The Weekly Roundup
Weekly Record: 1-2
Overall Record: 2-5
Wasteland +/-: -3
Key Injuries: None
Highlight: The win against the Panthers. Last season, going into the third period down by one normally signaled a loss for the Lightning. Forty-two times they trailed after two periods and thirty-nine times the game ended in defeat. Hopefully, the come from behind victory signals that this is a team that won’t fade in the third period.
Disappointed By: Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay. Normally, I would give them another week to find their scoring touch, but in the last few games they’ve been perhaps the third best line on the team. I’m not worried about Vincent scoring goals, he’s historically been a streaky scorer. This time next week there’s a chance he could have three or four goals. Tanguay, on the other hand, has struggled. Only one lonesome assist in seven games and just six shots. He has simply not been a factor when he’s been on the ice.
Coach Tocchet has seen enough and according to the reports from the St Pete times there will be changes. Currently Tanguay has been dropped to the forth line with Jeff Halpern and Drew Miller. James Wright is called up to Lecavalier’s line as is Marty St Louis. The coach is risking breaking up his best line (also one of the best in the NHL right now) to help Lecavalier out of his goal slump.
If this shakeup doesn’t work, perhaps it’s time to try someone from Norfolk. As of right now the Bolts aren’t carrying any extra forwards. If the offense as a whole continues to struggle perhaps an injection of new blood would shake them up. A quick perusal of the stats shows that a couple of late cuts from camp are off to hot starts. Ryan Craig (CRAIGGERRS!!!) and Brandon Bochenski have both netted 4 goals a piece in the first six Admiral games.
Surprised By: The aforementioned James Wright. He’s nineteen years old and a rookie, yet he’s showing the poise of a veteran. He might not be lighting the lamp (zero points in seven games), but he’s playing with the type of grit and tenacity that the team has been lacking.
He gets his shot with Lecavalier against the Sharks on Thursday. It’s not a bad idea, sometimes offensive lines can have too much creativity. Tanguay is a skilled offensive talent, but digging the puck out of corners isn’t his strong point. Vinny can muck it up when he wants to, but if he’s battling in the corner, the chances are he won’t be scoring many goals.
Playoff Confidence: 50%. They haven’t shown the ability to beat a top tier team yet, the two teams they beat are behind them in the standings. On the road they looked out-classed against Ottawa and Pittsburgh. They have two big games coming up this week. Both San Jose and Buffalo have gotten off to strong starts and are quick, puck-moving teams. Those types of teams have given the Lightning a fit over the last two seasons.
Pet Peeve of the Week
People who tuck sports jerseys into their pants. Back when I worked at the No Limits Fun Factory the employees were allowed to show their pride by wearing their favorite team’s jersey. It sounds stupid, but we ate it up, it was right up there with a dental plan as far as perks.
I don’t know if it was because it was an IT company, but a copious amount of employees would tuck their No. 40 Alstott shirts into their khakis or jeans. Look, there are two shirts that should never be tucked in - sports jersey’s and Hawaiian shirts. So stop it…..right now.