Lightning at Blackhawks preview: Remember 2015 and get mad

The Bolts look to close out this year’s west coast road trip on a high note.

Lightning at Blackhawks: Game 49

Time: 8:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Broadcast/Streaming: Sun, CSN-CH

Opponent SBNation Site: Second City Hockey


Another Tuesday, another potential game to get back on track!... Right?

I, as well as many others, are waiting for that one win streak that turns the season around and propels the Lightning into the playoffs. Is that possible? I suppose. Is it going to happen? I would’t bet on it.

So with the ever increasing likelyhood of Tampa Bay being in contention in the draft lottery, I’d like to introduce you to Halifax Moosehead forward Nico Hischier...

At this point in the season there is reason to lose hope in the Bolts. It seems fans now dread watching the games. Is it because this lackluster season is unprecedented? Or because the losses seem so futile? Regardless of the numerous reasons why Tampa Bay has under-performed, they have underwhelmed just about everyone. The Bolts have gone from cup contenders to a lottery pick possibility, and that doesn't sit well with many fans.

What can we see out of the team for the remainder of the season? I’ve heard this point before and still think it’s pertinent: Steve Yzerman man be looking intently at the youth from Syracuse and prospects that have dressed in a Lightning sweater this season. Season is over? Might as well assess our cards and wait for the next hand, right?

So here’s some points Lightning beat writer Joe Smith recently made on twitter:

To put that into perspective, Tampa Bay currently sits at 47 points at the bottom of the Atlantic with 48 games played.

I suggest that for the remainder of the season, we enjoy the team that currently dresses night in and night out. For the caliber of hockey club that Tampa Bay has grown into, this year is tough. But the NHL is still a business, and it’s uncertain where your favorite players will be next season. Role players may come and go, but franchise faces never change, so pour all of your fandom love into Hedman and Stammer.

Oh and the matchup with Chicago? They sit second in the Central division and will likely make noise in the playoffs. However, they currently sit 28th in penalty kill percentage at 75.4%. 28th! If the Bolts want to steal a win they will have to heavily rely on their power play as it seems this season it is their only saving grace.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Vlad Namestnikov - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson -  Erik Condra

Brian Boyle - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Michael Bournival - Cedric Paquette - Gabriel Dumont

Defense Pairings

Nikita Nesterov - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Braydon Coburn - Luke Witkowski


Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward Lines

Vinny Hinostroza - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman - Tanner Kero - Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins - Nick Schmaltz - Dennis Rasmussen

Defense Pairings

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny - Brent Seabrook

Trevor van Riemsdyk - Michal Rozsival


Corey Crawford

Scott Darling