Welcome to this edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stock Up and Stock Down, a weekly column detailing the highs and lows of the team’s performance.
The Tampa Bay Lightning capped off a 3-0 week by defeating the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Saturday night (Nov. 19) at Bridgestone Arena. It was the team’s second overtime win of the week after defeating the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Tuesday (Nov. 15). They also defeated the Calgary Flames on Thursday (Nov. 17) 4-1. The Lightning have now won a season-high four straight games and are 7-2-1 in their last ten.
Another impressive stat is that with these two overtime victories, the Lightning have won three out of their four overtime contests. The lone loss came in a shootout at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 3. After the game, head coach John Cooper stated that his team “showed a little Moxie” against the Predators, which is critical in winning steaks and overtime games.
Stock Up: Defense Stepping Up
For many of their recent games, the Lightning’s defensive unit has had to play parts of games without a full complement. On Saturday, Haydn Fleury didn’t play after the second period, forcing them to play the rest of the game by rotating five defensemen. The recent Lightning Player of the Week winner Nick Perbix also left the Calgary game with an injury.
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Then there was the Nov. 11 loss against the Washington Capitals when Erik Cernak and Mikhail Sergachev both left the game after blocking shots by Alex Ovechkin. This came after Cal Foote also exited the game after taking a cheap shot to the head. In the last two wins, the Lightning have exhibited their trademark toughness while efficiently taking care of the puck in their own end and avoiding costly mistakes, even when they were down a man.
Stock Up: Steven Stamkos
It is unknown if Steven Stamkos likes country music, but he sure likes playing in and against Nashville. Over his last 11 games against the Predators, he has scored in nine of them, picking up points in 11 consecutive games and scoring goals in four straight. The Lightning captain recently broke a 10-game goal drought against the Flames on Thursday night and now is second on the team in points behind Nikita Kucherov, who also seems to enjoy playing against the Predators.
Stock Down: Cancer
Unless you want to be nitpicky on a team that went 3-0 for the week, we are going with cancer for our stock down as the Lightning and the NHL recognizes the fight against this horrendous disease during the month of November. Last Thursday (Nov. 15), the Lightning held their Hockey Fights Cancer night at Amalie Arena. During the event, they raised funds and awareness for a cause that affects so much of the population, and all proceeds will benefit the Moffitt Cancer Center and other local charities. The program is meant to support the courage and strength of those who are currently living with or battling cancer.
Stock Up: Ian Cole
When the Lightning signed Ian Cole to a one-year contract in July, they were not looking for a lot of offensive production. The 10-year NHL veteran is more of a player who plays steady defense while eating many minutes. However, he has been hitting the scoresheet in recent games. In Saturday night’s win against the Predators, he extended his season-long point streak to three games with a goal and three assists during that span. The 33-year-old is starting to play comfortably in the Lightning system that encourages its defensemen to jump into the offense.
Stock Up: Mikhail Sergachev
Staying with the theme of defensive players hitting the scoresheet, Sergachev is on a four-game point streak (two goals, six assists) that started with a two-goal and two-assist game against the Washington Capitals last Sunday (Nov. 13). During those four games, the 24-year-old defenseman scored two goals while adding six assists. Overall, he is averaging a point a game and has even replaced Victor Hedman on the first power play unit while doubling Hedman’s point total on the year. He also has twice as many power-play points as him.
The four-game win streak will be put to a stern test when the league-leading Boston Bruins and their 16-2-0 record come to town on Monday night (Nov. 21). It is probably good that the Lightning are at home, as the Bruins recently improved their home record to 11-0-0, which tied the NHL record for the best home start with the 2021-22 Florida Panthers and the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks. This week’s other game will happen on Friday (Nov. 25) when they host the St. Louis Blues.
Jim Bay writes about the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators for THW. A retired Special Education Teacher, Jim enjoys writing about hockey and all sports when he is not slashing his way around local golf courses. For interview requests or to provide content info, follow Jim on Twitter. (https://twitter.com/baysports007)