It has been three days since the debacle against the Sabres, and a three-day layoff couldn’t have come at a better time. The Lightning needed time to collect themselves, and three off-days did just that. A little break hopefully brought about more focus as their record home-stand continues.
Hunting season has begun as the trade deadline approaches, but so far the only transaction the Lightning have made so far was calling up Johan Harju from Norfolk. He has already recorded a goal and two assists in seven games for the Lightning this season. The goal, on December 7th, was his first in the NHL.
Harju leads the Admirals in goals with 18 and is tied for third in points with 35. Harju should be able to help hold down the fort while the Lightning get through some injuries.
Around the rest of the NHL, trades are in the air. The biggest of the three trades that have happened so far involved Mike Fisher, who was traded from Ottawa to Nashville (hey there, Carrie Underwood) for a 2011 first round pick and a conditional pick. This gives the Predators a new element of scoring, which is a department they needed some help in.
Here’s where it gets interesting: the Lightning were one of the teams interested in Fisher. Steve Yzerman has seemed to have tipped his hand a bit as to what he is looking to obtain come February 28th, and it looks like scoring.
I noted that I thought the Lightning should be looking for a large, physical, veteran defenseman at the deadline, but adding Fisher wouldn’t have hurt. The only hesitation is that the Lightning have a collection of solid centers, starting with Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier. Down through the lineup, pivots Dominic Moore, Nate Thompson, and Dana Tyrell have all been playing well too. Center is not their need.
Which makes me think (and hope) Yzerman was just looking to help the offense in general, and not a center specifically. This team rarely (if ever) has trouble scoring goals. Preventing them is a different story, and I hope that is the story Steve Yzerman will try to re-write come 3 pm February 28th.