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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay Stars of the Week

There was a bad period and a good win in their light week of work.

St Louis Blues v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Tampa Bay Lightning had a fairly easy schedule with only two games (both at home) on tap. The loss to the Boston Bruins to open things boiled down to basically one really bad, not so great, horrendous second period. Meanwhile the win against the St. Louis Blues was a resilient, solid effort highlighted by a fast start and one of the strongest closeouts of a game we’ve seen this season.

Since there were only the two games, we’re going to go with just two stars for this week.

Brayden Point

2 Games Played, 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 0.58 ixG, 8 iCF, 51.72% xGF%

It seems like Point has kind of flown under the radar a bit this season despite scoring at a point-per-game clip through the first 20 games. He had another solid week centering The Best Line in Hockey and his speed entering the zone really sets up the whole offense for them. He’s able to drive the defense back which creates space for Nikita Kucherov to work his magic. Another nice stat for Point this week was his 52.2% winning percentage on face-offs. He was the only forward on the week to win more draws than he lost. The bulk of those wins did come in the neutral zone which allowed the Lightning to gain possession in the middle of the ice to start their attack.

Yes, all of his points came in one game, but the fact that he was able to bury two early goals was pretty important for the Bolts. Their inability to capitalize on early chances against the Bruins doomed them (well, not as much as the abysmal second period) so to bury those chances against the Blues got the positive vibes flowing early.

Nick Paul

2 Games Played, 3 Goals, 1 Assist, 1.22 xGF, 8 iCF, 64.11% xGF%

When Paul signed his 7-year contract in the summer there were a lot of raised eyebrows (mostly at the length of the deal, the $3.15 million AAV is actually quite reasonable). However, not only has he been worth the deal, he may be exceeding it a bit at this point. His play has helped solidify the second line and given Coach Cooper two reliable even strength lines to roll out there to provide offense.

One of his goals came on the power play, something that is very much welcomed from a team that can get a little too dependent on their first unit. This week was a real testament to the “Nick Paul Does it All” theme that has made him an integral part of the roster.

Lightning / NHL News

The voice of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dave Mishkin, checks in with some thoughts as the team hit the quarter-mark of the season. Things are, for the most part, heading in the right direction and the Bolts are on pace to make the playoffs. That and staying healthy are really what you want at this point.

It looks like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will be with the team on their upcoming three-game road trip after missing a game for personal reasons. No word on if he will be in the line-up or scratched. The veteran has two assists in 19 games with the Bolts this season.

Your Tampa Bay Lightning fit check as they headed up to Buffalo after practice on Sunday. Looks like some of the boys had to find their winter coats.

In recent drafts the Lightning (and other teams) have pulled prospects from the United States National Development Program with some decent success. Here is an early look at some of the names you might see in next year’s draft (and also at the upcoming World Junior Championships)

Heading into their match-up with the Lightning, the Buffalo Sabres made a roster adjustment as they placed Riley Sheahan on unconditional waivers as the veteran forward indicated he would not report to the Rochester Americans after clearing waivers earlier in the week. He will be an unrestricted free agent once he clears.

Rachel Dorrie was hired by the Vancouver Canucks on January 22nd, 2022 as an analyst. On August 1st of that same year she was promoted to the role of analyst/assistant video coach. By the end of September she was no longer with the organization. In a complaint filed against the team, Dorrie details how the separation came to be.