The real dead wood

John Tortorella went so far as to say the Lightning need to retool which is addressing the obvious. Any team that fails to make it all the way certainly need to be ready to change things around a tad or more in order to find the ideal circumstances.

The problem with the rest of the TSN article addressing the Lightning's off-season needs is that it goes right around a major problem for the Lightning that was exploited during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:

The abysmal state of special teams and suspect defense.

Oh, I am not going to try to make excuses for Burke or Grahame and play them up like they are ideal netminders. Nor am I going to talk down about the other key issue that TSN addressed: Brad Richards restricted free agency.

But the questions on defense and also on special teams have loomed over the Lightning since the pre-season. John Tortorella was not satisfied with a 6th defensiveman until later in the year as Paul Ranger stepped up during his rookie season. That doesn't even begin to account for the loses on ice with the subtraction of Jassen Cullimore and Brad Lukowich on the blue line.

Both goalies were hung out to dry at times by the defense, and lapses lead to breakdowns on special teams over and over again.

Do the Lightning plan to look for a netminder this offseason? undoubtedly. Is it their priority when retooling? I don't believe it is as much as on defense (where Pavel Kubina and Cory Sarich could both jump ship).

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