The week ahead is going to be an important one for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tomorrow, the final week of the regular season gets started and the Lightning prepare for the regular season finale.
To say that the Bolts have had a tough time since they clinched their berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs is a bit of an understatement. In fact, they have not been able to pull out a win since their 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, April 1st at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
If the Lightning wants to find themselves in a favorable position in the post season they are going to have to start bringing home some points. With only four games left in the regular season, there is no time like the present to get started.
This all starts tonight when the Lightning defend home ice against Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Much like the Lightning, the Maple Leafs have found themselves in a bit of a skid themselves. This is an opportunity for the Lightning to step up their game and take it to the next level. Of course, with a sniper like Kessel who has been on fire this season, that may be easier said than done.
From there, the Lightning move on to former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier and the Philadelphia Flyers. Games between these two teams have always been very physical. If the Lightning want to overcome the Flyers they are going to have to be aggressive, have good puck control, and not get sucked into unnecessary penalties.
After the Flyers, the Lightning will host Nathan Horton and the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final Lightning home game of the regular season. The Blue Jackets are one of those teams that are on the cusp of a playoff spot. You can bet that they will be playing with everything they have in order to make sure they find themselves playing in the post season, so this will definitely be an interesting game for the Lightning.
Of all teams to have hit a skid, the Capitals are not one of the ones you would have immediately thought of. Unfortunately for them, they have found themselves on the business end of a few losses as of late. While the Caps have not yet been mathematically eliminated from the post season as of yet, they would have to win throughout, and a lot of teams would have to lose to make it happen.
However, stranger things have happened in the National Hockey League. The Lightning really need to focus on this game and come home with the two points; not so much for the points themselves, but the momentum heading into the post season.
If there is anyone who is skilled at overcoming adversity, it is the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have all the tools they need to get the job done. The only thing left for them to do is to put one skate in front of the other and put the puck on the net.
What do you think the Lightning will need to do in order to end the regular season on a high note? Which player do you think will make the biggest impact in the final four games of the regular season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.