The Tampa Bay Lightning had an extra day off yesterday in one of the great American cities to waste away 24 hours - Las Vegas. They return to practice today before a late night battle against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday. They will then have Sunday and Monday off before taking on the Anaheim Ducks in Tampa. Starting with that game, extra time off will be at a premium for the Bolts. Don’t expect too many days spent at the beach for the Bolts.
Hat tip to Erik Erlendsson for pointing this out on his podcast after the game against the Arizona Coyotes - the Lightning’s back-to-back with Colorado and Arizona kicked off a stretch of five straight weeks that they’ll have back-to-back contests. The next four weekends, in fact, will feature the Lightning playing on both Saturday and Sunday. If you include the Florida/San Jose combo that kickstarted their return to action after the All-Star break, it’s six weeks in a row with a back-to-back. Fun!
Starting with the game against Anaheim the Bolts will play 19 games in 33 days and not have multiple days off until the end of March. So, buckle up and prepare to gorge yourself on copious amounts of Lightning hockey (The Wife is going to be super excited when she realizes she’s about to become a hockey widow for the next six weeks).
For a team that is as
old experienced as the Lightning it will be up to the coaching staff to make sure they manage the workload appropriately. This isn’t something new, there always seems to be a stretch like this throughout the season, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue. The team will have to make sure they don’t let bad habits develop during games as there will be little practice time to work out issues.
Expect the team to take full days off between games and use their morning skates to work on the little things that need fixing. Also expect to see players taking more maintenance days off as well throughout the next month. One nice aspect is that after the game against Vegas game, the action shifts to the Eastern Conference and they really don’t go farther west than Detroit on their road trips, nor do they have any really long stretches on the road.
This run of games is going to be a big test for their fitness and hopefully they can avoid any serious injuries. So enjoy the break now, and then buckle up for a sprint to the end of the season.
Lightning / NHL News
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Via @NHL pic.twitter.com/jmvnJu9d5I