Tampa Bay Lightning Player News: All Positions

News: Tammela was designated for unconditional waivers by Tampa Bay on Friday in order to terminate his contract, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: Tammela struggled to produce in the AHL this season, as he managed a mere four points in 20 outings. The winger's numbers in the ECHL were significantly better (13 goals and 13 assists in 23 games), but clearly that wasn't enough to warrant the club sticking with him long term. At this point, it seems unlikely Tammela will ever appear in an NHL game.
News: Stralman will likely need to take a pay cut to re-sign with Tampa, reports Tampa Bay Times.
Impact: Stralman's $4.5 million salary in 2018-19 made him the third-highest paid defender, yet he posted some of his lowest offensive numbers since 2012-13. And he played in just 47 games this season. Stralman was often the odd man out when it came to the defensive rotation that coach Jon Cooper employed -- he never really had a regular partner this season. He, Dan Girardi and Braydon Coburn are all unrestricted free agents, and the Bolts won't be able to ink all three, especially with the big contract that Brayden Point will be signing. Stralman would be valuable in another run for the Cup, but the almighty dollar will dictate if that opportunity comes with Tampa or another squad. Regardless, his fantasy best-before-date is well behind him.
News: Rutta re-signed with the Lightning on a one-year, $1.3 million deal Friday.
Impact: Rutta totaled eight points in 37 games between the Blackhawks and Lightning this past season, adding two assists in Tampa Bay's four-game, first-round sweep at the hands of the Blue Jackets. He'll provide affordable blue line depth for a Lightning team that has a number of hefty salary obligations on the books elsewhere in the lineup.
News: Kucherov was announced as a finalist for the 2018-19 Hart Memorial Trophy on Sunday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
Impact: No surprise here as the 25-year-old racked up a ridiculous 128 points, 12 more than any other player. That's also the highest point total for any NHL skater since the turn of the century. Kucherov was wildly regarded as the Hart frontrunner for most of the season and he's expected to take home the hardware for the first time this offseason.
News: Kucherov has been named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award by the NHL Players Association, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: The award is given to the NHL's most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. Kucherov, whose disappointing playoff performance has him headed to the IIHF World Championships and not playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, put up the highest point total (128) since Mario Lemieux's 161 back in 1995-96. He's up against Connor McDavid and Patrick Kane.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) was never able to return to action before the Lightning were defeated in the playoffs.
Impact: Hedman suited up in just two of the final eight games of the season due to an undisclosed injury. The Swede will enter the fourth year of his eight-year contract extension he signed in 2016, having produced 12 goals and 54 points this campaign. Following the strong showing, the 28-year-old is up for the coveted Norris Trophy for the third year in a row. Just two years removed from a 72-point showing, Hedman will likely use the offseason to get healthy before readying for a potential bounce-back year in 2019-20.
News: Stralman (lower body) was never able to return to the lineup before the Lightning were swept out of the playoffs.
Impact: Stralman suited up in just two of the final 18 games of the season due to the lower-body injury. Set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, teams will likely have some injury concerns about the 32-year-old, due to the fact that he suited up in just 47 games this season. Stralman has seen his point totals decline each year since he's been with Tampa Bay, producing just two goals and 17 points in 2018-19. Stralman has proven he can still be an effective defenseman, but his time with the Bolts could be over, due to the team dealing with major players --Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov -- in line for massive deals this offseason.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) was announced as a finalist for the 2018-19 Norris Trophy on Sunday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
Impact: The 28-year-old Swede has now been a Norris finalist for three straight seasons, winning the coveted award last year. Hedman's campaign ended in disappointing fashion though, as Tampa Bay was swept in the first round while he watched Games 3 and 4 from the press box with an injury. He finished the regular season with 12 goals and 54 points in 70 contests.
News: Vasilevskiy was announced as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy on Saturday.
Impact: This is Vasilevskiy's second straight nomination as a finalist for the Vezina. The 24-year-old Russian was stellar in 2018-19, compiling a 39-10-4 record while posting a superb 2.40 GAA and .925 save percentage in 53 appearances. Vasilevskiy should be the first netminder taken off the board in all formats during fantasy drafts next season.
News: Killorn won't require surgery to repair a minor tear in his right MCL, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The fact that Killorn is able to avoid surgery means he should be up and ready to go when training camp kicks off in the fall. The winger managed just one assist, six PIM and three shots in four playoff games versus the Blue Jackets, a far cry from the 40-point campaign he put together in the regular season. The 29-year-old has reached the 40-point mark four times in his career and should be capable of doing so again in 2019-20.
