But having a center step into the lineup and contribute is a necessity, and if he's getting the opportunity to play next to Martin St. Louis and with Alex Killorn, that further propels the expectations.
Brett Connolly isn't doing that.
And today, the Lightning announces that Brett Connolly is going back to the Syracuse Crunch:
Yzerman on Connolly:"He's struggling to find his game. .. He's not getting things accomplished. We just feel it's better for him to go back"— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) November 22, 2013
The Lightning hasn't shown immediately how they plan to adjust the lineup after Connolly was optioned back to the Syracuse Crunch today, but if Pyatt is not good to go tonight I assume an 11/7 roster split (with Sustr and Barberio playing) and multiple players seeing ice time at the top line (meaning Nate Thompson, Tyler Johnson and Valtteri Filppula). That's just a deductive assumption on my part, though.
I could be wrong.
Ben Bishop should be back in net tonight, but with how the team is playing - it really should be a moot point. Tampa Bay has been lit up during the road trip regardless of who is in net, giving up 6, 5, and 5 to their previous three opponents.
Tonight's game is the end of the season series with the Ducks. The Lightning played this game all of eight days ago and this preview still is applicable in a few ways, if not in the standings part. The big difference being that the number of Syracuse Crunch alumni participating in the game has dropped with the Connolly demotion.
Other Game Coverage:
- Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview
- Full coverage on SB Nation