MONTREAL CANADA - OCTOBER 13: Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate the game winning goal by Ryan Malone #6 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on October 13 2010 in Montreal Quebec Canada. The Lightning defeated the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Wait. They won by a goal instead of losing by a goal? I think this new season might take some getting used to.
Someone has mentioned on last night's game thread that it seems as if this team and its coaching staff have been playing together forever already. And it does sort of seem that way. Guy Boucher doesn't act like a first-time NHL head coach - particularly since the few times I've seen him talk he's already got that long suffering exasperated look of "what are you going to do?" that all coaches seem to get by mid-season. And the team certainly appears to have bought into his system, which is a nice change.
Though, I do wonder if this team has the long term stamina to keep up Boucher's grueling pace for the entirety of the season?
More thoughts and video highlights are below the fold.
The nicest thing to see at the end of this game, besides the score, was the shot total. The Lightning had 48 shots for the game. Last season, they'd let 48 shots hit their goalie. That's a big difference, not just statistically but mentally. Teddy Purcell, who had an outstanding game, had eight of those shots. Steven Stamkos had eight shots as well.
Another player who had a very good game was Victor Hedman. He was a difference-maker a number of times. There were flashes of the player that he's going to become, and that was exciting to see. Despite him faking a hand injury to draw a penalty in the third period. The Lightning seriously got away with one there, since Hedman's not quite that good an actor.
Perhaps the nicest part of the game for us at Raw Charge were the number of Philadelphia Flyers fans - and one lone Detroit Red Wings fan - that kept us company during the game on the game threads. Simon Gagne is still adored by Flyers fans, so they wanted to see how he was doing. And the Red Wings fan said that they'd adopted the Lightning as their Eastern Conference team because of Steve Yzerman, which is something I've heard from other Red Wings fans as well. So welcome all.
The Lightning are now 2-0, which despite some shaky parts of both games, is very good to see. So far, the Yzerman era is off to a great start. Let's see if they can keep that ball rolling tonight in Philadelphia.