NHL Game Night 11/13: Red Wings at Lightning

Not. Even. Close.

DET-4
TB-3

Olaf Kolzig allowed 4 goals on 39 shots in the loss.

First Period
14:09 Recchi (3), (Krajicek, Vrbata)
18:19 TB Jokinen (6), (Meszaros, Ranger)(PP)

Second Period
01:33 DET Datsyuk (5), (Lidstrom, Hossa)

Third Period
01:38 DET Zetterberg (10), (Franzen, Hossa)(PP)
02:30 DET Samuelsson (3), (Datsyuk, Kronwall)(PP)
09:21 DET Franzen (7), (Zetterberg, Samuelsson)
15:42 TB Pettinger (1), (St. Louis, Prospal)

The Lightning were outshot 39-18 in the game.

When the Detroit Red Wings come to town, it's an opportunity for every other team to see how they measure up. Whether you like Detroit or not, they have been almost inarguably the most successful franchise in hockey for more than a decade. They have a system and a program, and it doesn't matter who the players are or even who the coaches are, they win hockey game. That's how they could absorb the losses of Hall of Fame caliber players like Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan without skipping a beat. They are the measuring stick.

In the 2003-2004 regular season when the Lightning scratched a clawed their way to a point against Detroit in a very evenly matched contest between what would eventually become the first and second highest point totals in the league, it became very clear the Lightning were a legit contender for the Stanley Cup they hoisted at the end of that season. Tonight? Not. Even. Close. Yeah, I know it was a one goal game on paper, but when you get outshot by more than a 2:1 ratio and get completely outclassed in the final frame when you entered the period with a one goal lead to protect, it shows that you're miles behind the big dogs.

Now the Lightning have their first three game regulation losing streak of the season, and one has to wonder if the scenario we wondered about this summer on Bolt Prospects is potentially about to come to pass. Will the organization pull together, or does this all degenerate into a circular firing squad? Honestly, I think there's only two people who can really pull this out of the gutter right now: Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. This is their team and it's been their team for years. The solutions clearly aren't coming from the front office or the coaching staff, so they need to come from inside the room from the team leaders.

Steven Stamkos was -1 in 9:51 with 1 hit and was 40% on draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.