News: Vasilevskiy dealt with a minor lower-body injury during Tampa's abbreviated postseason, but he's tentatively expected to play in the World Championship, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Despite the Bolts tying an NHL record with 62 regular-season wins, Vasilevskiy and Co. were swept by the Blue Jackets in the conference quarterfinals. The Russian posted an awful 3.82 GAA and .856 save percentage versus Columbus, but he's still very much in the running for the Vezina Trophy since that is based on regular-season success. Vasi went 39-10-4 (six shutouts) to complement a 2.40 GAA and .920 save percentage over 53 regular-season contests. He'll easily be one of the first goaltenders off draft boards ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Kucherov is planning on representing Team Russia at the upcoming IIHF World Championship, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Kucherov's record-setting season ended on a low note when Tampa Bay was bounced from the playoffs by Columbus via a first-round sweep Tuesday, so he'll hope to start washing that foul taste from his mouth by helping his native Russia take home gold at the World Championship. The 25-year-old should be valued as a top-three pick in all fantasy formats heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Tampa Bay reassigned Gaunce to AHL Syracuse on Wednesday.
Impact: Gaunce was brought up to the big club to serve as an emergency depth option for Games 3 and 4, but the Lightning were eliminated from the playoffs by Columbus on Tuesday, so they're obviously no longer in need of the 29-year-old's services. He'll head to Syracuse to aid the Crunch in their quest for the Calder Cup.
News: Miller delivered two assists and seven shots in four games in the 2018-19 postseason.
Impact: Miller saw his ice time plummet in Game 4. He'd played 17:29 in Game 3, but with the game on the line, Miller was on the bench. He finished with just 9:20 of ice time in Game 4. He was supposed to be a catalyst in the postseason, but we can't help but wonder if Miller's excellence last season after arriving in trade was simply lightning in a bottle.
News: Sergachev scored a goal and added an assist in four playoff games against Columbus.
Impact: He started strong -- really strong. The points came in the first two games. But when Victor Hedman went down, Sergachev started gripping his stick way too tight. And he faltered. Sergachev went minus-5 in the last two games of the series and had just two shots. The guy has a strong future, but it's clear his game still has significant growth to come.
News: Erne was scratched for Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Impact: His ice time had ranged from 8:22 to 9:25 in the previous three games and he'd managed four shots and one minor penalty. In other words, Erne didn't make a dent. He's always had potential, but Erne hasn't been able to cement a full-time role yet. Erne just isn't a fantasy consideration until he does and until he moves up the lineup.
News: Paquette scored a goal in Tuesday's 7-3, Game 4 loss to the Blue Jackets.
Impact: He had two shots; both were dangerous. Paquette gave it his all this postseason. He was only minus-1 in the four-game sweep. That's incredible considering the number of goals the Blue Jackets scored -- the loss wasn't on the Bolts' bottom six.
News: Gourde scored one goal in four games against Columbus in Round 1.
Impact: He saw his ice time drop dramatically from Game 1 when he played 16:38. The next three games, Gourde skated 12:44, 10:10 and 11:06, respectively. And he went from three shots in Game 1 to two in the remaining three. The entire Bolts' team struggled against the big, aggressive forecheckers of the Blue Jackets, so it could just be that Gourde was just outmatched. But there is some concern with Gourde's role, especially after seeing his regular-season output drop from an incredible 64 points in 2017-18 to just 48 this year. His role coming out of training camp next fall will dictate his fantasy value.
News: Point scored a beautiful goal in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.
Impact: He was promoted to the top line between Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos for a short time while Anthony Cirelli recovered from a hard hit. Point drove the net from the left wing dot and snapped a savvy backhander shelf over Sergei Bobrovsky's blocker shoulder. But it was his only goal and point in a disappointing first-round loss. Point's new contract will be Tampa's top priority effective immediately. And he'll get a hefty raise after potting 41 goals and 92 points on the last year of his entry-level deal.
News: Girardi finished 2018-19 playoffs with no points, four penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating in four games.
Impact: Girardi's game has slowed. And with Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman out with injuries, he was forced into a bigger role than perhaps he could handle. Especially with the aggressive forecheck of the Blue Jackets. Girardi is a free agent this offseason and he will need to take a financial haircut to stay with the Bolts. Even if he does, Girardi isn't a fantasy option.
News: McDonagh finished minus-6 in four playoff games in Tampa's first-round loss to Columbus.
Impact: McDonagh's game absolutely crumbled in the postseason. He was forced into the role of top dawg with Victor Hedman out with injury and he looked lost. He just couldn't handle the Jackets ferocious forecheck. McDonagh finished the regular season with a career-best 46 games. Don't let the postseason cloud your view next draft. With Hedman back in the saddle next season, McDonagh will be protected enough to deliver fantasy value.
News: Johnson fired just four shots and finished with one assist in four games in Tampa's four-game, opening-round series loss to Columbus.
Impact: Johnson came off a 29-goal season and seemed poised for success, but the 5-foot-8 pivot was rubbed out of the play and thwarted at every turn by the aggressive Jackets. Johnson's deal ties him up for $5 million a year until 2023-24 and he has a full no-trade until after 2020-21. He will be back with a vengeance at training camp and could come very cheap because of the team's postseason woes. Johnson's value comes in goal-heavy leagues, so he could be a cheap late-round target.
News: Rutta picked up an assist in Tuesday's 7-3 loss in Game 4 against the Blue Jackets.
