Facing elimination in Game 5 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning won’t have Brayden Point in the lineup against the Avalanche. Meanwhile, the Avs won’t get Andre Burakovsky back in the mix, either.
No Point for Lightning in Game 5; Avalanche without Burakovsky
Both Point and Burakovsky have been limited to Games 1 and 2 so far in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Point generated an assist in a Game 1 loss, while Burakovsky collected two goals and one assist in two contests.
Clearly, each forward brings offense (and more) to their respective teams.
Remarkably, the Lightning look like they’ll have both Erik Cernak and Anthony Cirelli available in Game 5.
Game 5. #StanleyCupFinal pic.twitter.com/PSqVldONVO
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) June 25, 2022
Really, it was surprising Cirelli returned in the third period of Game 4 not long after seemingly being cut by a skate in the second:
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 23, 2022
To give you an idea of potential limitations, cameras captured Pat Maroon helping Cirelli get his jersey over his shoulder pads in the Bolts locker room.
While Erik Cernak’s situation isn’t as dramatic, he was clearly badly shaken up as the Lightning blocked shot after shot.
[What to watch for in Game 5 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final]
Although one cannot help but wonder if hockey players sometimes take things too far, they definitely deserve credit for courage here. That said, when you’re playing injured — not just hurt — there’s a cutoff point where one wonders how much of an impact they can make at less than 100-percent.
At times, Brayden Point gave off that vibe in his Stanley Cup Final appearances. As much as he can get by with a high hockey IQ, his mobility was greatly hindered.
Ultimately, it’s an inexact science. If the Lightning can keep this series alive by winning Game 5, could we see Point (or Burakovsky for the Avalanche)? Tampa Bay certainly hopes to at least have the chance.
Granted, that won’t be easy against an Avs team on an incredible tear.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.