Here are your scores from last night. Boston lost in a shootout to the Senators, the Leafs beat the Blues in overtime, the Capitals walked over the Rangers, and the Islanders beat the Penguins. Tampa is nine points back of Toronto with three games in hand and six points up on Detroit.
The @Canes matched a franchise record with their ninth consecutive win and also tied the Wild for the longest active home win streak after they earned their seventh straight victory at PNC Arena.#NHLStats: https://t.co/1ticz6XKpa pic.twitter.com/NzG18sbNuF— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 28, 2022
The Bolts are very much in no-man’s-land in the standings. Detroit is six points back, Buffalo is seven, but neither team is really competitive enough to out-do the Lightning down the stretch. In terms of current real competitors, Florida is seven points back with the Lightning holding three games in hand. It’ll be tough for them to make the playoffs this year with five competitive Metro teams in playoff positions. They would need to jump over four teams including the Rangers or Penguins to make the playoffs.
With no one behind the Lightning in the running to take their divisional spot, it’s inevitable that the Bolts will play the Leafs in the first round, again. There’s a small chance Toronto will catch Boston, who has scuffled as of late. I’m sure the Leafs are going to be pushing to avoid the Lightning in the first round and play one of the Metro teams instead. I doubt the Lightning would be opposed to that either considering they’ve owned the Bruins in the playoffs.
Who do you want to see in the playoffs?
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Who do you think the Bolts will see in the first round?
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Mikhail Sergachev will be the first to tell you he isn’t doing enough as expectations mount for the not-so-young defenseman anymore. Sergachev started the season as the Ryan McDonagh replacement, but has slipped back into his third pair role as the season’s gone on, unable to succeed in big defensive minutes.
As Mikhail Sergachev sees his role and responsibilities grow with #GoBolts after the loss of Ryan McDonagh, Sergachev remains his own worst critic for one simple reason "I want to be the best that I can be, I want to be the best defenseman in the league" https://t.co/z6gexNpm8r pic.twitter.com/vXbNGJxC6V— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) December 28, 2022
The Syracuse Crunch bring you Daniel Walcott’s hot tree takes in the first episode of Kitchen Face Offs.
We're cooking up delicious food and tasty anecdotes in our Kitchen Face Offs. — Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) December 27, 2022
The first episode premieres this Thursday at 1 p.m. pic.twitter.com/TKGmLxtatL
Seems like Cole Koepke wants to come back.
The remnants of a puck after a Cole Koepke shot as the Crunch practice for the first time after the holiday break. pic.twitter.com/1ILLpjAjBS— Lukas Favale (@LukasFavale) December 27, 2022
Old friend Andrej Sustr was called up to the Wild.
The #mnwild has recalled D Andrej Sustr from the @IAWild and placed forward Marcus Foligno on Injured Reserve (lower-body). Sustr, 32, has recorded six points (1-5=6), a plus-three rating and 25 PIM in 20 games with Iowa this season. https://t.co/ouZOsFbbTk— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) December 27, 2022
Lightning fans are smart fans who know their stuff, but this is a great new resource from the expansion franchise on hockey stats. I like the explanations of why and how as much as what.
You’ve probably heard the word "Corsi" at some point in your hockey-watching days, but you might not know exactly what CF% is.— Davy Jones' Locker Room (@DavyJonesLR) December 27, 2022
So we wrote a guide to the most commonly used, new and fancy stats in hockey here: https://t.co/Pzp8WxPhxw
These lists are always hard to do, but anyone expecting the Habs to contend for championships within three years either lives in Quebec or is kidding themselves.
For @BR_OpenIce, I took a look around the NHL at some teams who are doing pretty well or above what was expected of them and if that could mean a Stanley Cup for them in the semi-near future… https://t.co/CN6Vlx5nBi— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) December 27, 2022
Highlight of the night from Quinn Hughes with his first goal of the season.
Quinn Hughes' first of the season is a nasty one pic.twitter.com/WwhD1FTsX0— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 28, 2022
Boy, do I wish this trade happened.
With his assist, Erik Karlsson has extended his point streak to a career-long 10 games, marking the longest-ever point streak by a Sharks defenseman. It's the first 10-game scoring run by a Shark since Joe Thornton, Jan. 9-26, 2016. pic.twitter.com/uhrCXHA1rv— San Jose Sharks PR (@SanJoseSharksPR) December 28, 2022