Impact: Rutta actually played in all four postseason games and he delivered two assists and a plus-2 rating. Rutta skated in just 37 games this season and most were with Chicago. But he could be in line for a bottom-pairing role in 2019-20 with Brayden Coburn, Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman's contracts all expiring.
News: Coburn dressed for two postseason games against Columbus and tallied one assist.
Impact: Coburn had been part of the bottom pairing rotation, often sitting out games in the regular season. But he was pressed into heavier duty due to injuries to the Bolts blue line corps. Coburn actually finished plus-2 in 18:36 in Tuesday's 7-3 loss -- that's a remarkable feat considering the number of goals scored by the Jackets. But the loss was ugly and at 34, Coburn is a declining asset on the ice. His contract is done and he's likely seen his last game in Tampa.
News: Joseph played in all four Tampa Bay playoff games against Columbus and finished with four shots and a minus-2 rating in limited ice time.
Impact: He only played 8:21 in Game 4 on Tuesday, but did see 12:14 in Game 3. Joseph wasn't exactly noticeable on the ice, but that actually was a good thing. The rookie who delivered 26 points in 70 games held his own against the Blue Jackets. Joseph could take a step forward next season, especially if there are some changes to the Bolts' roster.
News: Callahan played two of the Lightning's first-round games against the Blue Jackets, finishing with four PIM and four shots in limited ice time.
Impact: Callahan plays the kind of abrasive, physical game that a lot of people believe fits postseason hockey. But he was relegated to the media box a lot this season and flat-out told he was the team's 13th forward in the second half of the year. Changes are likely coming after the Bolts were swept out of the playoffs and Callahan is a likely target. The oft-injured winger has one year left on a deal that pays $5.8 million. The probability of a buyout is much more realistic than a trade.
News: Cernak finished his first postseason with three assists in four games.
Impact: He was the best Bolts defender on the ice. That's heady praise for the rookie and it wasn't just because the rest of the blue line seemed like a shell of itself. Cernak played smart, poised hockey with great vision and a clear focus in his own zone. This guy is going to be a good one.
News: Cirelli collected an assist in Tuesday's 7-3 series loss to the Blue Jackets.
Impact: The 21-year-old pivot marveled in his rookie campaign, as Cirelli crafted 19 goals and 39 total points to complement a plus-25 rating without missing a game in the regular season. His robust offensive total is especially impressive when you consider that he was heavily deployed on the penalty kill (2:43) and fell short of averaging 15 minutes of ice time per game. He's worth considering as a sleeper for the late rounds in fantasy drafts during the fall.
News: Stamkos scored an even-strength goal and added a power-play assist in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Impact: The veteran star was held off the scoresheet completely through the first three games of the series, but Stamkos was finally able to break through in this one, although his performance didn't save the Bolts from a stunningly quick elimination. The 29-year-old scored a career-high 98 points (45 goals, 53 assists) in 2018-19, and he'll be gunning for his first 100-point campaign as a key part of a very potent Tampa offense next season.
News: Kucherov notched two assists, one on the power play, in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Impact: After being held scoreless in the first two games and then suspended for the third, the NHL's scoring champ finally showed up, although Kucherov's efforts were too little, too late for the Bolts. The 25-year-old has put together back-to-back 100-point campaigns, and while the ending of this season was hugely disappointing, he'll still be the centerpiece of one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL in 2019-20.
News: Vasilevskiy stopped 18 of 22 shots in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Impact: Columbus piled on three empty-net goals after Vasilevskiy was pulled late in the third period in a desperate attempt to avoid elimination. The netminder didn't play badly, but as they had been most of the series, the Bolts' skaters were a step slow to the puck, giving the Jackets plenty of extra possession time. Vasilevskiy still has a possible Vezina Trophy to look forward to, but this was still a very disappointing end to what had been until now a brilliant campaign.
News: Killorn (undisclosed) will play in Tuesday's Game 4 versus the Blue Jackets, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Killorn lit the lamp in Game 1, but he has struggled since with zero shots on net over the past two contests and two PIM in each outing. The 29-year-old will need a cleaner performance, as the Lightning can ill-afford to spend much time on the penalty kill in this elimination game. He will work on a bottom-six line with Yanni Gourde and Ryan Callahan.
News: Vasilevskiy will be in goal for Game 4 versus Columbus on the road Tuesday, Caley Chelios of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Vasilevskiy struggled in Games 1 and 2, but managed to put together a decent Game 3 in which he allowed just two goals on 29 shots (.931 save percentage). The Russian netminder will need to be at his absolute best the rest of the way if the Bolts are going to have any chance of becoming the fifth NHL team to climb back following a 3-0 series deficit.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) won't be in the lineup for Tuesday's Game 4 against Columbus.
Impact: Hedman tried to play through his undisclosed injury during Games 1 and 2, but it clearly affected his play, as he went scoreless while posting a minus-2 rating in back-to-back home losses. Coach Jon Cooper decided to keep the Swedish blueliner out of the lineup for Sunday's Game 3 in hopes it'd give him time to recover ahead of Game 4, but Hedman's obviously still ailing. The reigning Norris Trophy winner will have to hope that his team will be able to steal a win on the road Tuesday to give him an opportunity to return to action Friday for Game 5.
