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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay hope to Point in the right direction soon

Status unknown for Brayden Point as Game 6 looms on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Four
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 13: Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal past Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the third period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 13, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are 0-2 without Brayden Point in this series. That’s not to say his absence is the sole reason for the Bolts struggles in Games 3 and 5, but it would be really nice to have him in to close out the series sometime in the next two games. Point is obviously nursing some injuries that Coach Cooper says, “he’ll just have to battle through,” so nothing that will fully heal during the playoffs.

I had no idea how much of a leader Point was for the team, but it seems kind of obvious in hindsight as he’s the first line center, a major contributor, and makes everyone’s jobs easier when he’s taking on the biggest minutes. I can’t imagine how missed he was in the double overtime game last night. Would it have even gotten that far if Point was on the top line and Anthony Cirelli was in his normal spot?

That said, it doesn’t do well to dwell. Too true, Heddy.

Game 6 is on Thursday night, hopefully it includes a Brayden Point and it includes a Lightning series victory.

Yesterday’s Game

New York Islanders 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (2OT) — TBL leads 3-2
This was a night where the Lightning dominated the play but couldn’t get the finishing to close out the series. Jordan Eberle’s winner was an unfortunate end to a lights out overtime performance by the team. [Recap]

The Tampa Bay Lightning entered Tuesday’s game with a chance to join the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final. For long stretches of the game it looked like they might pull it off, but Jordan Eberle, in the second overtime period, scored on a two-one-one rush to give the New York Islanders the 2-1 victory. With the loss, the Lightning move to 0-5 in their last five chances to advance to a Stanley Cup Final dating back to 2016.

Today’s Game

No games today. We just have to sit in the anxiety while the Dallas Stars wait.

Lightning Links

The Minnesota Wild locked up Jonas Brodin to a seven-year contract extension worth $6 million per season. The 27-year-old is touted as the best defensive defenseman in the league, but limited offensive resume weighed down his number. I heard the expression that he is the mirror universe Morgan Rielly and thought that was perfect.

The Washington Capitals have a new head coach in Peter Laviolette. [RMNB]

In other coaching news, the Florida Panthers have dropped assistant coach Mike Kitchen.

In Arizona Coyotes news, the team is expected to hire Bill Armstrong to be their next GM. Bill has been with the St. Louis Blues organization for several years now as their assistant GM and director of amateur scouting, but apparently has no relation to Blue GM Doug Armstrong.

The Yotes are also apparently trying to trade their captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’s had underwhelming numbers throughout his career despite showing signs of becoming a number one defenseman early on. The Coyotes are looking to unload his contract and start fresh, again.

The Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain is shutting down for the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.