TAMPA - Not to say these statistics are a precursor of what's to come for the Lightning, but stats don't lie.
I've done a bit of research and found that the Lightning have for the past four seasons, treaded water at best before the trade deadline which comes today at 3pm.
Here's what I researched going back to the last five games before the deadline, four for this season because of the Olympic break.
- 2010-2011: 3-2 leading into deadline, 9-11 after garnering 24 points (deadline Feb. 28)
- 2011-2012: 3-2 leading into deadline, 10-10 after garnering 21 points (deadline Feb. 27)
- 2012-2013: 2-3 leading into deadline: 3-10 after garnering 9 points (deadline April 3; strike shortened)
- 2013-2014: 1-3 leading into deadline which is 3 p.m. on Wednesday
It just seems every year around this time in recent seasons the Lightning don't play their best hockey. Too much attention is paid to the trade deadline and don't kid yourself, the players are bothered by it. It's human nature.
Marty St. Louis's rumors caused a barrage of negative waves. While Marty played well for most of the recent four game road trip, the Lightning won only one game with the lead in all four!
I know it's hard to win on the road and this road trip was a tough one from an opponent standpoint. But come on, 2 points to show for it?!
Head Coach Jon Cooper has to be furious with the Bolts play in the second and third periods of each of their three recent losses.
Right now, they are only five points in the clear in the playoff picture. IE: they better use the 14 of 20 at home to their advantage.
Stammer is on his way back. Plus, an unsung player who means a great deal to the Lightning offensive attack is Valterri Filppula. They need him. He's a gamer.
To be honest, Ben Bishop hasn't been his best, but he hasn't received much help lately form his defense or penalty kill unit.
This stretch run has become far more exciting than we anticipated. We'll see what the post trade deadline play brings to bear.
If recent history is an indicator... let's hope it's at least as good as 10-10 finish in 2011-2012, or... let's not even think about it.
It high time these Lightning get back into the playoff picture.
Only one post season appearance in the past six years. That one ended one goal short of a return to the Stanley Cup final in 2010-2011 season under Guy Boucher.