Lightning pursues playoffs


The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to repeat last year’s playoff run, a run that ended two games away from winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.
As of March 27, the Lightning have 91 points and are in second place in the Atlantic Division, behind the rival Florida Panthers. The Boston Bruins hold the third playoff spot for the Atlantic Division, with 88 points.
At this point in the season, the Lighting control its own destiny, meaning that it can clinch any playoff spot solely by winning the games it has remaining. Out of the remaining seven games, the Lightning need to win at least four in order to clinch its spot in the playoffs.
“I think that we’re going to end up in second place,” senior Jeff Friedman said. “We can’t catch up to the Panthers if we keep going back and forth between losing and winning.”
The Lightning season this year has been highly inconsistent, having gone on long losing streaks in key time periods. It has also been plagued by injuries to key players, with Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jason Garrison. “We’ve been great at times and other times not so much but all the injuries are really killing us. I think we can get into the playoffs but not a Stanley cup,” junior Andre Pyatt said.
Johnson and Palat were also a part of the “Triplets” line from last season that combined for 200 points over the course of the season. This year, they have only been able to manage 132.
However, despite these inconsistencies, the Lighting is only slightly behind last year’s pace. Right now, it’s projected to have 99 points come season’s end; last year, it finished with 108.