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The Lightning try not to think about trade deadline uncertainty

Diana C. Nearhos | The Lightning and Maple Leafs have points to prove on Tuesday. Why do point streaks end with an injury?
The Lightning traded for Blake Coleman, right, eight days before the trade deadline. [ROSS D. FRANKLIN | AP]

TAMPA — Just about everyone in hockey will be glued to their phones, computers and TVs on Monday. It’s trade deadline day and you never know just what will happen.

Kevin Shattenkirk, who has been traded in the lead up to the deadline twice, said he finds himself constantly refreshing Twitter on the day of. But in the days and weeks leading up, he tries to stay away from the speculation.

That’s the refrain around the Lightning’s dressing room: They all try to avoid the coverage building up to the trade deadline.

Related: Why the Lightning are skeptical of deadline rentals. Are they worth it?

“I just don’t want to think about it,” Yanni Gourde said a week before the deadline. “Just play hockey, and whatever happens (happens). It’s one of those things you can’t control. We’ll see what the teams look like after the deadline.”

There is some uncertainty among the Lightning players. Tampa Bay isn’t a seller, but someone still might leave or be added.

“You don’t want to see one of your buddies leave,” Shattenkirk said. “Someone gets traded and you don’t even get a chance to see them before they leave. They’re gone the next morning.”

The Lightning traded for forward Blake Coleman from the Devils on Feb. 16, which means someone who had already been here loses his spot in the lineup. At least one player has been hurt for each of Coleman’s first two games, so that decision hasn’t been made yet.

Sometimes your team isn’t the biggest question; other teams are. What are potential playoff opponents doing and how might that affect your team?

The Lightning’s Luke Schenn has been traded three times, once in season but not near the deadline. He said at this point nothing a team does would surprise him.

Compared with the first two times he was traded, the 30-year-old is more concerned with the off-ice ramifications of a move. He has a young son and his wife, Jessica, is pregnant with their second child.

Related: Sign up for our Lightning Strikes newsletter to get weekly updates to your inbox

“It’s a lot more difficult when you have a family,” he said. “You’re not just packing yourself and moving yourself. It’s your wife and your kids.”

So, I had a thought

• The Lightning and Maple Leafs go into Tuesday’s game at Amalie Arena with a point to prove.

The Lightning has lost consecutive games for the first time in three months. They gave up their most goals in a game this season in Saturday’s loss 7-3 to the Coyotes and matched their worst loss with the four-goal deficit.

The Leafs got embarrassed at home Saturday. Their 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes became the talk of the league when the game’s emergency backup goalie, Dave Ayres, 42-year-old Zamboni driver who had a kidney transplant 15 years ago, dressed for Carolina after its two goalies got hurt and got the win. (The home team provides an emergency backup for both teams).

Related: Hurricanes, with emergency backup, beat Maple Leafs

So two teams looking to rebound meet. The fans could be the winners.

• Should a player’s individual point streak break when he misses a game, or when he plays a game without recording a point? The NHL says the former, but I’m not so sure about that.

Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov ended their point streaks when they missed games with a physical ailment in the past week.

Point was the latest when he missed Thursday’s game in Las Vegas with the flu. His official point streak, which was the longest active in the league, ended at 11 games. He played the next game, against the Coyotes, and scored, which gives him at least a point in his past 12 games played.

Stamkos has a point in his past 14 games played, but the league recognizes a point streak of just the first 10. It’s the same for Kucherov: He had a 12-game point streak before missing a game with an injury but has at least a point in his past 16 games played.

This all makes less sense given that the league recognizes Patrick Marleau’s Ironman streak of 846 consecutive games played, though he didn’t start the season on a team and thus will not play all 82 games this year.

So, a game streak counts if you’re not on a team and miss games, but a point streak doesn’t count if you are on a team and miss a game. Okay, sure.

• Sometimes the “when” is as important as the “what.” Alex Ovechkin finally scored his 700th goal Saturday. And it was the talk of the league for only a few hours. Ovechkin’s 699th and 700th goals came last week after he went five games without one. Five hours after Ovechkin scored against the Devils to become eighth player with 700 career goals, Ayres entered the Carolina-Toronto game and seized the spotlight.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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