Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread
Can the Lightning right things with a little home cooking?
Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #64
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, NBCSP+, SNE, SNO, SNP
Opponent SBNation Site: Broad Street Hockey
DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5
I don’t think there is too much we need to say too much about tonight’s game. The players know what they need to do:
Steven Stamkos - “You can’t just talk about it. You’ve got to execute.”
Mikhail Sergachev - “It takes little things like forecheck, backcheck, block shots, shots on goal. All those things, they bring the team up and everybody on the bench sees it when the guys are working.”
Both of those came after the loss to the Carolina Hurricanes when they were severely outplayed by the Canes. So, they recognize the problem. Now, like Stamkos said, it’s time for their actions to match their words. That’s going to be the way they get out of this thing, they’re going to outwork their troubles. Sergachev makes a good point. Seeing the teammates out there do the little things - block a shot, or break up a play with a back check - those things do fire up the rest of the guys.
As much as skill comes into play, confidence and positive vibes do play a role as well. One good shift can beget another good one by a different line. We’ve even seen it in micro doses during the losing streak. A couple of the third periods have featured the Lightning building on shift after shift and create chances.
Why not start that tonight against the Flyers? For the first time in weeks the Lightning are playing a team that really has nothing to play for. There is no added intensity of a potential playoff spot motivating Philadelphia. They’ve been scuffling along pretty much like the Bolts have been, going 2-6-2 over their last 10, including a 7-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Surprisingly, this team resembles the one the Lightning beat 4-1 in December, having made just a couple of small moves at the deadline. They sent Patrick Brown to Ottawa for a sixth-round pick and swapped Zack MacEwen and a fifth-round pick to Los Angeles for Brendan Lemiuex. Other potential pieces like Kevin Hayes, James Van Riemsdyk, and Nick Seeler are still with them.
If the Lightning weren’t riding a five-game winless streak there could be some concern about this being a trap game, especially with Vegas in town on Thursday. However, with the Bolts knowing that they need to improve their work ethic in the game, this could be a good test to see if they are on the right track to improve.
It’s time for them to go to work. If they’re winning puck battles (especially in the offensive zone), if they’re getting second and third chances on goal, if they’re challenging the Flyers at both blue lines, you’ll know that the process that leads to positive results is coming back.
As for the injury front. It’s not expected that Victor Hedman won’t miss an extended amount of time. That doesn’t mean he’s good to go for tonight, but will likely be a game-time decision based on how he feels at the morning skate. Erik Cernak will also be a GTD as well after missing the last two. If they can’t go, expect Darren Raddysh and Haydn Fleury to play. Test that depth, baby!
Flyers at Lightning Comparison
|Game #64||Tampa Bay Lightning||Philadelphia Flyers|
Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines
Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Ross Colton - Nick Paul - Tanner Jeannot
Pat Maroon - Michael Eyssimont - Corey Perry
Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix
Ian Cole - Erik Cernak
Haydn Fleury- Zach Bogosian
Lines updated after the morning skate.
Philadelphia Flyers Potential Lines
Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Owen Tippett
James Van Riemsdyk - Kevin Hayes - Wade Allison
Scott Laughton - Noah Cates - Brendan Lemieux
Nicolas Deslauriers - Tanner Laczynski - Justin Braun
Ivan Provorov - Cam York
Travis Sanheim - Rasmus Ristolainen
Nick Seeler - Tony DeAngelo