Welcome to this edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stock Up and Stock Down, a weekly column detailing the highs and lows of the team’s performance.
It was a mixed week for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as in four home games, they defeated two opponents who had fewer points than they did but lost to two teams who are playoff bound. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (March 7) and the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (March 11) while falling to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday (March 9) and the Winnipeg Jets Sunday (March 12). It was nice to see the team break out of their five-game losing streak, but more needs to happen for them to be a serious Stanley Cup contender.
Despite some missed opportunities against the Jets, such as failing to convert on a 5-on-3 power play, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was pleased with his team’s recent effort. “Are we a better team now than we were before Game 1 of this (homestand)? No question. We felt like we should have had two (Thursday against) Vegas. So we’ve let a couple slide off the table, and that’s going to happen. Teams are going to take points from you.” Their recent improvement will need to continue the trend upward as the Lightning will play six of their next eight games over a 15-day stretch away from home.
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Stock Down: Another Shorthanded Goal
In a game in which they controlled the action for the first two periods, the Lightning gave up their league-leading 11th shorthanded goal of the season. In the third period, Mikhail Sergachev once again attempted and failed to swat at a bouncing puck to keep control in their own end. The result of this was William Karlsson’s tie-breaking goal. Granted, there probably should have been an interference penalty called on the breakout, but the Lightning should not have put themselves in that position with such a careless play. Those 11 goals are the most allowed by a Cooper-coached team in his 10-year tenure in the NHL.
Stock Up: Brayden Point
Point’s two goals in the win over the Blackhawks gave him 43 for the season, which was third in the league at the time behind only Connor McDavid (55) and David Pastrnak (45). He had two goals and an assist in the game before that against the Golden Knights. The second goal gave him 41 for the season, which tied his career best. The issues the team is having of late do not include…
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