Lightning find their offense, and acquire defensemen for the stretch run

The Lightning seemed to have found their offense as they have scored nine goals over the last two games in beating the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators.

Yanni Gourde has been the big gun on offense, scoring one goal and collecting five assists in the two Lightning wins.

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid between the pipes and was outstanding in the 3-0 shutout win in Nashville, his fourth shutout of the season.

Vasilevskiy leads all goalies with 25 wins, is first in save percentage at .932, and he is second in goals-against average at 2.00. Vasilevskiy remains a top candidate for the Hart Trophy.

Captain Steven Stamkos was injured in the Columbus game and day to day on the injury report. Jon Cooper has already said that Stamkos will miss the Tuesday night game in Nashville as well.

–GM Julian BriseBois took a bold, aggressive move to shore up the defense’s right side acquiring defensemen David Savard in a three-team trade with Detroit and Columbus.

This is more proof that the Lightning organization is doing whatever it can to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup.

BriseBois held court with the media on Saturday and talked about the thought process behind acquiring Savard.

“My thought was if I have the opportunity to acquire David Savard and I pass up on that opportunity, and then the playoffs start, and eventually we fail in our quest for a championship because our right-side D wasn’t good enough, that was going to hurt.”

“It is really hard to win the Stanley Cup, and as for any great feat, if you’re going to accomplish something great, you kind of have to put yourself out there at some point, and you have to be willing to make sacrifices. We ask our players and our coaches, and their families to make sacrifices to help us win a championship, and we do that daily. We’re asking even more of them this year under the circumstances. If there was an opportunity for me to add a good player to our group, to give it a little bit of a boost, I felt like I owed it to them to make that happen, and that’s why we’re here right now.”

Savard will bring experience, grit, and toughness to the right side of the defense. The Lightning had been using Cal Foote and Ben Thomas on the right side, and that would be a scary situation to rely on the two youngsters on that right side for a playoff run.

Savard ranks fourth in blocked shots this season with 89. Savard is also excellent on the penalty kill and will see plenty of time on the PK with the Lightning.

Here is how the trade breaks down:

-Columbus trades Savard to Detroit for defenseman Brian Lashoff, with the Blue Jackets retaining 50 percent of Savard’s salary.

-Detroit sends Savard to Tampa Bay for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick, the Red Wings retaining 50 percent of Savard’s salary.

-Columbus trades Lashoff to Tampa Bay for the first-round pick in 2021 and a third-round selection in 2022.

With Columbus trading Savard and Nick Foligno, it appears they have thrown in the towel on the season.

Jon Cooper was happy to add a defenseman like David Savard to the blue line. “He adds for sure a veteran presence on our right side, a guy that’s played in some big playoff games. He’s got size. He’s a righty, and he’s a gamer. I think that’s a really good addition to our squad. He’s hungry to make a playoff run.”

Savard was to fly to Nashville today, practice on Monday, and hopefully suit up with the Lightning on Tuesday night.

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