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Lightning Round: ECHL release remainder of 2020-21 regular season schedule

Meanwhile, the Syracuse Crunch mount a comeback but eventually lose to Rochester Americans.

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ECHL: MAR 11 Cincinnati Cyclones at Toledo Walleye
TOLEDO, OH - MARCH 11: The Cincinnati Cyclones and the Toledo Walleye play in an empty arena during a regular season ECHL hockey game on March 11, 2020 at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio. The Toledo Walleye restricted attendance to the game due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The ECHL had announced a regular season schedule of games up until early April, they have now linked up the rest of the season from April 5th to June 7th when the Kelly Cup Playoffs begin. The league has been playing since December with fans in the stands in certain arenas.

The league has played 120 games so far this season across 14 teams, they have already announced 163 games starting on Friday through to the beginning of April and this batch of games is a whopping 201 games. The Fort Wayne Komets are set to join the season starting now so the remaining 364 games will be played between the 15 teams. By the end of the season, ECHL teams will expect to played between 25 and 40 games each.

Here is Bryan Burns on the three things we learned from the 6-1 win over the Nashville Predators. I was really impressed with the improvement in consistently throughout the game compared to the beginning of the season. [NHL dot com]

“I think in the last three years, we’ve worked a lot on managing the puck, not turning pucks over, especially with the lead,” Mathieu Joseph said. “Obviously, it’s not going to work every night. We’re not going to be perfect every night, but I thought the guys, we played solid. We forechecked them like we did the night before. It’s hard for a team to always have to break the puck out. I thought overall everyone was dialed in about not turning pucks over. The bench was alive about managing the puck, and Vasy was there to make the saves. The defensemen did some great blocks, played well in their zone and I think that’s the mentality we want to have. We want to play well in our zone, and it’s going to turn into chances like we had tonight.”

In the Athletic’s power rankings by Dom, the Lightning stand alongside the Colorado Avalanche as Cup Favorites for this season. The reigning champions own the top spot over Colorado to put the cherry on top. [The Athletic]

“The defending Stanley Cup champions are exactly who we thought they were, even without arguably their best player, Nikita Kucherov. The Lightning are off to a roaring 9-1-1 start – an .864 points percentage that leads the league – picking up exactly where they left off last season. They hold down the top spot in the power rankings as a result.”

Cal Foote and Dave Randorf were guests on the Block Party podcast.

The Syracuse Crunch lost their first game of the season on Wednesday. Down 3-0 in the second, they rallied back to tie the game but ultimately fell in overtime. I will have a recap of the game on Monday morning so check that out! I will delve into why the team gave up such a lead in the first place and how they can find consistency on the ice.

Lightning Made are holding free ball hockey clinics in February. Sessions will be 45 minutes in length for up to 20 kids at a time, socially distanced, and wearing a mask is “highly recommended.”