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Blues at Lightning Preview and GDT: Shake it off, finish the year strong

Nov 14, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) is checked by St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) during the first period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Game #33
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, ESPN+,

Opponent’s Site: Blue Note Hockey


It’s pretty simple. The Lightning have to start playing better. There are too many shifts left on the ice, too many turnovers, too many bad decisions, too much of the same thing night-in and night-out. The mountain they are building is going to get to high to climb at some point unless they figure out how to sustain competent hockey for an entire 60 minutes on a nightly basis.

The good news is that there is still time left in the season to get it done. Winning the division might be a goal that is beyond their grasp (the Bruins are up 10 points on them with 3 games in hand), but the distance to second place is manageable, if they can get their act together. We know they have the talent on the roster to do it, in fact we’ve actually even seen it happen a few times this year.

The Blues will present an interesting opponent tonight as they’ve won their last two games after a four-game losing streak sent head coach Craig Berube to the unemployment office and the fan base booing one of their top young players. New head coach (and old friend) Drew Bannister has promised to keep pretty much the same structure the players are used to, but have them play more aggressively when they don’t have the puck. It’s an idea that the Lightning could incorporate into their game a bit more as well.

St. Louis is a team that is not scoring enough (2.90 goals per game, 23rd in the league) against Tampa Bay, a team that is giving up too many goals against (3.56 goals against per game, 29th in the league). Coach Cooper reiterated that teams in this league can’t win when they’re giving up three goals a game, something that the Bolts have done in their last five games (three of them losses).

If you look at the last 10 games these teams have played, it’s hard to tell who is who. From ESPN:

LAST 10 GAMES: Lightning: 4-6-0, averaging 2.6 goals, 4.2 assists, 3.3 penalties and 8.3 penalty minutes while giving up 3.3 goals per game.

Blues: 4-6-0, averaging 2.8 goals, 4.8 assists, 3.6 penalties and 7.8 penalty minutes while giving up 3.3 goals per game.

It’s unlikely that we’re going to see a shake-up in the coaching staff (sorry Team FireBlashill) or the roster, so it’s beholden to the players on the ice to execute the game plan better. It’s not a very analytic approach, or nuanced thought. Unfortunately, it’s the answer – just be better.

The Lightning have three games left before the Christmas break. It’s as good as time as any to start a winning streak. Why not start tonight?

Stats Match-up

Game #33Tampa Bay LightningSt. Louis Blues
Overall Record14-13-515-14-1
Home Record8-3-39-5-0
Road Record6-10-26-9-1
Goals For10588
Goals Against11499
Power Play30.1%9.2%
Penalty Kill80%79.8%
Stats via ESPN and Natural Stat Trick


Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Steven Stamkos – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel – Anthony Cirelli – Michael Eyssimont
Tanner Jeannot – Nick Paul – Alex BarrĂ©-Boulet

Tyler Motte – Luke Glendening – Austin Watson

Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev – Erik Cernak
Calvin de Haan – Darren Raddysh

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Jonas Johansson

St. Louis Blues Projected Lines


Pavel Buchnevich – Robert Thomas – Jordan Kyrou

Brandon Saad – Brayden Schenn – Kasperi Kapanen

Alexy Toropchenko – Kevin Hayes – Jake Neighbours

Mackenzie MacEachern – Oskar Sundqvist – Hugh McGing

Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko

Torey Krug – Justin Faulk

Marco Scandella – Tyler Tucker

Jordan Binnington

Joel Hofer

Question of the Night

Is time real?

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