News: Stralman (lower body) will miss Game 4 versus the Blue Jackets.
Impact: Stralman's lower-body injury will force him to miss at least one more contest and could mean he's done for the season if the Lightning can't come up with a road win Tuesday. The veteran blueliner collected 17 points and posted a plus-12 rating during the regular season, but his absence should allow Braydon Coburn to remain among the defensive pairings.
News: Killorn (undisclosed) is officially considered a game-time decision against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Impact: Indications from the game-day skate have Killorn slotting into a bottom-six role, but coach Jon Cooper labeled the center a game-time call heading into Tuesday's tilt. If the Nova Scotia native doesn't suit up, Ryan Callahan figures to take his spot in the lineup.
News: Killorn (undisclosed) will be in the lineup for Tuesday's must-win Game 4 against Columbus, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: It appeared as though Killorn would likely miss Tuesday's contest after exiting Monday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in the third period with an undisclosed injury, but he's evidently going to tough it out to try and help his team stave off elimination. The 29-year-old is expected to skate with Ryan Callahan and Yanni Gourde on Tampa Bay's fourth line during Game 4, and should also see time on the man advantage as a member of the Lightning's second power-play unit.
News: Kucherov (suspension) has served his one-game ban and is available for Tuesday's crucial Game 4 clash with Columbus.
Impact: Without Kucherov, the Lightning were only able to put up one goal in Game 3. The world-class winger will be critical to the club's chances of coming back from a 3-0 series deficit. Look for the Russian to slot back into his second-line role, in addition to retaking his spot on the top power-play unit.
News: Killorn is dealing with an undisclosed injury that could cause him to miss Game 4 versus Columbus on Tuesday, Caley Chelios of the Lightning's official website reports.
Impact: Killorn failed to put a shot on net in his previous two games and, unsurprisingly, didn't pick up a point in either contest. Killorn reached the 40-point mark for the second straight season and fourth time in his career this year. If the 29-year-old is unable to give it a go, Ryan Callahan figures to remain in the lineup while Nikita Kucherov returns from his suspension.
News: Head coach Jon Cooper said Monday that Hedman (undisclosed) is doubtful to play in Tuesday's Game 4 against the Blue Jackets.
Impact: Things couldn't get much worse for the Lightning after going down 3-0 in the series Sunday. Hedman was forced to miss Game 3 with an undisclosed injury, and could very likely miss Game 4. More information should become available closer to puck drop.
News: Barre-Boulet (68 points in 74 games) led all AHL rookies in scoring for the 2018-19 campaign.
Impact: Signed by the Lightning as an undrafted free agent in March 2018 after leading the QMJHL in scoring and being named league MVP, Barre-Boulet made a seamless transition to professional hockey. His 34 goals tied for the league lead, as did his 17 power-play markers. Things aren't going well for the Lightning in their playoff series against Columbus, but they have another future top-six forward on the way in Barre-Boulet. The rich get richer.
News: Palat notched an even-strength goal while logging 17:20 of ice time in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets.
Impact: Palat finally got into the fold offensively, collecting his first point and shot of the series. He's been decent defensively, however, dishing out 10 hits while posting five blocked shots in three games. The Czech-born player has averaged 16:49 of ice time in the series, so he'll need to keep producing if the Lightning want to dig out of their 3-0 series hole.
News: Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 29 shots in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 3 of their first-round series.
Impact: The Jackets' final goal was scored into an empty net. Vasilevskiy actually played well in this one, making some huge saves with the Bolts down 2-0 in the second period to prevent a rout, but he didn't get enough help to turn the series around. Tampa Bay now finds itself facing elimination Tuesday in Columbus, and Vasilevskiy may need to find a way to steal it single-handedly to avoid the sweep.
News: Stralman (lower body) will not suit up for Sunday's Game 3 matchup against Columbus, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports.
Impact: Stralman will be on the sidelines alongside fellow blueliner Victor Hedman who is dealing with an undisclosed injury. He is in doubt to suit up in Game 4 on Tuesday, though it is still a remote possibility.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) will not be in Sunday's lineup for Game 3 against Columbus, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Lightning were already without Nikita Kucherov (suspension) and this won't make things any easier. It's unclear what Hedman is dealing with or if he'll be available for Game 4 on Tuesday.
News: Vasilevskiy will face Columbus for Game 3 on Sunday, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: As one of the NHL's premier netminders, it's been fairly shocking to see him get shelled for nine goals in the first two games of the series. With the Lightning up against the wall, they'll need a top-notch performance out of the 24-year-old with Nikita Kucherov (suspension) and Victor Hedman (undisclosed) both out for Game 3.
News: Callahan (undisclosed) will slot back into the lineup for Sunday's Game 3 matchup with Columbus.
Impact: Callahan missed the first two games of the series with this undisclosed issue, but it seemingly won't cost him a third. In the regular season, the New York native recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) over 52 games.
