Lightning trades and tribulations
The Tampa Bay Lighting have made some critical decisions for the team’s roster which hopefully will not have a negative impact on the season.
March 27, 2017
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“The Tampa Bay Lighting have made some critical decisions for the team’s roster which hopefully will not have a negative impact on the season. “
Recently the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to change things around on the bench in an attempt to obtain some more points to secure a playoff wildcard spot as well as to keep the organization financially sound. With playoffs coming ever so close, it will be interesting to see what the management’s recent trades will do to the team’s record, as it has been stated by NHL analysts that the Lightning have about a 11.6% chance of making the playoffs, as they must go at least 8-2 in their last 10 games to secure the last wildcard spot.
In recent weeks, the Lightning organization traded away Ben Bishop (Goalie), Brian Boyle (Defense), and Valtteri Filppula (Center). All three of these players played an important role on the team especially Ben Bishop, the much celebrated starting goalie. Bishop was traded away to the LA Kings for goaltender Peter Budaj and defenseman Erik Cernak. Boyle was traded away to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Byron Froese. Filppula was traded away to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Mark Streit, although Mark Streit was then traded away to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth round draft pick. Hopefully the new recruits will be able to contribute just as much to the team as the lost players did.
Along with these newly acquired players, many other Syracuse Crunch players, the affiliate team of the Lighting, have been called forward due to the recent injuries of Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette. These players include, but are not limited to, Yanni Gourde (forward) and Mathew Peca (forward). Stephen Stamkos is also skating at practice with the team and has been reported to look healthy,; however, he most likely will not return to the team unless the Lighting make it to playoffs as he does not wish to rush things with his recovery.
After a four game win streak that made the wildcard spot look less like a dream and more of reality, the Lightning have crashed hard and are now on a three game losing streak. The most recent loss to the Arizona Coyotes (5-3), the second worst team in the entire NHL, was a serious blow to the future of the Lightning’s season this year. After Ben Bishop was traded away, Vasilevsky stepped up to the challenge and stood on his toes, impressing everyone with his ability to keep the Lightning in those tough games. Currently he stands with an outstanding .915 save percentage and has put on quite the performance for the team. Mark Cernak, the new defenseman, has not seen the ice yet, but is supposed to play against Boston this week. Peter Budaj, the new goalie, has played in two games so far with the Lightning, so we have not seen much of him and cannot jump to any conclusions yet. Yanni Gourde, moved up from the Syracuse Crunch, may prove to be a valuable asset to the team as he scored his first NHL goal against the Florida Panthers. Hopefully he will continue to contribute to the team this season.
Although it seems that the Lightning have a slim chance of making the playoff this season, the recent trades and overall movement throughout the team may help to build a more solid season next year. Hopefully as time goes on we will see these new players adjust to their new environment, and begin to show off their talent.