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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay opens their preseason schedule tonight

Amidst a backdrop of concern about Hurricane Ian, the Bolts head up to Carolina

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NHL: MAR 29 Hurricanes at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes: Preseason Game #1

Location: PNC Arena

Radio/Streaming: 102.5 “The Bone”

Streaming on the Lightning's website

Opposing SBNation Site: Canes Country

There have been a smattering of preseason games broadcast on ESPN+ so far this week (I’m currently watching the Seattle Kraken host the Edmonton Oilers), unfortunately it doesn’t appear that tonight’s game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes will not be one of them. It’ll be a good ol’ fashioned radio game (unless there are some quasi-legal streams out there).

UPDATE!

The game will be streamed on the Lightning's website.

We haven’t heard too much about what kind of line-up the Lightning are going to put out there against Carolina tonight, but I would expect it be filled with some youngsters and players on the bubble. There really is no need to ice a roster filled with veterans at this point. We know what Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov are going to bring to the ice, so there isn’t much reason to have all of them head up to Raleigh.

According to the Tampa Bay Times it appears that the players scheduled to play against the ‘Canes will head to North Carolina and the rest of the roster will head directly to Tennesse for the game on Friday. The players and staff in Raleigh will then fly directly to Nashville to either practice on Wednesday and Thursday or possibly play an extra game.

It will also be interesting to see if the postponement of games on Wednesday and Thursday changes the way Coach Cooper and his staff handle the roster. They might be inclined to send some of their players back to their junior teams a day or two earlier than they were planning.

While the Lightning have open dates on their roster early next week, Nashville is heading to Switzerland for a preseason game before their Global Series games with San Jose. Carolina currently has games scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. That means there is a chance that either the Lightning play another opponent, or they just end up not rescheduling the games.

That would still leave them with three more preseason games before starting the season in New York (one in Nashville and two against the Florida Panthers). That could be enough for Coach Cooper to figure out his roster. They could also change the location of the game against Nashville and play back-to-back nights up there.

As for tonight, things to watch (or listen for) are how the players competing for spots adapt to the system. Coach Cooper will be preaching his “process over results” message so he’ll be looking for a strong forecheck and defensive responsibility in their own zone.

We’ll have the results and any highlights that are available when/if they’re posted.

Lightning / NHL News

Raw Charge Top 25 Under 25: #5 Gabriel Fortier [Raw Charge]

There is a good chance that Fortier ends up being Yanni Gourde Version 2.0. While his name hasn’t been bandied about as much as others as a possible replacement for Anthony Cirelli, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him break camp with the team.

Lightning postpone pre-season games [Raw Charge]

With Tampa in the projected track of Hurricane Ian, the Lightning made the early (and wise) decision to postpone their two upcoming home games.

Top candidates to fill out Lightning’s roster at forward [Tampa Bay Times]

Cole Koepke is Eddie Encina’s front runner, but he does mention Fortier as a possibility as well.

Picking one possible player to be traded from all 32 teams [The Athletic]

“Cal Foote: The Lightning plan on making another Cup run, so they are unlikely to trade someone from their current core. But if they decide to bolster their group at the trade deadline, they could use defenseman Foote as a trade chip. The former first-rounder made big strides last season and will get a chance to be a regular. With Philippe Myers in the fold and Zach Bogosian returning in a few months, do they deal the 23-year-old pending RFA? If Tampa Bay somehow falls out of contention, it could also try to move pending UFA Alex Killorn at the deadline. — Joe Smith”

Brock Boeser has hand surgery [SportsNet]

The Vancouver Canucks forward signed a new three-year deal in the off-season, but the team will have to wait three or four weeks to see their investment start paying off as Boeser had hand surgery.

Canada to lift COVID-19 border restrictions on October 1st [Sports Net]

While it wasn’t a major issue with the NHL due to the high vaccination rate, the lifting of the restrictions will allow easier access across the border for folks entering the country. Just in time for the MLB postseason with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card hunt.

Players tell their favorite stories about them growing up. The phrase “punch my grandfather in the [...]’s” is used.