Alright. It’s time to hit reset.
Curtis McElhinney allowed seven goals on 22 shots for the loss. Horrible. Yes, the team in front of him played poorly and gave up some pretty prime odd man rush and breakaway opportunities. But, “two out of three ain’t bad” is not a sentiment that should ever apply to NHL goaltending. McElhinney has not been good or reliable the past couple of months. Bottom line.
6:38 NSH Sissons (7), (Pitlick, Josi)
8:31 NSH Josi (5), (Grimaldi)
13:50 NSH Arvidsson (9), (Johansen, Harpur)
0:41 TB Point (17), (Hedman, Sergachev)(PP)
8:09 NSH Grimaldi (9), (Johansen, Arvidsson)
11:28 TB Gourde (15), (Cernak)
14:34 NSH Jeannot (1), (Trenin)
18:34 NSH Granlund (11), (Pitlick, Cousins)
This sure does appear to be the case of a tired team closing out a road trip showing up to a rink completely unfocused and getting embarrassed. That has to have been one of the worst games Victor Hedman has played since he was a rookie and there weren’t a helluva lot of other players on the team that exactly cloaked themselves in glory either. It’s time for a reset. This is the third or so game in the past few weeks where the Lightning have gotten absolutely smashed and I get they’ve been dealing with injuries and shuffling the roster accordingly. I get that Victor Hedman’s probably been burning the candle at both ends with how much IT load they’ve been giving him. And he and a lot of other guys are probably more banged up than we know from this silly compressed schedule. And, for the record, I hope the NHL is never ever foolish enough again to try this playoff-style pacing in a regular season campaign because I don’t think it’s yielding a very good product.
But, the bulk of the remaining 15 or so regular season games are at home. The roster is healthy enough that the only regulars out right now are Stamkos and Rutta and it sounds like Stamkos may be back in a few games. You want to have some kind of momentum or rhythm or at least some damned confidence going into the playoffs and this is what these last 15 or so games need to do. Set the tone for a title defense instead of looking like a tired, disinterest, paper tiger.
Mitchell Stephens was -2 with 1 shot in 9:51 in his return to the big club from injury. He was also 25% on four draws.
Ross Colton was -1 with 1 shot in 10:32. He was also 18% on 11 draws.