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Lightning Fight Through Covid Issues And Now Reap The Benefits.

(Photo via Sports Net)

By Jake Ricker

The NHL has seen a fair share of their games postponed due to Covid-19 issues. It was announced yesterday, January 19th, that the NHL had selected dates for those postponed games to be played. Each team had a number of games that needed to be rescheduled, and it varied, ranging from teams like the Leafs, who had 12 total games, to teams like the Lightning, who only had three.

Most of the rescheduled games will be played in February during the time the NHL originally had open for the Olympic break. The schedule for the Bolts will be as follows for the month of February.

Essentially the Bolts are looking at a week break, a few games, and then another week break. Meanwhile, teams like the Leafs will be busy all three weeks with a regular type of workload as they make up postponed games.

The best part about these extended breaks for the Lightning is it will help them get healthy. The Lightning have only played a few games with a fully healthy lineup, and they have once again run into some injury issues. The Bolts had to play against the Kings on Tuesday night with Cernak, Rutta, Bogosian all unavailable. It's not just the defense who is banged up, as Ondrej Palat has been out for the last few games.

These gaps will allow the Lightning to be ready for the second half of the season and, perhaps most importantly, give a chance for all Lightning players to be fully healthy for the 2022 Stadium Series game in Nashville.

While it was never confirmed, rumors pointed to NHL teams being allowed to choose if they wanted to play or not when hit with Covid issues. This would help explain why the Lightning had to play even when both of their goaltenders were out against the Panthers. Whether it was the team's decision or the NHL's, though, it might actually benefit the Lightning as they now have a lot more time off in the month of February.

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