NHL Game Night 10/16: Hurricanes at Lightning

Rock bottom, hopefully. CAR-5 TB-1 Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 19 shots for the loss before giving way to Johan Holmqvist for the third period where Holmqvist allowed 1 goal on 4 shots. The lone Lightning goal came late in the third period from Nikita Alexeev off helpers from Afanasenkov and Richardson. The odd thing is the Lightning, who looked lethargic, actually outshot the Canes 35-23. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20062007/GS020074.HTM]NHL.com[/url]. Doug Janik was even in 18:10 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot. Eric Perrin was -1 in 12:39 with 5 hits including a second period hit that touched off a large scrum as the game began to get out of hand. He was also 40% on draws. [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] played 7:08 with 2 shots and 1 hit and answered the bell initiating a second period fight with Mike Commodore. Unfortunately, the front office is essentially helpless at this point in time to make any shake up changes. Last year when the team hit rough patches early they relied on the callups of Paul Ranger, Evgeney Artyukhin and later Ryan Craig. This early in the season, with Springfield struggling so much over the weekend, there aren't any players worthy or ready there to contribute in Tampa right now. So, for the next month or so, the answers are going to have to come from inside the locker room, and in my view they are going to have to come from Brad Richards most of all. Eventually, Martin St. Louis' chances are going to start falling and Vincent Lecavalier hasn't been horrible with 4 points in 6 games. Richards, however, looks nothing like himself right now with just 2 assists and a -4 rating which which is one of the worst on the team. John Tortorella has saved most of his public venom for Lecavalier, but figuring out what is wrong with Richards may be the more crucial puzzle that has to be solved right now.