Ramblings: Lightning vs. Stars in Final, Cirelli OT Hero, Players Whose Value Has Fallen in Postseason (Sept 18)

Ian Gooding

2020-09-18

We now have a Stanley Cup Final, which gets going on Saturday.

Lightning 2, Islanders 1 OT (Lightning win series 4-2)

If you picked Anthony Cirelli in your overtime challenge, congratulations. Cirelli scored 13:18 into overtime to send Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup Final. Here's the goal, which didn't look like it went in right away. On the replay, you can see the puck went from one side of the net to the other, then trickled in.

When Jim Hughson said "bumps the slump" about Cirelli, he meant that the goal was Cirelli's first point in six games. Cirelli logged over 30 minutes in the double overtime Game 5, but his icetime was down to 17:02 with Brayden Point back in the lineup for Game 6. Cirelli is a valuable two-way contributor for the Lightning, but you'll want to be careful not to overvalue him too much in next season's fantasy drafts. He's been held to just six points (3g-3a) in 19 postseason games.

If you believe you've heard Cirelli's name as an overtime hero before, then you're right. Cirelli scored the Memorial Cup-clinching overtime winner for the Oshawa Generals in 2015. He's only 23, but he's already built a reputation for being clutch.

As for Point, his skating looked fine, but he appeared to be in pain on the bench. He had the second-highest icetime total among Lightning forwards, playing nearly 26 minutes and taking four shots. Since he also missed Game 3, he is hardly 100 percent right now. Consider him a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Cup final, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he rested. There are rumblings that Steven Stamkos could be ready sometime during the final, which is also something to look out for.

With his first-period goal, Victor Hedman now has nine postseason goals. That's the third-highest all-time by a defenseman in a playoff year, and he still has another round to play. Hedman has now scored goals in back-to-back games and has six goals over his last eight games. He also fired six shots on goal in Game 6.