Lightning add grit and toughness at the trade deadline
Lightning general manager Julien Breisbois stayed busy right up until the final hour of the trade deadline as he continued to wheel and deal and try to give this Lightning team the best chance at a Stanley Cup run.
The Lightning acquired San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow in exchange for Anthony Greco who the Lightning had recently acquired from the Florida Panthers, and a first and third round pick.
Barclay has eight goals and 16 assists on the season and will add some toughness to the lightning forward group that was sorely missing during last years four game sweep by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A day earlier the Lightning added depth to the blue line signing Zach Bogosian to a one year contract for 1.3 million dollars.
With Erik Cernak being injured in the Arizona loss on Saturday, and Jan Rutta and Ryan MacDonagh not yet ready to play, the Lightning had to make a move.
The Lightning were also looking to add some depth and experience to their blue line and they feel that they got that with Zach Bogosian.
Bogosian a 12 year veteran has played in 636 career games scoring 53 goals and is -87 for his career.
Bogosian started the season in Buffalo but played in just 19 games before he was sent to Rochester.
Just a week earlier, the Lightning acquired forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils who is known for his physical play.
On the addition of Goodrow BriesBois said “We needed a big, physical center and he brings that. “He has the size, he also has the physicality. He plays with an edge.”
Breisbois feels that the lightning are a much better team with these trade deadline acquisitions than their were before and thinks that the Lightning are better equipped now to make a deep playoff run than before the deals were made.
Last year the Lightning stood still at the trade deadline and thought that they had a team that would get to the Stanley Cup finals.
The lack of toughness and physical play always caught up with the Lightning in the spring when the games counted a lot more and last year was no different in the series sweep by Columbus.
It was good to see Breisbois acquire some physical players that should help this Lightning team in the playoffs.
On the high price that the Lightning had to play to acquire these players, (two number one draft picks, and their number one draft pick from 2019 Nathan Foote) You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I decided I was going to take the risk of being damned because I did. We aggressively pursued these players and we paid what we had to pay to get them and make us the best team possible.”
With the latest additions the Lightning sent forward Mitchell Stephens, and defensemen Cameron Guance to Syracuse.
The Lightning return home licking their wounds a bit as they are on a two game losing streak being outscored in their last two games 12-6.
They have also allowed three power play goals and their play has been similar to what we witnessed in the early part of the season.
Coach Jon Cooper called the overall effort and the loss to Arizona “disappointing” and said that the Lightning just have to play better.
The Lightning will have three games at home this week starting with Toronto on Tuesday night, followed by Chicago on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday.
Perhaps some home cooking will help the Lightning get that swagger back.
The Lightning are currently 40-17-5 and trail Boston by five points in the Atlantic Division.