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Lightning Round: the games against our Finals Foe are adding up

Will we ever play the Dallas Stars?

NHL: FEB 15 Panthers at Lightning
February 15th: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning: Mikhail Sergachev (#98)
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A re-match of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals were supposed to happen the third and fourth games of the season, but they were cancelled due to COVID. This week, the Lightning were supposed to make up those games and visit Dallas, but an unnatural snowstorm has closed the door on that. What’s next? Frogs in Amalie when Dallas comes at the end of the season? Who knows.

The NHL hasn’t announced the dates of the postponed games yet, but the Lightning are set to play in Dallas near the end of March. Will we see a four-game set during that busy week? Surely other games will have to be moved around to accommodate.

I’m slowly becoming of the mind to just throw all missing Lightning vs. Stars games at the end of the season, like a pre-playoffs series with potential standings implications. Put the two teams in a bubble for a week or two and get all the games between them out of the way. Drastic measures are needed with the luck this matchup has had. Ok, I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek.

For the Lightning’s schedule as a whole, I have concerns with the number of games the team is expected to play by the end of the season. The schedule currently reads as four games per week every week for three straight months. 42 games in 81 days (78 days from Monday), that’s more than a game every other day, not breaks. In my mind they have to extend the regular season in the league’s next rescheduling comes out. That amount of travel, contact, and wear and tear is a recipe for disaster.

Lightning Links

For now, all the Bolts can do is practice and wait. [NHL dot com]

“After a day off Wednesday - a day that was originally scheduled to be a travel day - the Lightning returned to the rink Thursday, practicing at AMALIE Arena while their future schedule remained in limbo. They spent a large portion of practice working on playing faster and getting north-south, something they failed to do in their last contest Monday, a 6-4 loss to the Florida Panthers.”

Steven Stamkos remains very good at hockey. Injuries be damned. [Raw Charge]

“There was reason to doubt Steven Stamkos coming into this season. Some of it was warranted, for a player that creates an aggressive amount of torque on his shot, having any type of core injury could be detrimental. Other stuff, not so much. While it’s hard to think of Stamkos as a player in his 30s, his dedication to fitness should push his aging curve a little further down the line than the average NHL player in the past.”

Victor Hedman was asked if Victor Hedman was the best defenseman in the world. [ESPN]

“Even though he plays over 25 impactful minutes on average per game, controlling conditions in his own zone while aggressively joining the offensive flow? Hedman is second during the past three seasons in points-per-game average (0.83) among defensemen who have played over 100 games, and he’s tied for first in goals scored above average (35.3) among defensemen in that span, per Evolving-Hockey data.”

Dmitry Semykin got his first AHL goal on Wednesday, congratulations to him!

In case you didn’t love Mathieu Joseph enough. He surprised some young hockey players in celebration of Black History Month.

This was a surprise. The Orlando Solar Bears are going to be wearing Willie O’Ree jerseys to celebrate the first Black NHL player on Black History Month.