm - Valtteri Filppula - Sam Gagner
Robbi Fabbri - Luke Glendening - Brendan Perlini
Dmytro Timashov - Frans Nielsen
Patrik Nemeth - Alex Biega
Trevor Daley - Filip Hronek
Jonathan Ericsson - Gustav Lindstrom