News: Gaunce was recalled from AHL Syracuse on Sunday.
Impact: Gaunce was shipped to the minors Thursday, but quickly found his way back with the big club. With fellow defenseman Victor Hedman (undisclosed) and Anton Stralman (lower body) uncertain for Game 3, Gaunce could find his way into the lineup. If the 29-year-old does play, however, it likely won't have an effect from a fantasy perspective, as he's tallied no points in two games this season.
News: Hedman (undisclosed) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's Game 3 matchup with Columbus.
Impact: This is likely the last thing Lightning fans want to see, as the team already trails two games in the series and will already be without Nikita Kucherov (suspension). More information should become available closer to puck drop, but could come as late as pre-game warmups.
News: Stamkos has been held without a point through two games in the Lightning's first-round series against the Blue Jackets.
Impact: He's minus-3 with eight shots. But like fellow snipers Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, Stamkos has been stymied and smothered by an aggressive Columbus crew. He will need to step up Sunday with Kucherov serving a one-game suspension and the Bolts down 2-0.
News: Point has no points in the first two games of Tampa's first-round series against Columbus.
Impact: He had 92 points, including 41 goals, in a breakout season. But like teammates Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, Point's offense has dried up -- the guy has just two shots. He does have five penalty minutes, if that's a category your postseason league counts. Point needs to do better.
News: The league has suspended Kucherov for Game 3 in Columbus, Chris Johnston of Hockey Night in Canada reports.
Impact: Kucherov had a controversial boarding penalty on the Blue Jackets' Markus Nutivaara in Friday's contest, checking him into the boards while Nutivaara was on his knees. With that, Kucherov -- the team's leading scorer -- will have to watch from the press box as the Lightning look to steal one on the road after dropping both Games 1 and 2 on the home sheet. If healthy, Ryan Callahan (undisclosed) would presumably draw in for Game 3, though Danick Martel also remains on hand. Kucherov will rejoin the lineup for Game 4.
News: Hedman is "banged up" and didn't practice Saturday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: This is the last thing Tampa Bay fans want to see, as the Lightning can ill afford to lose their best defenseman heading back to Columbus for Game 3 while down two games to none in the series. Confirmation on Hedman's status for Game 3 should surface prior to puck drop, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him labeled a game-time decision ahead of Sunday's contest.
News: Kucherov will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday regarding his boarding penalty Friday against the Blue Jackets' Markus Nutivaara.
Impact: During the third period of Game 2, Kucherov tripped Nutivaara, and while Nutivaara was on his knees, Kucherov checked him into the boards. It was clearly a dangerous hit, and Kucherov received a five-minute major and game misconduct for his actions. A hearing of this sort is often followed by a suspension, but we'll have to wait for the official verdict. The Lightning are down 2-0 in the first-round series and can ill-afford to lose their top scorer.
News: Vasilevskiy turned aside 22 of 27 shots in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 2 of their first-round series.
Impact: His stunned body language after he allowed the final third-period goal in Tuesday's shocking comeback victory by the Jackets proved to be a bad omen, and Vasilevskiy didn't look anything like the confident netminder who led the NHL in wins during the regular season. The Bolts suddenly find themselves down 2-0 with the series headed to Columbus on Sunday, and they'll need their No. 1 goalie to regain his focus if they're going to regain some momentum.
News: Stamkos was not pleased with the Lightning's collapse in Game 1 against Columbus and is expecting "a much better game" Friday.
Impact: "We didn't play to our identity," said Stammer of the Game 1 loss. "Guys were pretty ticked off in here about their effort, so we're expecting a much better effort for tonight. We know what we've got to do." The Bolts went up 3-0 before allowing four unanswered goals. Stamkos should rebound nicely and be one of the leaders on the ice Friday.
News: Vasilevskiy will guard the goal for Friday's Game 2 against the visiting Blue Jackets, 95.3 WDAE reports.
Impact: Vasilevskiy should man the net for the entirety of the Bolts' playoff run, but the postseason started with a shocking home loss for the Lightning after they held a 3-0 lead. The fifth-year netminder will look to get back on track in Game 2 to avoid falling behind 2-0 before heading to Columbus.
News: Callahan (undisclosed) remained among the extras at Thursday's morning skate, indicating he should sit out again for Game 2 against the Blue Jackets, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports.
Impact: Not much light has been shed on the nature of Callahan's injury, but it will cost him at least the first two games of the series. Without him available, the Bolts will run with the same lineup that took the ice in a Game 1 upset loss. Callahan's next opportunity to return comes Sunday when the series heads to Columbus for Game 3.
News: Stralman (lower body) won't be in the lineup versus Columbus on Friday and is in doubt for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Stralman has been making progress and was able to join his teammates on the ice for Friday's game-day skate. Once cleared to play, the Swede figures to return to logging over 20 minutes per game. In the meantime, Jan Rutta will continue to fill out the third pairing in Stralman's stead.
News: Gaunce was reassigned to AHL Syracuse on Thursday.
