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Lightning Round: The NHL reschedules it’s postponed games, Lightning add three games in February

A light month gets a little busier

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NHL: OCT 23 Avalanche at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the schedule was originally released back in the summer, the month of February was shockingly light in actual NHL games due in part to the All-Star and Olympic breaks. For the Tampa Bay Lightning there were only three regular season games scheduled, including their Stadium Series game against the Nashville Predators. Well, that’s all changed.

With the NHL players pulling out of the Olympics and the league needing to reschedule almost 100 games that were postponed due to COVID, February became a lot busier. In fact, the Lightning’s workload has doubled. That’s right, they’re up to six total games now.

There is still plenty of down time for the Bolts even with their added game. As of right now they play the San Jose Sharks at home on February 1st. They then have nine days off before heading out west to take on the Colorado Avalanche on February 10th followed by the Arizona Coyotes on the 11th. Both of those games were postponed from December.

The third postponed game, against the New Jersey Devils, will be made up on February 15th and then it’s another seven days off for Tampa Bay. They pick up their regular schedule with a game on February 23rd at home against the struggling Edmonton Oilers (who knows how hot that tire fire will be burning by that time). Finally they end their month outdoors against Nashville on the 26th.

The Lightning were pretty lucky in regards to games that needed to be made up. Other teams are going to be extremely busy during the month of February. For example, the Ottawa Senators will be playing ten times between February 7th and the 22nd. Toronto, Carolina, Edmonton, and Winnipeg will play eight times.

Lightning / NHL News

Gemel Smith claimed by Detroit [Raw Charge]

The Lightning/Crunch’s depth took a bit of a blow yesterday as Gemel Smith was claimed by the Detroit Red Wings. The good news is that he’s heading to the organization that his brother is a part of. Best of luck, Gemel!

How did the Lightning end up two players short? [Tampa Bay Times]

Eddie Encina breaks down the circumstances that led to the Lightning playing shorthanded against the Kings. Simply put - it’s the cap. The good news is that even if the injured players aren’t healthy enough to return, the Lightning can use an emergency recall now.

A midseason look at the Lightning [The Athletic]

Joe Smith breaks down ten things at the midway point of the season for the Bolts.

Crunch win 3-2 in overtime [Syracuse Crunch]

Another night, another overtime game for the Syracuse Crunch. Cole Koepke provided the game-winner while Gabriel Dumont scored twice in regulation. Hugo Alnefelt stopped 28-of-30 Rochester Americans shots in the victory.

32 Thoughts [Sportsnet]

While there isn’t anything involving the Lightning, Elliotte Friedman’s weekly column is always a good read. Some nice info on the Kent Hughes hire in Montreal and the status of some of the other open executive positions around the league.

NHL Power Rankings [ESPN.com]

The Worldwide Leaders has the Lightning pegged in the fourth spot trailing Florida, Colorado, and Carolina. Most major rankings have them in a similar spot. That’s cool, if we look back at last season things were pretty much the same and we know how that worked out.

Premier Hockey Federation players react to expanded salary, teams [The Ice Garden]

Yesterday there was a big announcement that the PHF Board of Governors is going to invest $25 million in direct payments and benefits over the next thee years. Needless to say, the players are pretty excited about the news.