The Tampa Bay Lightning have seemingly turned their season around as of late, as they have won 7-straight games. What have they done recently that has led to this success?
A few weeks ago, I did a deep dive into what was going wrong for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season. I looked at the number of injuries the Tampa Bay Lightning have dealt with compared to last season, specifically to their core players.
Secondly, I looked at their fast starts not being sustained for the full 60-minute games. I also looked untimely missed opportunities on the powerplay, as well as the powerplay’s importance to the teams’ success. Finally, I looked at the struggling netminder, Andrei Vasilevskiy.
To start, let’s look at the injuries over the last seven games, all of which they have won. Only two players missed time while the Lightning were going through their seven-game win streak – Tyler Johnson (19 points in 36 games) and Ryan McDonagh (11 points in 40 games). Johnson missed the first game, a 6-1 win over Florida, and McDonagh missed a chunk of the sixth game, a 5-3 win over Ottawa, and all of the last game, a 3-1 win over Carolina.
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However, those were the only two injuries that the Lightning had to deal with. They happened at the very start and then in the last two wins, meaning that for five straight games, they dealt with no injuries.
Immediately, the Tampa Bay Lightning were dealt a good hand of health and it has gone a long way. Moving forward, McDonagh is still injured and he has been one of the best Lightning defenders in his own end. If he’s out any longer, his presence, or lack thereof, could bite the Lightning. The good news is, it isn’t a serious injury, so he may not be out much longer.
With all that said, the Tampa Bay Lightning very clearly needs their star players healthy, as they have shown over this win streak. If they can keep a fairly clean bill of health, then maybe they can recapture last years’ greatness.