The bottom falls out at MSG.
Ben Bishop allowed 6 goals on 37 shots for the loss. I legitimately feel angry for Ben. It's rare your see a goaltender give up 6 goals in a night where not one is a softie, but the Lightning were that bad defensively tonight. Nothing about the effort in front of Ben was acceptable, and I would've taken him out after 40 minutes just to spare him from having to endure that mess.
4:45 NYR Nash (4), (Holden)
6:42 NYR Grabner (3), (Skej, Hayes)
7:04 NYR Vesey (5), (Nash)
18:10 NYR Miller (3), (Hayes, Girardi)
9:02 NYR Grabner (4), (Miller, McDonagh)
14:47 NYR Grabner (5), (Hayes, Miller)
16:36 TB Stamkos (6), (Kucherov, Stralman)(PP)
With a loss like this, you have to take a critical look back at everything that has occurred to this point for things to get this bad. You had a disjointed/strange training camp because of the World Cup of Hockey which robbed the team's regulars of a lot of cohesion. But, you overlooked it because you knew they had the talent on paper. You had the team falling into big holes early in games at the start of the year, but you overlooked it because they leveraged that talent to pull out points. You had the team playing loose defensively and giving up too many shots, but you overlooked it because they were getting enough quick strike goals against bottomfeeders like Toronto for it not to matter. You had a team with turnover issues in its own end not going to the traffic areas against New Jersey to get greasy goals when it needed to, but you overlooked it because they had possession and it seemed like a small adjustment. Tonight, the structure completely collapsed underneath the weight of all the bad habits that the team has accumulated over these first nine games, and you can't overlook it anymore. The number of breakaways and odd man rushes surrendered tonight were unacceptable. The lack of compete level for 50/50 pucks or back checking pressure was unacceptable. Giving up a hat trick goal on an odd man rush surrendered by a clean breakout triggered on a clean OFFENSIVE zone faceoff loss was completely unacceptable. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. The Lightning's talent isn't working hard enough AND they're not playing with the necessary cohesiveness and structure. The team desperately looks, to me, like it needs practice time that the road schedule simply has not afforded them. But, they need to find that time because they need to get back to basics in a mini-training camp. Strip it back down to the foundations and start over.
The loss means the Lightning have to win at the Islanders to close this road trip to hit 12 points for the first 10-game segment of the season. If not, they start the year in a hole to try to make the postseason which is a tremendous let down after a hot start in the win column.
Brayden Point was -3 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 15:28. He's in Tampa for the time being, but with Callahan and Kucherov returning tonight, he might eventually be earmarked for Syracuse. Bottom line, I could make a really good argument it's best in the long run for Point to be down with the Crunch playing center 20 minutes a game and giving the Lightning an option at that position moving forward over the next few seasons. In case you've missed it, Tyler Johnson was a shadow of himself last season due to his lingering injury recovery and this season he's been as elusive to find as the Sasquatch and the Lock Ness Monster. Long term cap considerations being what they are, it's fairly obvious to me Point would be a nice option to eventually replace Johnson, and the best way to optimize that option would be to get him fully trained to play the center position as a pro. He's only playing wing in Tampa because the coaching staff doesn't trust him with the defensive or faceoff responsibilities of playing center in the NHL yet. He needs to get that seasoning down in the AHL first. That's not a shot at Point at all. He's played well... well enough I would have much bigger long-term plans for the young man than pigeon holing him on the wing.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.