Four of the last five have been in the Lightning's favor -- including tonight's game in Philly which the Bolts won 4-2. However this game felt more old-school than you can see in the final score... You might catch it in the box score however.
Elbows were flying, penalties were rarely called and hands-off officiating seemed back in play... Delay-of-game and interference were in-season with refs but holding? Hooking? Whatever the case may be, the Bolts looked much like the team that swept the Flyers during the regular season in 2003-04 and not the confused and castoff band that had been playing earlier this season.
Sean Burke stood solidly in net, defending 29 of 31 shots while the Lightning got contributions from bit players on offense. Martin Cibak had a goal and an assist, Evgeny Artyukhin and Dmitry Afanasenkov eached notched assists and Rob Dimaio even got on the scoresheet.
But Burke was a difference maker in this game.. Maybe he was helped along by not facing the breakaway which seems to be his bane? Whatever the case, Sean's effort could be looked at as one of his best efforts this season (even if it's one of his only efforts). And the Bolts are now only four points removed from Carolina who lost tonight vs. the almighty Senators.
Tomorrow sees the team squaring off again versus Washington (and by the way, I'm not minding the over-regional schedule any more... It's grown on me a bit, especially with the south being more competative than I expected it this year) before returning to Times Palace to take on the New Jersey Devils on Friday... Washington has been a thorn in the Lightning's side this season and the game can be viewed as a benchmark how much better Tampa Bay is playing at current, compared to earlier this season.