The Tampa Bay Lightning are set to visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time in over a year tonight. The last contest between the two teams was a 2-1 loss for the Bolts just days before the COVID-19 pandemic became a pandemic. The team, however, returned to Toronto when they hosted half the NHL’s 2020 playoff bubble.
The Lightning only played two rounds at Scotiabank Arena, but they won both. Namely, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets in five, who had beaten the Leafs in the pre-qualifying, and then beating the Boston Bruins in five as well.
Safe to say the blue and white team showed the Leafs how it’s done on both accounts.
Oh wait, that was the other year we beat them in five. Ah yes, this is the one. Who could forget double overtime.
Luckily for Leafs fans (of which I sadly am one due to my birthplace), the Bolts then travelled to Edmonton for the final two rounds before hoisting the Stanley Cup after beating the New York Islanders and Dallas Stars.
And after doing it all again last year, they return where it all began.
This trip down memory lane was inspired by Acha and her needling of Leafs fans yesterday morning.
It should be a good game tonight; both teams have won a few games in a row after slow starts to the season, and both teams have their top Russians out in Nikita Kucherov and Ilya Mikheyev. No doubt those are huge blows to both rosters.
The first and last time that a team won a playoff round against Boston in Toronto? https://t.co/zW9hI9MIe3— Achariya (@shortshift3) November 3, 2021
In organization news, Aaron Luchuk won ECHL player of the month for the Orlando Solar Bears.
The Lightning had their names added to the Stanley Cup, while Brad Aldridge has his name removed. I looked at Ryan Rishaug’s tweet and saw a lot of names from the 2010 team that probably should also have some x’s stamped on top.
Can confirm that Brad Aldrich's name has been x'ed out on the Stanley Cup. Was done on Sunday when the Lightning names were being added.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) November 3, 2021
Aldrich’s name x’ed out. pic.twitter.com/lrFXTGGFgG— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) November 3, 2021
Jack Eichel Saga Continues
There were a lot of reports and tweets yesterday regarding Jack Eichel and his “heating up” trade market. We’ve been hearing that everyone has been close for weeks, months, almost decades now, and last night was one of those nights where something might’ve happened, but then it got debunked.
First, this tweet that laid out a myriad of potential assets going back to Buffalo. I will say this, I don’t think all of these pieces were on the table at once, more like the sides might’ve been debating on what combination of them to trade. Like I could see Matthew Tkachuk, two prospects, and a first round pick going, but in that case I couldn’t see the Flames giving up Juuso Välimäki and Connor Zary.
For all asking, my understanding is the @NHLFlames have Tkachuk ( who is a future potential captain) an upcoming 1 Rd pick, a former 1st Rd pick, and 2 prospects in the Eichel sweepstakes with the @BuffaloSabres . @espn @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter .— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) November 3, 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights have also been consistently in on Eichel from the start so then this theory got out there, which I’d completely buy because none of the other insiders seemed to agree with Weekes.
(Whispers: Was that Calgary package leaked for Vegas to see?)— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 3, 2021
I wonder why the increase in pressure to get the deal done has happened now.
I hear the Sabres are feeling added external pressure (not grievance related) to get a deal done today.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) November 3, 2021
And as I said, the insiders seemed to think that Calgary package later in the evening wasn’t on.
.@FriedgeHNIC on the reported package from Calgary for Eichel: "I'm getting push-back on the idea that Calgary is close. ... I've always believed that the team the one pushing the hardest is Vegas, and I also believe Buffalo would like to make this deal."— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) November 4, 2021
And lastly Andy Strickland, who covers the St. Louis Blues, where Tkachuk Sr. lives and works, says Matthew Tkachuk isn’t part of the deal. As a pending RFA you would think he would be part of a contract extension of a deal was on so that made sense to me.
So where we stand now is probably some more waiting.
Just on radio as I type this…so forgive any typos. Eichel goes with a 3rd rounder for Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, a 1st in 2022 and a 2nd in 2023.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 4, 2021