Well now. That’s not exactly how we wanted this series to start, now is it? The good news is that it’s only one game and the Lightning have been down this road before against the Bruins in the playoffs. Remember how sad/mad/disappointed we were after Game One of the 2018 second round match-up? That series turned out just fine. In order for that to happen, the Lightning are going to need a better start.
Maybe it was the aftereffect of playing the Columbus Blue Jackets for five games, a team that is good, but not exactly fast in transition or has as potent of an offense as the Bruins. Tampa Bay was a step behind for most of the first half of the game and dug themselves a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
While they did rally to make it a one-goal loss, there are, as Coach Cooper put it, “no moral victories”. Instead their are opportunities to learn and improve. The first and most important thing the Lightning need to learn is that they have to be ready to go the moment the puck drops and keep that intensity going for the full 60 minutes. If they let up for a minute or two, especially when the Patrice Bergeron line is on the ice, they will have a bad time.
Tampa Bay showed a lot of resiliency and patience in their series against the Blue Jackets. They’re going to need to draw on that experience and match the Bruins speed going forward. They have the talent to do it, now they just have to execute.
The Other Game:
It wasn’t as close as the score indicated as Vegas dominated most of the game. Robin Lehner stopped all 26 shots he faced while old friend Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Mark Stone, Alex Tuch, and Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knight.
7:00 pm, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN
The other Eastern Conference series kicks off with Metro Division match-up. Can Carter Hart keep the good times rolling for the Flyers? Can the Islanders keep the offense rolling? Will Gritty make it to the correct Toronto?
9:45 pm, NBCSN, TVAS, SN
The suddenly unstoppable offense of the Dallas Stars took Game One on Saturday. Colorado will have to match a team that is firing on all cylinders. And they’ll have to do it without goaltender Phillip Grubauer who has been ruled out for Game Two.
News From Around Hockey
Somewhat lost in the frantic attempt of a comeback by the Lightning was that Ryan McDonagh wasn’t part of it. He left the ice in the middle of the period and didn’t return. Should he not be able to go in Game Two on Tuesday, expect Braydon Coburn to draw into the line-up.
Cooper didn’t provide an update on the status of Ryan McDonagh other than he was unable to come back into the game.— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) August 24, 2020
Coach Jon Cooper didn’t end his birthday the way he wanted. Hear his comments following the loss. [Fox Sports Bolts Twitter]
The Lightning continue their Community Heroes Program as they will honor four health care organizations throughout the second round of the playoffs. [Tampa Bay Lightning]
The organizations, AdventHealth, BayCare Health System, HCA Healthcare West Florida, and Tampa General Hospital, will receive their respective donations from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes Program, in recognition of their work during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. HCA Healthcare West Florida’s $50,000 will be donated to the American Heart Association to support their work in the community.
Scott Wedgewood is the Lightning’s third goalie in the bubble. While he hasn’t dressed for a game (in uniform that is, hopefully he’s wearing clothes in the press box) he has been busy helping out.
What's life like for a "black ace" inside the bubble?— NHL (@NHL) August 21, 2020
Scott Wedgewood (@wedgewall) of the @TBLightning gives a behind-the-scenes look. #StanleyCup
Watch more ➡️ https://t.co/MDiY5Y4dsH pic.twitter.com/cZJpz4XytZ
Back on February 1st, Wedgewood played against the Providence Bruins. He didn’t have a good night as the Syracuse Crunch lost 6-2 with him in net. One of the goalies for the Bruins was Dan Vladar who made 7 saves in 18 minutes of ice time. Vladar is also in the bubble as he’s the backup goaltender for the Boston Bruins now. He’s also the proud possessor of a brand new three-year contract. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Someone who is not getting a contract extension is Todd Reirden. In fact, the coach of the Washington Capitals over the last two season received the opposite of an extension - he got fired on Sunday. Despite leading the Capitals to an 89-46-16 regular season during his tenure he was relieved of his duties primarily due to the fact that the team hasn’t advanced out of the first round of the playoffs in the last two seasons. [Japers Rink]
Social media provides an extra headache for teams. For the Vegas Golden Knights it wasn’t one of their players making an insensitive or controversial Tweet, it was an agent of one of their players. Marc Andre-Fleury and the Golden Knights had to deal with the fallout of Allen Walsh’s Tweet on Sunday. In a press conference Fleury basically said “thanks but no thanks” as he appreciated the support, but also had Walsh take the image down. [New York Post]