The Tampa Bay Lightning is 32-32- 7 with 71 points through 71 games. After 71 games last season, the Bolts were 39-22-10 with 88 points.
The Bolts are in fifth (last) place in the Southeast Division and trail the division leading Florida Panthers by twelve points. Tampa Bay is in 13th place in the 15 team Eastern Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot and two points from the conference cellar. Only the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens trail the Bolts.
After 71 games, forward Steven Stamkos leads the team and the NHL in goals with 50. He leads the Bolts and is second in the league in points with 84. Martin St. Louis is tops in assists with 41. Forward Teddy Purcell leads the team in rating with a +9.
Goalie Dustin Tokarski is 1-2-1 with a 2.79 goals against average and an .901 save percentage.
Defenseman Eric Brewer leads Tampa Bay in ice time, averaging 23:21 per game. Steven Stamkos leads in shots on goal with 251.
The Lightning have scored 199 goals (10th in the NHL) and allowed 240 goals (30th (last) in the 30 team NHL). The Bolts power play and the penalty kill remain sub-par. The power play success rate is 15.5% (23rd in the 30 team NHL) and the penalty kill is at 78.6% (26th in the NHL). The league average power play percentage is 17.4% and the average NHL team kills off 82.6% of their penalties successfully.
The Bolts have allowed eleven shorthanded goals, second most in the NHL.
Tampa Bay is 23rd in the league in faceoff percentage, winning 48.8% of their draws.
Game 69 – Tampa Bay Lightning 6 – Boston Bruins 1
Game 70 – Tampa Bay Lightning 1 – Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Game 71 – Tampa Bay Lightning 1– St. Louis Blues 3
Three Stars of the Week
Steven Stamkos – Two goals.
Martin St. Louis – One goal and one assist.
Brian Lee - Two assists.
The Lightning announced the signing of 2011 first-round pick Vladislav Namestnikov to a three year, entry level contract.
The Lightning recalled forward Trevor Smith from Norfolk (AHL).
The Lightning have signed German League goaltender Sebastien Caron.
Defenseman Mattias Ohlund remains on IR after having major knee surgery.
Forward Dana Tyrell is out for the year after having successful knee surgery.
Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron has chosen to undergo back surgery that may end his season.
Forward Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely with a broken hand. The Bolts are hoping to have him back in three to five days.
Goalie Mathieu Garon has a torn groin muscle and is out 3-4 weeks.
Defenseman Bruno Gervais is day-to-day with a shoulder injury.
Forward Nate Thompson is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
The Lightning’s slide into oblivion continues. Tampa Bay has now lost five of its last six games and is proving to be one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference and the NHL. Although, still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, Tampa Bay is done.
Steven Stamkos became just the sixth player in NHL history to record multiple 50-goal seasons before the age of 23. The impressive list includes Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin.
Sports Club Stats has the Lightning’s playoffs chances at 2.1%.
The Week Ahead
About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?