After the loss in Montreal Saturday night, it was announced the Lightning would take on The Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs beginning Wednesday or Thursday Night.
The Lightning have shown flashes of being a championship caliber team this year, and have also had stretches where they played like they would lose to the Edmonton Oilers in a 7 game series.
I often asked myself why The inconsistent play this season? Are they still living on last seasons laurels where they think that just stepping on the ice will guarantee a win? You would think that thought would have been gone after the lethargic start to the season.
Injuries have been a factor this season. Jason Garrison, Brian Boyle, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson have all missed substantial time at some point this season. Now with the playoffs 3 days away, Steven Stamkos, and Anton Stralman are out and will be indefinitely. Still no word on if Tyler Johnson will be ready for action this week.
I believe Ben Bishop and the defense will have to be the difference maker in the playoffs. I’ll have more about this in my playoff preview column on Tuesday. If Bishop is good and the defense plays well the Lightning will go deep in the playoffs. If Bishop comes back to earth and the defense is just average, this Lightning team will unfortunately have an early payoff exit.