NHL Game Night 11/6: Lightning at Rangers
When this Lightning team learns to play 60 minutes with the same urgency and work rate they showed after falling behind in the third, they'll be pretty scary to deal with.
Mike Smith allowed 5 goals on 35 shots in the game. He also came a bit unhinged at the end of the game culminating in a physical confrontation with Aaron Voros. We'll have to see if he can shrug off that late game frustration and start with a clean slate next time out.
16:09 NYR Callahan (5), (Zherdev, Rozsival)(PP)
14:23 NYR Drury (3), (unassisted)(SH)
18:36 TB St. Louis (3), (Prospal, Malik)
00:35 NYR Drury (4), (Gomez, Redden)(PP)
07:58 TBL Malone (3), (Recchi, St. Louis)(PP)
08:27 NYR Staal (1), (Zherdev, Voros)
19:32 NYR Drury (5), (Kalinin, Rozsival)(PP)
Put aside the score of this game, and just compare how the team looked in Prague against this opponent and how they looked tonight. There's significant improvement pretty much across the board, but it's still a work in progress. To me, the way to get this thing to a finished product is to just start playing 60 minutes with urgency, because when this team moves its feet it has a lot of speed and a lot of size and the Rangers really looked overmatched at times in the third period when the Lightning were pressing to try and make a comeback.
Steven Stamkos was -1 in 14:29 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and he was 40% on draws. I don't know if Coach Melrose would try this, but in order to get Stamkos out in space through the neutral zone to use his speed, I wouldn't be opposed to spot shifting Lecavalier or St. Louis with the kid. You get the feeling watching Stammer that he's close, but he needs to find a running partner to work with who has the speed to play with him. I'd also try to make sure I got Ranger or one of the other d-men who are good at making that long stretch pass out when Stammer is out.