Brayden Point for Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals

After battling in the first two competitions of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, Brayden Point will not play for the Lightning in Game 3 against the Colorado Avalanche.

In the absence of Point, it looks like Riley Nash returns to the Lightning range.

Briefly during Game 2, the Lightning charged Brayden Point, Steven Stamkosand Nikita Kucherov. It didn’t stick, and nothing was really stopping the Avs. (Although the Lightning should hope that a change of venue [and altitude] can change the rhythm.]

For starters, the Lightning seems to ride with a topline of Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. When it comes to games, it’s relevant to look at how this line approaches things, as well as the defensive trio of Antoine Cirelli, Alex Killornand Brandon Hagel. Riley Nash takes over as fourth line.

With the Lightning missing Brayden Point for Game 3, the Avalanche are dealing with their own injury issues. Nazem Kadri isn’t ready to return yet (if he even will in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final). Andre Burakovskyis also out for Game 3.

Lightning will obviously miss Brayden Point in Game 3, but injury-free makes sense

As the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals approached, it made sense to see a big thing swinging toward Tampa. It was a return from injury. While the Avs lacked Kadri, the Lightning recovered Point.

Of course, if you’re like me, one question remains. “Sure they’re getting Brayden Point back, but will it be close to 100% for the Lightning?”

At times during game 1 you could see the skill. Limited mobility doesn’t fully compensate for hockey’s high IQ. (just look Leon Draisaitlthe incredible production of the playoffs by pain.)

Still, mobility is a big part of Point’s game. Against a teeming Avalanche team, Point and the Lightning were really fighting.

Maybe it’s better for Point to rest. It may be wiser to close it completely until next season. We’ll see how that plays out as this series goes on, but he’s at least unavailable for Game 3.

Robert M. Larson