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Lightning Round: Exhibition games conclude with hockey returning on Saturday

And fans begin #Kneel4Hockey campaign

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 29: Brian Boyle #9 of the Florida Panthers fights with Mikhail Sergachev #98 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period in an exhibition game prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on July 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The NHL gets a much-needed day off to sit down and reflect as Qualifying Round and Round Robin games are set to begin on Saturday afternoon. The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t play on the first day back, but they will play on the third against the Washington Capitals.

Yesterday’s Games

Predators 2, Stars 0

Blue Jackets 4, Bruins 1

Golden Knights 4, Coyotes 1

Today’s Games

Lightning Links

At the site, Justin threw the bait in the water and asked why the Tampa Bay Lightning want to play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. Hasn’t 2020 already been bad enough? My post comes today, hopefully it’s a little less terrifying.

In the AHL, the Board of Governors had a call today and came up with some updates that were shared later in the afternoon. It includes a tentative date for the 2020-21 regular season beginning (December 4th) and some reported options for teams in order to keep them financially viable.

The Black Lives Matter movement is important. Polls say two thirds of Americans agree with the equality and justice the movement fights for. Sports leagues around the world have used their voice to continue the activism following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. But the NHL has lagged behind, with players doing little during the national anthems apart from standing in fancy lines or in a circle.

Nazem Kadri, Matt Dumba, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Jordan Greenway held each other’s shoulders during the anthems before an Avalanche-Wild game. After the game Kadri told the media that they wanted to see more acknowledgement and support from the league. The Avalanche took that moment to cut up Kadri’s words to make the criticism more appealing to the league.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance, which is independent of the NHL, created and published a strongly worded video showing players loudly behind Black Lives Matter. The stark difference between what players of all colors were able to do with the HDA and their inaction on NHL ice has sparked criticism towards the NHL.

It has sparked fans to begin a campaign called “#Kneel4Hockey” because if the players aren’t going to show support for their Black players and fans, someone has to.

The initiative was started by Renee of the Black Girl Hockey Club along with Leighann Strollo of our very own The Ice Garden, an SB Nation blog covering women’s hockey. Feel free to use the hashtag and tweet yourself kneeling in support of Black Lives Matter and equality in the world!