Impact: Gaunce didn't play in Game 1 against the Blue Jackets on Monday, with the Bolts squandering a lead and ending up with a 4-3 loss at home. With Gaunce back in the minors, Jan Rutta and Braydon Coburn could rotate on the bottom pair throughout the series.
News: Vasilevskiy stopped 22 of 26 shots during Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their first-round series.
Impact: Everything was going according to script when the Bolts jumped out to a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission, but Vasilevskiy couldn't make it stick once the Jackets got rolling. The 24-year-old netminder had too good a regular season to think he's going to fall apart after one poor result, so look for him to be laser focused in Game 2 on Friday.
News: Vasilevskiy will guard the cage at home in Wednesday's Game 1 against the Blue Jackets, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Vasilevskiy was razor sharp in his last start of the regular season Thursday against Toronto, turning aside 29 of 30 shots en route to an impressive 3-1 road victory. The Russian netminder will look to stay dialed in and pick up his first win of the postseason in a home matchup with a Columbus offense that averaged 3.00 goals per game on the road this campaign, ninth in the NHL.
News: Domingue (lower body) is in the projected lineup, likely as the backup goalie, for Wednesday's Game 1 against Columbus, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.
Impact: Domingue was dealing with a lower-body injury towards the end of the regular season, but his return to practice Monday and the subsequent demotion of Edward Pasquale to the minors all but confirmed he'd be ready for Game 1. However, it would almost certainly take an injury to Andrei Vasilevskiy for Domingue to get the starting nod at any point this postseason.
News: Callahan (undisclosed) isn't expected to play against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday for Game 1 of the conference quarterfinals, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: It appears that Mathieu Joseph will slot in on the fourth line right wing for the Bolts rather than having the team push Callahan while he continues to deal with the mystery issue. Look for Callahan to be reevaluated ahead of Game 2 on Friday.
News: Stralman (lower body) is still in consideration for action during the conference quarterfinals against the Blue Jackets, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: It's already been determined that Stralman will miss Game 1 on Wednesday, but the defenseman rounding out his fifth year with the Bolts reportedly skated on his own ahead of the playoff opener. Once healthy, Stralman -- who fashioned two goals and 15 points over 47 regular-season games -- could be a sneaky option in playoff pools since the Bolts are the odds-on favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
News: Stralman (lower body) won't be in the lineup for Wednesday's Game 1 against the Blue Jackets, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: According to coach Jon Cooper, Stralman is making progress in his recovery from a lower-body injury, but he'll have to wait for Friday's Game 2 for his next opportunity to rejoin the lineup. Once given the green light, the veteran blueliner will likely replace Dan Girardi on the Lightning's top pairing.
News: Hedman (upper body) practiced again Tuesday and indicated afterward that he's feeling fresh ahead of Wednesday's playoff opener against the Blue Jackets, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports. He will play against the Blue Jackets in Game 1 on Wednesday, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Hedman's full participation in practice again Tuesday suggested Hedman would make his return, and coach Jon Cooper confirmed that was the case after the session. While he's had a slightly down year in the form of 54 points over 70 contests, the output still ranks Hedman among the top 15 defensemen in the league. He should be a big piece for Lightning in the playoffs and again in 2019-20.
News: Johnson finished the season with 29 goals and 47 points in 80 games.
Impact: Last season, Johnson struggled in the postseason. But his previous two years, he delivered 40 points in 43 games. Johnson could deliver sneaky fantasy value in postseason formats.
News: Callahan (undisclosed) was not on the ice at Monday's practice, reports NHL.com.
Impact: Head coach Jon Cooper said Callahan's removal from Saturday's game after just four minutes was "precautionary" and that he hoped the winger would be at practice Tuesday. Game 1 against Columbus is Wednesday.
News: Stralman (lower body) was not on the ice for Monday's practice, reports NHL.com.
Impact: Stralman returned from a lower-body injury on April 2 and played in two in games, but sat out the season finale on Saturday. Coach Jon Cooper would not say if Stralman had suffered a setback, stating only that "He's (Stralman) just working through things. It's tough for him." He sounds doubtful for Game 1 on Wednesday, but we'll know more closer to game time.
News: Domingue (lower body) practiced with the team Monday, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: While Domingue hasn't officially been cleared to serve as the backup against Columbus on Wednesday, the Lightning sent Edward Pasquale back down to the minors, which leaves them with just two netminders on the roster. Domingue probably has played in his final games this season, in which he went 21-5-0 with a .908 save percentage. If the 26-year-old gets into a playoff game, it would likely be due to an injury to starter Andrei Vasilevskiy.
News: Pasquale was reassigned to AHL Syracuse on Monday.
Impact: Pasquale's demotion is a clear indication that Louis Domingue (lower body) will be ready to serve as the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy for Game 1 against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Pasquale will return to the Crunch, for whom he posted a 25-12-3 record and 2.37 GAA. The netminder will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely have to move on from the Lightning organization if he wants a shot at the 23-man roster.
