Will the extended break hurt the Lightning?
When the puck drops to begin the Eastern Conference Final, it will have been nine days since the Lightning completed the sweep of the Panthers. The Rangers on the other hand will enter the series with only one day of rest after their second round series against the Carolina Hurricanes went the distance.
History is not on the Lightning’s side here as the last seven teams coming off a sweep in the previous series that faced a team that won a game 7 have all lost. We have to go back to 1999 when the Dallas Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues in the second round before the losing streak ends for teams coming off a sweep.
We have to go back even further to find the last time this trend was bucked in the semifinals or Stanley Cup Final, and that was when the Montreal Canadiens won the Prince of Wales Conference Final in 1993.
For the Bolts this time around, I think there’s every reason to believe they will find a way to win regardless of recent history trends. The leadership group of this team is exceptionally strong and the team as a whole as proven to be one of the most resilient in the salary cap era, and possibly ever, as evident by their 16-0 record after a loss since the start of the 2020 playoffs.