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Lightning Round: A lull in the schedule

Games are a bit sparse for the next few weeks

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NHL: JAN 22 Lightning at Sharks Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to have a pretty light schedule over the next month or so. With just 8 games scheduled from now until the end of February, it’s a good time for the team to get healthy and regroup for what will be a slightly condensed run to the playoffs.

The combination of a small break following their west coast trip, combined with the upcoming All-Star break, mixed with what would have been the much longer Olympic break has led to the Bolts being off until this Thursday (a four-day break), Then they have a regular stretch of three games in six days before most of the team gets eight days off for the All-Star break. A back-to-back with Colorado and Arizona then leads a three-day break.

A make-up game against the Devils on February 15th is followed by seven days off before they play Edmonton and then close the month off with the Stadium Series game in Nashville.

There is a lot of good mixed in with a little bad having this much time off. For one thing, their bruised and battered blueline gets a chance to heal. Hopefully, the injuries that have plagued Jan Rutta, Erik Cernak, and Zach Bogosian will be in the past by the time the season ramps back into full swing at the end of February.

The rest of the team will also get a physical and mental break at just past the mid-point of the season. While the players would rather be playing for their respective countries at the Olympics, they will take the break and the chance to rest their bodies from the nagging injuries all players pick up over the course of a long season.

It’s likely the coaching staff will schedule in quite a few days off or schedule some off ice team activities (deep seas fishing! Busch Gardens! Richard Petty Driving Experience!). Then a mini-training camp to get everyone back into the day-to-day mindset.

On the flip side, having a long break between games does make it tough to maintain any type of consistency on the ice. There could be some sloppy play in the Colorado or Jersey games as the team struggles to find their on-ice timing after a longer-than-usual break.

Still, for the most part, having this lull in the schedule should set up the Lightning for a strong run the rest of the year. The veterans get a chance to rest while the rookies and youngsters get a few days to clear their heads. It’s a better case scenario than some other teams, the ones that have multiple games to make up, face.

Lightning / NHL News

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