News: Hedman (upper body) was a full participant for Monday's practice and is "looking encouraging" for Wednesday's Game 1 against Columbus, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
Impact: Hedman hasn't seen the ice since March 30. The Swede will be an important piece if the Lightning want to win the Stanley Cup, as Hedman produced 54 points in 70 games this campaign. The fact that he's practicing is a positive sign for his possible return Wednesday, but as always, check back later in the week for an official word from the team.
News: Sergachev (rest) was a full participant for Monday's practice, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Sergachev was rested for Saturday's game against the Bruins and is expected to play in Game 1 against the Blue Jackets. The 20-year-old will likely resume his normal role after producing 32 points in 75 games this year.
News: Point (rest) suited up in Monday's practice, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Point was held out of Saturday's season finale against Boston in favor of rest, and is expected to play in Game 1 of Tampa Bay's series against Columbus. The 23-year-old was an absolute beast this campaign, racking up 92 points in 79 games. He is expected to be a top fantasy option at the center position for the postseason.
News: Coburn scored a goal and added an assist Saturday in a 6-3 win over the Bruins.
Impact: Coburn has stepped up in the absence of Victor Hedman. He finishes the season with four goals and 19 assists in 74 games. Coburn isn't fantasy material despite delivering a pair of two-point games in his last four. He's far more valuable as a crease-clearer on the ice.
News: Pasquale earned the win Saturday with a 30-save performance over Boston. The final score was 6-3.
Impact: He has been solid this week, going 1-1 with a .910 save percentage. Pasquale is a seasoned minor-league veteran living a dream with the best NHL team in a long, long time. His NHL debut came in December and this was just his third start. Great story for Pasquale.
News: Callahan (undisclosed) left Saturday's game against Boston early in the second period and did not return.
Impact: We're not sure what happened. All we know is that his last shift was three seconds long. Callahan has a long history of injuries, and the timing of this one is awful for the winger. He's already a fringe player for the Bolts, but his gritty game fits the postseason.
News: Miller picked up two assists in Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Bruins.
Impact: He finishes the season with 13 goals and 47 points in 75 games. Miller tied his career mark in assists (34) Saturday and sits poised to make a difference this postseason.
News: Cirelli scored a goal and added an assist in Saturday's 6-3 win over Boston.
Impact: Nice season for the 21-year-old rookie. Cirelli averaged just under 15 minutes of ice time this season on a stacked Lightning team. He delivered 19 goals and 39 points, but remarkably notched five shorthanded goals. Cirelli is already an outstanding two-way player at a very young age. The scoring likely will only get better with each year, just like his fantasy value. Keep him in mind for dynasty drafts come 2019-20.
News: Kucherov scored a goal and an assist in Saturday's 6-3 victory over Boston.
Impact: Drop the mic. Kucherov just broke the record for most points (128) in a single season by a Russian-born NHLer. Alexander Mogilny held the record (127), set in 1992-93. Last game, Kucherov broke Joe Thornton's record for the most points in a season during the NHL's salary cap era (125 in 2005-06). That year, Jumbo Joe not only won the Art Ross, but also took home the Hart as the league's MVP. Come June, we'll know if Kucherov can match that ... and perhaps add a big silver chalice named Stanley to the mix. Great season.
News: Stamkos scored his 45th goal of the season in Saturday's 6-3 win over the Bruins. It came shorthanded.
Impact: That's a shortie in back-to-back games and this one set a new career mark in points (98). The two shorties illustrate the growth in his game, as Stamkos has worked hard on his faceoffs to earn the time killing penalties. He had last scored shorthanded in the 2015-16 season. Stamkos looks primed and ready for a long playoff run.
News: Domingue (lower body) is not in net for Saturday's game against the Bruins, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Eddie Pasquale will take those duties Saturday, likely suggesting Domingue is still battling his lower-body issue. Even if he's healthy for the playoffs, there is no guarantee he will dress as the backup ahead of Pasquale, and Andrei Vasilevskiy will start the duration of the team's run assuming he's healthy.
News: Point won't play Saturday against the Bruins for the regular-season finale, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports. It appears that he's merely being rested ahead of the playoffs.
Impact: Point is far too valuable for the team to risk him getting injured in a rather meaningless contest. The burgeoning center experienced a rocket launch to fantasy stardom in his third season, with Point dropping 41 goals and 92 points -- not to mention 35 power-play points -- over 79 games. Barring a significant injury, there's no reason to believe that he'll trail off in the postseason, and fantasy owners are sure to go after him with an early round pick in drafts during the fall.
News: Sergachev (rest) won't be in the lineup for Saturday's game against Boston, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports.
Impact: The Lightning are locked into the No. 1 seed in the East, so there's no need for them to risk Sergachev suffering an injury in a meaningless contest. The 20-year-old blueliner will return to his usual role for Game 1 of Tampa Bay's first-round series.
News: Pasquale will start in the season finale versus host Boston on Saturday afternoon, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Pasquale can look back fondly on his debut season, even though he only will end up with three starts. After all, we're talking about a 28-year-old goalie who finally ascended to the big stage after several seasons honing his craft in the minors. Pasquale reportedly will be countered by Tuukka Rask in this one.
