It’s November 3rd and the Tampa Bay Lightning are not playing. Go ahead and take a mental health day. Look, this is going to be a long and tough season. We’re just a few weeks into the season and it already seems like a grind. The Lightning are still one of the best teams in a league even if it seems they don’t have the whiz-bang offense we’ve become used to after the last few seasons. This season is going to be a grind so go ahead and take the day off.
It’s okay to skip a day or two. Not only is it okay, but it’s probably healthy. We don’t want you to burn out too early. If Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak can take “maintenance” days so can you. It’s going to be a nice, sunny 84 degrees today (according to the internet) so close down the web browser down and enjoy it. Goodness knows dwelling on the off-ice issues that the league is dealing with can’t be healthy. So take the time and clear your brain. Tomorrow is the time to get ready for the game against Toronto. It’ll be their first trip to the Big Smoke since The Bubble and their first game against the Leafs in their home town since March 10th, 2020.
You may remember that game. It was a 2-1 loss (Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves on 36 shots and Ondrej Palat scored the lone goal) and the seventh loss in their last ten games. Things weren’t looking great. It was also the last game they played before a global pandemic shut things down for a few months. Suddenly a one-goal loss didn’t seem like such a big deal.
So while things may not be back to normal, there is a little feeling that the circle is closing in regards to the hockey world. The Lightning are back north of the border and Maple Leaf fans can see in person the Lightning as the team they hope Toronto eventually turns into. That’s for tomorrow, though. Today, take a day for yourself.
However, if you insist, here are some things to read about before you head to the beach.
Lightning / NHL News
Crunch take all six points from last week [Raw Charge]
The future Bolts are starting to find their identity. It looks like they are going to be a tenacious team that will scratch and claw for every goal they score.
Solar Bears split their week [Raw Charge]
The Lightning’s ECHL affiliate had a bit of a tougher week as they split their games. Still, with how drained their roster is due to call-ups, that’s not a bad result.
Corey Perry displays leadership qualities despite empty scoresheet [Tampa Bay Times]
I’m not entirely sold on the Corey Perry experience yet, but it seems his teammates are more than happy to have him on the roster. At some point he’s going to score a goal, in fact that entire line is due for a few to go in, but in the meantime he’s going to lead by example.
Update on banged up Bolts [Tampa Bay Lightning]
The good news is that it seems Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak are fine. It was also nice to see Jan Rutta back on the ice on Tuesday as well. Not so nice is that it looks like Boris Katchouk, aka The Boriscuda, may be out a little longer. He’s questionable for their upcoming road trip.
Lightning mailbag! [The Athletic]
Joe Smith answers some questions from Lightning fans. Who is going to see their numbers in Amalie Arena’s rafters after they retire? Who’s crashing at whose house? Was letting Luke Schenn go a mistake?
Jack Thompson is your OHL Defenceman of the Month [Twitter]
It’s nice to see a Lightning defensive prospect racking up the accolades.
Cale Makar joins the Avalanche’s injured list [The Denver Post]
One of the best young blueliners not named Mikhail Sergachev is going to be off of the ice for awhile. Makar, who is Colorado’s ice-time leader, will not play against Columbus Wednesday as he battles an upper-body injury.
Penguins face lawsuit over allegations of sexual assault [SportsNet]
As the NHL continues to deal with fallout from the Chicago hockey team’s failure to care for and protect one of their players, another cornerstone franchise faces allegations of sexual assault that could have league-wide consequences.
Bettman must do the right thing and resign as NHL commissioner [Toronto Star]
While fans have long booed the commissioner and called for his resignation, this seems to be the first time that main stream media is starting to beat that drum as well. After a dispassionate, lawyer-esque press conference that lacked any empathy for Kyle Beach the other day it seems that the tide is turning, even among those that control his future - the owners.
I’m serious, go ahead and forget about this sport for twenty-four hours. It’ll do your soul good.