Mar 6, 2012, 3:51 PM EDT
With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
Bubble team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Where they stand: 10th in the East, four points back of eighth-place Winnipeg.
Games remaining: 17
SportsClubStats.com says: 19.8% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
Steven Stamkos. The NHL’s top sniper has 10 goals in his last nine games, a stretch that’s seen the Lightning go 7-2-0. Tampa Bay plays eight of its next nine at home, where it boasts an impressive 20-9-2 record.
Why they won’t:
Goaltending. Mathieu Garon has been giving his team a chance to win, but he’s not exactly stealing games out there. And since Dwayne Roloson can’t be trusted, it’s pretty much all on Garon, a 34-year-old journeyman on his sixth NHL team.
“Look at Abraham Lincoln. How did this guy get to be one of the most important presidents? If you look at everything that happened to him, a thousand times he could have quit and done something else or quit after failing.”– coach Guy Boucher, drawing inspiration from the 16th President of the United States. (Which you won’t hear every day in the NHL.)
Biggest game coming up:
Thursday in Washington versus the ninth-place Capitals.
- Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins 11
- Report: Fedorov denies contract offer was made to Johansen 7
- Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers 36
- Update: Drouin out with upper body injury, not expected to miss preseason 1
- Report: NHL officials to participate in preseason without new CBA 1
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 14
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 18
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 6
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 26
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? (38)