In 2003-04, you watched the Lightning and if there was a one-goal defict going into even the final minute fo the game, you had this sense that the Lightning still had a chance. The Lightning could lay you flat and beat the hell out of you or just barely stay with you until that final period - then come back to win it.
You don't see that in 2005-06. It's not even close.
While fans continue optimistic predictions, waiting for the Lightning to just have their lop-sided, "return to form" game, they keep getting into situations like they were in tonight: tie game going into the third, they give up a go-ahead goal and can't quite produce to tie the game one last time -- or take the victory for that matter. And almost always they are victims of the empty net goal during a failed comback attempt..
In another loss (where Rob DiMaio played like a madman once again) the Lightning left fans hanging again as they went into the 3rd period and could not convert when it counted. That's not trying to put down Hannu Toivonen's spectacular effort in goal - including a fantastic display during a flurry on the Bruin goal latein the third - and his 32 saves... This is putting down the Lightning's luck yet again.
2-1 the final at Times Palace tonight. Wayne Primeau decided to celebrate returning to Tampa with a goal. Patrice Bergeron scores the Game Winner at 12:49 of the third... Rob Dimaio was named one of the three stars of the game and Sean Burke started between teh pipes -- allowing 2 goals on 24 shots.
24 shots, two games in a row. 24 shots and still the Lightning (who have taken some 70+ shots over those two games) can't put together a win.