1. Lightning

Joe Smith's takeaways from Lightning-Maple Leafs

Published Jan. 2, 2018

Incredible tribute to late Leafs legend Johnny Bower before Tuesday's game. There was an extensive video on the JumboTron, with Bower's entire family on the ice in No. 1 jerseys. The entire crowd sang Oh Canada to wrap it up. Well done.

Leafs coach Mike Babcock was the latest coach to bring up Brayden Point unprovoked. There's a reason Point, 21, is gaining so much respect around the league. He leads Tampa Bay's shutdown line that plays some of the most important shifts. Tuesday meant a lot of Auston Matthews.

The Lightning's two summer free agent signings had a big impact. Defenseman Dan Girardi saved a goal by thwarting an early 2-on-1. Then, on the Lightning's first goal, wing Chris Kunitz made it all happen with his forecheck and strip of goalie Frederik Andersen. These are the type of players who could loom large in a playoff run.


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