Nope, THAT was probably rock bottom.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 6 goals on 21 shots for the loss before Mathieu Garon allowed 1 on 5 shots the rest of the way. 7 goals on 26 shots is pitiful. Was goaltending the reason for the loss? No. But you can't win with a save percentage that's an eyelash above .750. Can't do it.
I'm tired of puckhandling mistakes ending up in the back of the net. I'm tired of play acting leading to pucks ending up in the back of the net. These guys need to be playing a very stripped down very focused style right now, and not circus hockey. It's a zoo between the pipes every other game right now.
TOR Macarthur (7), (Gardiner, Connolly), 00:41
TB Lecavalier (9), (Stamkos, Malone)(PP), 8:38
TOR Connolly (3), (Kulemin, Franson)(PP), 17:56
TOR Bozak (3), (Kessel, Connolly)(PP), 19:22
TOR Colborne (1), (Frattin, Liles), 17:45
TOR Bozak (4), (unassisted), 3:07
TOR Lupul (11), (Bozek, Phaneuf), 4:28
TOR Crabb (3), (Frattin, Gardiner), 14:28
It was pretty pitiful to allow a goal right off the bat. Then the team responded and looked as good on the forecheck and on the power play as I think I've seen them this season up until Victor Hedman whiffed on what probably should've been a goal off a Marty St. Louis feed, and then took an unlucky 4 minute minor, and the wheels came off. And then the wheels came off again when Roloson once again showed why he should never stray from his net. It's embarrassing. I felt like I was watching a Brian Lawton/Rick Tocchet team, not a Steve Yzerman/Guy Boucher team.
The situation is not improving to any extent I feel comfortable with. I don't think huge changes have to be made, but I don't think the old, "The answers are in the room," is working. You can't tell me the guys in Norfolk are so bad that they aren't at least worth a look to see if they can inject some fresh blood and enthusiasm into the lineup. This team just looks flat at the start of every game and I honestly wonder how anyone could argue that things would be worse with Carter Ashton or Radko Gudas or Mark Barberio getting an opportunity. You can't tell me that Blair Jones and Bruno Gervais are so much better than those players that it isn't worth even considering, and I don't give a damn how far away the organization thinks Gudas and Barberio are. If you believe they'll bite as dogs they'll bite as puppies. What's the worse that could happen? They'd give up 7 goals to the Maple Leafs?
Brett Connolly had 1 blocked shot in 11:28.
Clinical, workmanlike victory.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the win. As badly unfocused as he was in Winnipeg, he was equally outstanding tonight. Very sharp. Moved very well. Probably should have had a shutout except for the sloppy, penalty-filled, choppy ending to the game.
TB Lecavalier (7), (unassisted), 8:38
TB Connolly (4), (Moore, Bergeron)(PP), 4:08
TB Downie (2), (Brewer, Stamkos)(PP), 2:04
TB Lecavalier (8), (unassisted)(EN), 15:49
PIT Kennedy (2), (Martin, Staal), 16:49
34-18 still isn't a good shot disparity for the Lightning, and they definitely were outplayed in the first period, but this team gets the timely goal and save at home, and they've gotten the exact opposite on the road. It's a mystery as to why that is.
Brett Connolly had another goal and was -1 with 1 shot in 6:08. He was dropped to the fourth line to start the game and played sparingly, but was obviously effective in a smattering of power play shifts.
Blair Jones played 4:25. That's over $1,200 a minute for his night's work. I want Blair Jones' hourly rate, please. I'm sure the assistants run him through the gauntlet as a bubble guy when he's a scratch, and he's logged a lot of miles on buses with Springfield and Norfolk to get here, but still, it's nice work if you can get it.
Simultaneously frustrating and embarrassing.
Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss.
STL Russell (3), (Grachev, Polak), 18:51
STL Shattenkirk (2), (Steen, Langenbrunner), 19:54
STL Oshie (5), (Backes)(SH), 6:26
Yuck. The Lightning only managed 18 shots on goal because they didn't have the puck all game long. There was no forecheck and no flow. The passing was off. They had no jump. That was really hard to watch. They just got whipped tonight. That was textbook.
Brett Connolly was -1 with 3 shots in 12:50.
Blair Jones was -1 with 2 hits in 6:46. We've always been big boosters of Blair on this site, but at some point he needs to be a little more than just a plumber. He's got something to give offensively, but it hasn't shown in the past few games. At all.
Can you imagine how good this team would be if they'd play 60 minutes?
Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 12 shots before being lifted for Dwayne Roloson. Roloson bailed him out stopping all 28 shots he faced and all 4 shooters in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.
FLA Campbell (1), (Versteeg, Fleischmann)(PP), 1:49
FLA Kopecky (2), (Skille, Weaver), 13:05
FLA Santorelli (1), (Kulikov), 15:21
TB Malone (4), (Stamkos, Brewer)(PP), 16:20
TB Stamkos (10), (Gilroy, St. Louis), 17:46
TB Purcell (5), (Downie, Brewer), 8:11
Roloson, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell were the game's three stars.
My three stars would've included Steve Downie, who had the tying goal Kontos'ed from him by Teddy Purcell, and Matt Gilroy, who swooped into the zone late in the second period and then dished the perfect saucer to Stamkos to get the deficit down to 1 goal heading into the final frame.
For those who like to complain about Victor Hedman, I'll refer you to that first period as an example of why you should appreciate the young man. It took 20 minutes for the Lightning to adjust to playing without their bell cow on the backline.
I wish this team would figure out how to play a full 60 minute game. This 30-40 minutes of effort schtick is not going to keep getting them W's. The flat first periods have to stop.
Brett Connolly had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:37. He showed really good speed cranking up a 3/4 ice rush that ended up in a wraparound attempt in the third period. It'll be interesting to see that part of his game develop where he carries it more.
Blair Jones had 1 hit in 6:41. He's like an awful cacophony of legs and arms that couldn't avoid hitting you on the forecheck if he tried.