Lightning Round: The injuries are piling up
Staying healthy is an issue all of a sudden.
"Finally, stay healthy."
Yeah, I suppose that's on me. I mentioned that in the preview to the Rangers' game as one of the things the Tampa Bay Lightning have to play for heading into the final week of the season. Since then Anthony Cirelli, Brandon Hagel, Erik Cernak, and Pat Maroon have been slightly dinged up. Unfortunately, Tanner Jeannot looks to have suffered a slightly more "worrisome" (to use Coach Cooper's word) injury when he was torqued down by Scott Mayfield.
No, not good at all.
I'm not going to armchair diagnose Jeannot's injury, but it's never great when your leg is bent backwards and the combined weight of two players falls on top of it. Even if the injury isn't serious, it's unlikely that Jeannot will play the last three games of the season.
As Geo pointed out in our Slack channel the Lightning could opt to play a skater short against Ottawa on Saturday and then use an emergency recall (maybe Gemel Smith?). A 10/7 line-up against the Senators could feature the always fun quirk of a defenseman like Zach Bogosian or Haydn Fleury jumping up and playing on a wing.
Or, if the other players are okay to play and were just held out for precautionary reasons, they could just finish the season out with a short roster. If nothing else, it should be more playing time for Michael Eyssimont.
While the loss locked the Lightning into the third spot in the Atlantic it's still a less than ideal situation for a team that was using the final games of the season to fine tune their line combinations. However, no one in the league is spilling any tears for the Lightning and their latest woes. As a franchise that has long championed the "next man up" mentality, this is just another test for them.
Lightning lose game and Jeannot [Raw Charge]
That was less than optimal.
Will Lightning rest Vasilevskiy with berth in playoffs sealed [Tampa Bay Times]
It sounds like he'll play in at least two of the remaining three games, but which two he might play is still up in the air. It's unlikely he'll miss the Toronto game as he'll want to get a look at the team he's going up against in the first round. Sitting out the final game against Detroit would give him at least five days off, which might be a little too long of a stretch. So, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that Brian Elliott gets back to back starts this week.
Mishkin's extra shift: Islanders 6, Lightning 1 [Tampa Bay Lightning]
Twelve goals in two games is never a good look.
Playoff tickets on sale today [NHL.com]
Sure, we're all bummed out over the last two games, but hey, the Lightning are going to the playoffs! There are going to be 16 NHL fanbases that would swap places with us in a heartbeat. So make sure you get those tickets so that the building is filled with fans wearing the right shade of blue and white.
Alex Killorn fined $5,000 [NHL Player Safety]
Killorn was fined for his aggressive stickwork against Igor Shesterkin. Adam Fox also picked up a fine for slashing Corey Perry.
Quinnipiac downs Michigan, advances to finals [Quinnipiac University]
Lightning prospect Dylan Duke's season is over as Quinnipiac continued their surprise run to a national title with a 5-2 win over the Wolverines. The Bobcats scored 3 goals in the third to break open a 2-2 game.
Minnesota beats Boston University, 6-2 [University of Minnesota]
The Lightning's other prospect, Connor Kurth, has one more game to play as his Gophers took out Boston University in the first semifinal of the day. Kurth finished with one shot on goal.
Hurricanes exploring options for 2023-24 affiliation [The News & Observer]
With the Chicago Wolves announcing that they would be without a NHL affiliate next season, their current affiliate, the Carolina Hurricanes, will be looking for a new partner for next season.
Who is leading in the Selke race? [The Athletic]
Shayna Goldman looks at the race for the best defensive forward through two different lenses.