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.
- ‘We’re going into the cage,’ says Kings’ coach Sutter about Game 5 0
- Kings stave off elimination, force Game 5 against Sharks 21
- Wild hold off late Avalanche push to even series at 2-2 53
- Bruins scratch out OT win, push Red Wings to brink 42
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at L.A. Kings 0
- WATCH LIVE: Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild (Game 4) 5
- Monster of a surprise: Red Wings start Gustavsson over Howard 5
- WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Game 4) 2
- Bylsma rips Penguins, calls effort level ‘troubling’ 64
- Cooke: I didn’t intend to collide knee-on-knee with Barrie 99
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (137)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Wild’s Cooke offered in-person hearing for knee-on-knee collision with Barrie (111)