Puck Drop: 7:00 PM ET
Place: Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
TV: BSD, BSSUNX
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Lightning SB Nation Site: Raw Charge
The Wings’ ex-bench boss, now an assistant in Tampa, will get his first crack against the team who fired him this past summer after seven years at the helm. Ironically, the job he took was vacated by Derek Lalonde when he took the Red Wings’ head coaching job. So there’s plenty of bald bragging rights at stake.
Beyond that, it’s a divisional matchup between two teams separated by two points in the standings, and a great chance for the Red Wings to make a statement. When we last saw the Wings, they ended a three-game skid with a convincing 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was a good all-around win that featured several reasons for optimism about the direction of the team. With all due respect to Columbus, however, tonight is a different beast.
The Lightning are indeed starting to look like the Lightning of old after a slow start to the season. They’re in the midst of an 8-2-0 run with their only two losses coming against the Bruins, and the usual suspects are carrying the load. Nikita Kucherov has 8 points in his prior 5 games, Steven Stamkos is on a 10-game point streak, and Brayden Point has goals in four of his last five games.
That being said, the Lightning have their soft spots. If the Red Wings can limit their mistakes, they have enough talent to go punch-for-punch with Tampa.