Not so pretty picture

Tom Jones at the Times conducts one of the regular confusion jobs on records, painting by number:

THIS MIGHT SURPRISE YOU: With the Lightning scrambling to make the postseason, it seems like it has been a down season for it and goalie John Grahame .

But consider this: the Lightning needs one more victory to reach 40 for only the second time in its history. The other time was the Cup season of 2003-04 when it won 46.

The Lightning's current point total of 83, however, is fourth all-time behind 2003-04 (106), 2002-03 (93) and 1996-97 (88).

Meantime, Grahame's 28 wins are only two shy of Nikolai Khabibulin ' s club record of 30 set in 2002-03. Khabibulin won 28 during the Cup season. Daren Puppa won 29 in 1995-96, the first time the Lightning made the playoffs.

Jones does not bother to mention the grey areas. Like the Lightning's 30 losses is (at current) the most among playoff bound teams. The teams lack of OT games or shutout losses also factors in on their points standings. While the team has 39 wins, it has only 8 OT/SO losses. Though that may make you say "So what?" What it indicates is the Lightning are more prone to let the game slip away during regulation and not force overtime. In comparison, the 2002-03 Lightning team forced 16 ties and had 5 overtime loses. That's 21 points in the standings and go a long way.

John Grahame might be pushing statistical records, but don't let it fool you. The Bolts are prone to outright lose more often than force overtime play with him between the pipes and it makes a big difference. Just look at the New York Rangers record as an example. 2 more wins than the Lightning but more points, with thanks to forcing OT.

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