Down, Down, Down
Plenty to say but six straight is something to dwell on. The Lightning aren't out of it - too early in the season to think that way - but right now the team's entire makeup has been in tatters.
It's scary how bad the Lightning are right now -- it goes beyond the streak. Ilya Kovlachuk scored his first goal Friday night and immediately the Lightning started to screw up, mishandle the puck, cause turnovers, etc... The cage was rattled at the end of the first and Kovy was the zookeeper. Four goals by Ilya are something to be bemoaned by the Bolts and yet heralded byt eh NHL as hope for the future and helpful for the re-emergence of the league.
But enough about the league -- we've got problems here at home.
There was a team meeting called yesterday to discuss eveyrthing, the anemic power play, the death fo the penalty kill, video was reviewed and la-de-da. You can speculate all you want (as some Lightning fans are) about what is forthcomign with the team. Soem think that a simple change in captaincy will happen and all ills will be cured, others are thinkign there are changes via transactiosn coming - a big name will depart to give mroe room under the cap for Feaster to play with, while the scant few are putting this on Tortorella's head (much like they did during the lull during 2003-04 before the Lightning's dominant run from January til June).
That still doesn't erase the big black cloud hanging over the franchise at current:
The Lightning are losing, and are under .500 for the first time since 200-02. (You do not know how odd that is to type in - knowing hwo low the team had been for so long and how high they have been flying for 2 seasons in comparison)
There are positives out there, however few they are. Vaclav Prospal continues to be dominant - notching goal number 10 on Friday night. Ruslan Fedotenko decided to make an appearence on the scoresheet as well -- working his way in for a goal versus the THrashers. The effort was soemthing that probably sparked hope through a lot of Bolt fans (including this one) before the house of cards came tumbling down near the end of the period.
The negatives are still standing, however, in the fact the defense seems in tatters... AM I the only one that misses Jassen Cullimore immensely? It pains me to see Daryl Sydor wearing #5 when, I believe, what we are lacking is the big stay-at-home defensive presence in the top four rotation. Of course the game has changed and the rules make it tougher to defend in front of the net - but I'm trying to understand if it's also supposed to make it impossible to lay a check as well?