Cernak finished his first postseason with three assists in four games. He was the best Bolts defender on the ice. That's heady praise for the rookie and it wasn't just because the rest of the blue line seemed like a shell of itself. Cernak played smart, poised hockey with great vision and a clear focus in his own zone. This guy is going to be a good one.
Cernak went plus-1 and dished out six hits in Monday's win over the Senators. The rookie is average offensively with 14 points through 55 games, but he is an excellent defensive asset with a plus-25 rating and 191 hits in that span. The 21-year-old is currently getting work on the top pairing since Victor Hedman (upper body) and Anton Stralman (lower body) are sitting out, but that workload likely won't continue into the postseason.
Cernak (undisclosed) will play in Ottawa on Monday. Cernak was shaken up after fighting Washington's Tom Wilson on Saturday but his departure from the game appears to have mostly been precautionary. The rookie blueliner is currently stuck in a six-game scoring drought.
Cernak (undisclosed) did not return to Saturday's game. He fought Tom Wilson at 12:13 of the third period. After the game, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Cernak "is going to be OK." He won't need reevaluation, unlike teammate Victor Hedman, who left following a hit to the head.
Cernak had to go to the locker room after fighting Washington's Tom Wilson on Saturday. Cernak bit off a bit more than he could chew in challenging Washington's resident tough guy as he attempted to get a trailing Tampa Bay team fired up in the third period. With the Lightning losing Victor Hedman to an upper-body injury earlier in the contest, they're quite thin on defense at the moment. If Cernak doesn't come back to this one, his next chance to return will arrive Monday in Ottawa.
Last 7 Games
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