It’s been an off and on season for Brayden Point. Injuries limited him to just 66 games but he still managed to post 58 points (28 goals, 30 assists). His .88 points per game is the third highest of his career but he only recorded 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 14 games in April with only 3 of those points coming at even strength.
There is likely some sort of injury nagging him and the coaching staff scratched him in the final game of the season to get him some rest. It was a good sign on Sunday that he was on the ice with the rest of the team as they practiced in Toronto.
the entire team is practicing today including Point #GoBolts— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) May 1, 2022
No one will be on the sidelines due to injury this season even if it’s likely more than one player is harboring some minor injury. That is the way it goes after 82 games and Point, along with the rest of the team, will push through it. The Lightning are going to need as many of their top weapons playing at their best if they are going to advance past the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.
Point has been one of the best postseason performers over the last two seasons. During the Lightning’s two-year run he has scored 28 goals with 28 assists in 46 games. Of those 28 goals, 17 have come at even strength. Point and Nikita Kucherov are the constants in the Lightning postseason offense. This year, it may be even more important that he finds his scoring touch as it will give the Bolts the secondary scoring they are going to need.
Jan Rutta, who had missed a few games at the end of the season, and Erik Cernak, who had blocked repeated shots with his face recently, were also on the ice at practice. The Lightning have their full roster available to them to start. With what is looming to be a physical series, that depth could be tested.
Lightning / NHL News
Andrei Vasilevskiy - 12 Questions [The Athletic]
He’s a man of few words:
Favorite sport other than hockey
Some post practice interviews
Five Questions ahead of the Leafs/Lightning [Tampa Bay Times]
Will home ice matter?
Historically speaking, nearly half of all best-of-seven series have been won by the lower seed (66 of 135; 48.9 percent) over the previous 10 postseasons, not including the 2000 bubble.
Leafs vs. Lightning: What could possibly go wrong? [Pension Plan Puppets]
It’s going to be a close series, at least that’s what the regular season numbers say. The Leafs have the better offense, but the Lightning have the better goalie. Whoever wins that match-up, wins the series.
Former Lightning forward Sheldon Keefe setting expectations:
Sheldon Keefe says he's expecting a "borderline violent" series against the #TBLightning.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 1, 2022
Lightning are getting the Buccigross/Mleczko broadcasting team from ESPN
On ESPN:— Jake Baskin (@jakebaskinpxp) April 30, 2022
BOS-CAR G1: Sean McDonough, Ray Ferraro
TB-TOR G1: John Buccigross, AJ Mleczko
STL-MIN G1: Bob Wischusen, Kevin Weekes
LA-EDM G1: Gord Miller, Cassie Campbell-Pascall
With some coaching vacancies expected this summer Housley, who coached the Buffalo Sabres from 2017-19, could be in line for one of them.
Chicago parts way with assistant coaches [Second City Hockey]
Joining Housley on the job search market will be Marc Crawford and Rob Cookson who were assistant/associate coaches in Chicago. As of right now, the future of interim coach Derek King has yet to be determined.
NHL Draft Lottery Odds are set [NHL.com]
The Shane Wright Sweepstakes are on with Montreal holding an 18.5% of walking away away with the top pick. The actual drawing of the ping pong balls will take place on May 10th at 6:30 PM. Teams can move up a maximum of 10 spots in the draft.
don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. pic.twitter.com/YelF898zgI— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) May 1, 2022
JustinG.’s Quick, No Research, Probably Wrong First Round Predictions:
Tampa Bay vs Toronto - preview later today