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Lightning Round: Limited options for the Lightning at the Trade Deadline

and discussing the slow restart to the Bolts season

San Jose Sharks v Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 07: Timo Meier #28 of the San Jose Sharks scores a goal in overtime during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on February 07, 2023 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their second straight game since coming back from the All-Star Break last night in overtime against the San Jose Sharks. The league’s top trade target, Timo Meier, scored twice (including the overtime winner) and totaled three points in the win for the Sharks. [Raw Charge]

“Timo Meier scored 2:19 into overtime and the San Jose Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning , 4-3. Brayden Point scored twice and Ross Colton added his 11th goal of the year as the Lightning built a 3-1 lead in the first period. A power play goal by Meier in the second cut Tampa Bay’s lead to one, and an early third period deflection by Jonah Gadjovich tied it.”

Jon Cooper spoke after the loss saying the team’s 5v5 game was much better than in the previous game to the Panthers. Where the Lightning fell short was the special teams game.

Looking at the numbers, Cooper is right about the team’s 5v5 play, though it’s not saying much against the Sharks. He is also right in saying the special teams were what killed them. They gave up two goals on three power plays against in the game, while only scoring once on seven opportunities (including a 4v3 in overtime). [make that once on six chances..JG]

Games like this happen, but 2/3 vs 1/7 is such an outlier Cooper is right to say this is something his team needs to figure out. My opinion is they got loose over the break and need some practices to tighten back up. The power play was one of those margins the Lightning had on the Leafs in last year’s first round. It’ll need to be back if they are going to beat Toronto again.

As always, there’s no news from the big media insiders about the Lightning. But we do know the Bruins have shown interest in Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, and now Luke Schenn. Meanwhile the Leafs want both a top-six forward and a top-four defender.

What we do know about the Lightning is that they sent two representative to the Chicago vs Anaheim game last night. Chicago is selling everyone, while Anaheim have several defenders to sell.

Here’s my shortlist, who do you think the Lightning could be in on?

Anaheim:

  • John Klingberg (1 x $7m)
  • Kevin Shattenkirk (1 x $3.9m)
  • Dmitry Kulikov (1 x $2.25m)

Chicago:

  • Jake McCabe (3 x $4m)
  • Connor Murphy (4 x $4.4m)
  • Sam Lafferty (1 x $1.125m)

The sad reality is the Lightning probably won’t be able to afford much of anything this year. Any move will have to be money in = money out. Hence the likely interest in the $850k Luke Schenn or possibly Sam Lafferty. I don’t think either player is much of anything, but they’re cheap. Important not to overpay for a low cap hit, though. Brandon Hagel was in a different ballpark because he actually can score.

The NHLPA is expected to announce a new executive director after the quiet resignation of Donald Fehr a while ago. Marty Walsh, who is the current White House Labor Secretary (quite relevant experience, I’d say), is expected to take the job following the president’s state of the union that was held last night. And as it turned out, Walsh was the Designated Survivor last night, which is good enough reason to be patient.

Jessica Pegula is a professional tennis player and daughter of the Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula. Jessica told the story of her mom, Kim, suffering a heart attack that left her with permanent disabilities due to brain damage. Kim Pegula has been a champion of women’s hockey in New York, it’s a blow to the sport that we might lose her voice. [Player’s Tribune]

“In June 2022, I had just flown back to Florida from the French Open. I made the quarterfinals in singles and the finals in doubles. It was an amazing two weeks full of a lot of positives, including cracking the Top 10 in the world. A few days after I got home, I got a call around midnight (on my mom’s birthday) from my sister Kelly who was staying at my parents’ house. Something was wrong with our mom, and she was headed to the hospital in an ambulance. My mom was asleep when my dad woke up to her going into cardiac arrest and she was unresponsive for quite a while. My sister gave her CPR until the ambulance arrived. She saved her life.”

The Lightning vs Panthers rivalry hits new lows.

What a milestone for Jaromir Jagr. Pro hockey is pro hockey, and even though when Ovi breaks the NHL record it’ll be a bigger deal, this is still worth celebrating. Coincidence this also happened on the same night LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s all-time scoring record with 38,388 career points (and counting). And for the record, Ovechkin is at 812 goals, 82 behind Gretzky.