Game Night 10/8: Lightning at Canadiens

You've got a rookie goaltender in net... you've GOT to give him more than 2 goals of support. TB-2 MTL-3 On the one hand it's gratifying to see Ranger and Artyukhin be two of the best players for the Lightning tonight. On the other, it's frightening that they've been two of the best players for the Lightning both in Montreal and in Toronto. Shot totals were plenty lopsided at 34-19 in favor of the Lightning but scoring chances were pretty much even due to some thoughtless, sloppy play. Paul Ranger ended with an assist, a team leading +2, and 2 shots on goal in 15:39 of ice time. His final shift in the third period epitomized just how well he is playing at both ends of the rink, taking the body to win the puck on a Montreal dump in, keeping a puck in at the Montreal blueline for a shot on goal, then breaking up a 2-on-1 when Boyle was caught pinching to finish the shift off. Evgeny Artyukhin also had an assist and an impressive 5 hits in 17:35 of ice time. The entire rest of the team only had 6 hits combined. On the other side of the coin Nick Tarnasky only played 2 shifts tonight. 2. If that's all he's going to be used I believe the Lightning have an obligation to send him back to Springfield where he can actually play and develop. Brian Eklund stopped 16 of 19 shots faced in the loss. He was also beaten a handful of times and enjoyed the aid of the goalposts to save him. It was a rough spot to put Brian in for his premiere game and all told, he made enough saves to give the Lightning a chance at points. Again, with a rookie netminder in, just two goals is simply unacceptable in terms of support. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/ES020227.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]