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.
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 7
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 13
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 27
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 16
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 8
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)