News: Girardi (lower body) will rejoin the lineup for the regular-season finale Saturday against the Bruins, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Girardi wasn't expected to return prior to the postseason, but it appears he's recovered a bit ahead of schedule and will get in a tune-up game beforehand. The veteran defenseman owns just 15 points through 61 contests, so there's little to point to in terms of fantasy upside despite him playing on the best offensive club in the league.
News: Vasilevskiy made 29 saves in Tampa's 3-1 win over Toronto on Thursday.
Impact: His 39 wins lead the league, a title he will win for the season. Vasilevskiy sits third in save percentage (.925) among goalies with at least 40 starts, and fifth in GAA (2.40) in the same group. He now has a chance to carry his team through June.
News: Sergachev picked up an assist in Thursday's 3-1 win over Toronto.
Impact: Sergachev has stepped up in a big way with Victor Hedman sidelined -- he has seven points, including six assists, in his last five games. His overall numbers look low relative to his rookie season, but it's clear his game has really grown. Fantasy owners should file his name away for next season and maybe sneak him onto their rosters.
News: Stamkos scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist in Thursday's 3-1 win over Toronto.
Impact: Remarkably, it was just the fourth shorthanded goal of his career. Stamkos has 97 points (44 goals, 53 assists) in 81 games this season. That equals his career best from way back in 2011-12. Stammer still has an outside shot at the century mark if he has a big night Saturday.
News: Kucherov scored a goal in Thursday's 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs.
Impact: It was his 40th goal of the season -- that's the second time in the last three years that he's hit that mark. And he tallied 39 in the other year. Kucherov has one more game to add to his 126-point NHL scoring lead.
News: McDonagh picked up two assists in Thursday's 3-1 win over Toronto.
Impact: McDonagh has played Norris-caliber hockey all season and has been especially good with Victor Hedman sidelined. He now has a career-best 45 points (nine goals, 36 assists) and a plus-37 rating.
News: Domingue (lower body) skated in full gear following practice Thursday, but won't rejoin the lineup versus Toronto, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: While the Lightning would certainly like to have Domingue available just in case, he won't be getting any starts in the postseason over a healthy Andrei Vasilevskiy. The 26-year-old Domingue went 21-5-0 with a 2.88 GAA in 26 outings this season and would prove a capable fill-in should he be needed in the playoffs.
News: Vasilevskiy will patrol the road crease for Thursday's game against Toronto, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Vasilevskiy hasn't been his usual self as of late, going 3-2-0 along with a 4.00 GAA and .875 save percentage in his last five starts. He will be tasked with slowing down the league's fourth-best offense in terms of goals per game (3.50). The Russian has a league-leading 38 wins, and will have a good chance to hold that title with just two regular-season games remaining.
News: Girardi was on the ice for practice Thursday for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury March 7, Lightning radio analyst Caley Chelios reports.
Impact: Girardi isn't expected to make his return until the playoffs fire up, but his presence on the ice is an encouraging sign that he should be ready early in the postseason. The veteran blueliner has collected just 15 points over 61 games this season, leaving him off the fantasy radar in many playoff pools.
News: Stralman went minus-1 and blocked three shots in Tuesday's loss to the Canadiens.
Impact: Stralman made a return after a 12-game absence due to a lower-body injury. The Lightning were caught flat by a playoff-hungry Canadiens team, and Stralman's plus-minus rating suffered. Nevertheless, he still sits at a plus-11 on the campaign and has 70 blocked shots in 46 games.
News: Stamkos lit the lamp in Tuesday's loss to the Canadiens.
Impact: Stamkos centered a pass to the slot, but it bounced off a defender's skate and past Carey Price for the game's opening score. The 29-year-old pivot now has eight goals and six assists in the last eight games to total 43 tallies on the season. He's hitting his stride right as the playoffs are on the horizon.
News: Pasquale allowed four goals on 45 shots in Tuesday's loss to the Canadiens.
Impact: With the team playing the second game in as many nights and Louis Domingue (lower body) on the shelf, Pasquale got his second start of the season. The game was meaningless for the Lightning, but Pasquale still showcased a solid effort. He's not expected to get another start for the remainder of the season.
News: Stralman (lower body) will play in Tuesday's game versus the Canadiens, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports.
Impact: Stralman hasn't played in the last 12 games, but he'll finally return to the second pairing with Mikhail Sergachev. The 32-year-old blueliner has modest offensive upside with 17 points through 45 games this season, and he doesn't consistently receive power-play minutes.
News: Pasquale is slated to start in Tuesday's game against the Canadiens, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Impact: It will mark the second career appearance for Pasquale, who stopped only 19 of 24 shots but still managed to pick up the win in his NHL debut back in December against the Red Wings. The 28-year-old will likely stick around with the parent club so long as top backup Louis Domingue continues to deal with a lower-body injury. With the Lightning already having secured the Presidents' Trophy, it's possible that Pasquale could pick up an additional start beyond Tuesday as the team looks to give extra rest to top netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy prior to the playoffs.