NHL Game Night 1/15: Avalanche at Lightning

Time to take the cap off the pen and start writing down some preliminary plans for next season.

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Karri Ramo stopped 22 of 24 shots faced in the loss as the Lightning wasted another quality start by the kid giving him no goal support.

What's worse than getting shutout by a has been like Jose Theodore? I can't think of many things. The Lightning did well to put 22 shots on Theodore in a futile third period comeback bid, but they did so after sleepwalking through the first two periods in which the Avs outshot the Lightning 21-10.

The math simply does not favor a Lightning playoff berth at this point, and by the time Dan Boyle returns in another two weeks there likely won't be anything to play for but jobs next season.

Mathieu Darche was even in 10:03 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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Sorry if this comes off as

Sorry if this comes off as overly harsh but I just got back from the game and haven't had time to settle down.

I don't get to go to too many games anymore (not since the bandwagon bulked up post 2003) and feel like a dinosaur when describing how lower level seats used to run me $45 if they weren't given away en masse. Tonight was the first game I have been to all season since the opener vs. the Devils and I gotta be honest, it was probably the worst experience I have had at a Bolts game in nearly a decade.

It wasn't so much that they lost - that I can deal with even tough it's tough to handle, they can't win them all. Watching the first two periods (save for the Wanvig and O'Brien fights) was like watching an old-time slideshow of paint drying. Sure you had an errant check every now and then from Vinny and Lukowich, but it seemed like the guys were just phoning it in. The Avs were working their asses off and just bullrushed their way to the second goal while our guys tried to see if breathing hard and tapping blindly at the puck would serve as effective defense. Maybe I just saw it differently than most, I don't know, but I just didn't see any fire or urgency in them until well into the final period.

I could go on and on about the corny circus crap that passes as game presentation these days (sorry, im a red blooded American male but the Lightning girls annoy the hell out of me) but different people have different tastes. The Lightning were booed at the end of the second in a 2-0 game and there was a healthy number of Avs fans in attendance. I see too many "fans" worried less about the product on the ice and more about whether their attire is gaudy enough to audition for "A Night at the Roxbury 2: Chris Kattan Had Nothing Else To Do." The crowd was dead, the play was lackluster and it felt like a crappy circus (for that I can just go down to the Trop).

Sorry for the rant but I just get pissed when I hear people crying for Tortorella to be fired five minutes into the game. I get pissed when the Lightning ice the puck and people scream that it should be a penalty on Colorado. I get embarrassed when someone asks me why Khabibulin isn't starting (yes, I'm serious). Sometimes I seriously miss that period from 98-01 where you could just get free tickets walking to the Palace, lounge out in an empty section and chill out. Sure, you had to experience the awesome forces that were Jason Bonsignore, Ian Herbers, et al. but you had a lot of hardcore fans showing up regularly. Now it feels like a colder version of Ybor.

Seeing the Lightning point total so far after allowing two PP goals to a team that only had seven road PP goals ALL YEAR and giving Theodore a shutout was just sickening. I really hate to think it but Pete's right, it's likely time to just start planning for next year. That's sad.

...and what's almost as sad is that when the scoreboard announced Mike Lundin was to play in the Young Stars game, the woman in front of me turns around and says "who's that?"

Brutal/Excellent

The situation right now is brutal, but that was a great post. Excellent... just sad that it's like this.

It pretty much mirrors my game experience from a couple weeks ago or so.

You know what you're going to get, though, when you walk into the forum doors. I just try to shut out the garbage and watch the game.

Last year I went to a Kitchener-Guelph OHL game and there were absolutely no frills (or circus), just hockey. And the conversation around me was educational. Great experience *for me.*

What reflection could this be on coaching?

Being at the same game, but going to most, and not having seen a win since Boston on 12/1 (I missed the TO game), I wouldn't overlook or underestimate what effect coaching might have on the poor play. I watched a carousel of line combinations, when out of sheer frustration, or desparation Vinny L dumped the puck from his own zone, hoping for Marty to beat the defenceman to the puck and set up offensively. I've never seen this before, ever! From here it is just going to get worse. So let's just keep Torts as coach and get more Lightning Girls; otherwise I'll be going as often as you!

A lot of people called into

A lot of people called into the Duemig show today to roast Jay Feaster and even Tortorella. The popular question now is why Duemig can trash Gruden and not Torts (Duemig's point is that Tortorella is becoming flexible with his coaching philosophy - I assume he's referring to the latest "safe isn't death" comments). It got so bad that just before the show ended, Tim Taylor called in and had his say for a good 20 minutes. From what I was able to hear, these were his main points.

- If the top players quit and tune the coach out, then you've lost the locker room. According to Taylor, they aren't even close to tuning Tortorella out.

- It may have been easier on management to keep Khabibulin around if they had known how much the cap was destined to increase in later years, but it was still the right move to re-sign Marty at the expense of keeping Nikolai. Tim made it clear he didn't have anything against Nik personally but that in no way did he want to give up St. Louis.

- When it came to discussing the Denis deal, he admitted he wasn't/isn't very happy about losing Modin. Duemig mentioned that Denis had won a title in Hershey with Feaster and Taylor replied "that's a minor league title - you don't sacrifice a guy who's won a Stanley Cup title for that." He defended Feaster pretty hard on this one, and throughout the entire call, and put a lot of the blame on the scouts. Feaster's in a tough spot, according to Taylor, because he's having to do the bidding of the Davidson group while not doing anything that would upset the potential incoming ownership.

- He made a vague reference to a deal for a goaltender that wasn't approved by PSE, though I am not sure what this may have been. After the days of Roy Cummings conjuring up trade stories and getting called out by Espo, I try to steer clear of rumors until something concrete arises.

- Tim's going to skate in a few days and see how things progress, otherwise he's feeling great.

Not trying to advertise the show or sound like a secondhand reporter (I use my journalism MA as a coaster and little else) but it was a pretty intense exchange and hopefully they put it up on the podcast section this week.

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