Falling down to learn to rise
Ever seen Batman Begins? The first of the Christopher Nolan Batman films rebooted the franchise and told the tale of how Bruce Wayne became the caped-crusader known as Batman. An exploration of what would drive a man to do what Bruce was doing.
One of the great lines from the movie was from the trusty butler/servant/caretaker Alfred, who would address both young and old Master Wayne's failings with a simple question, which also had a simple answer:
"And why do we fall down, Master Bruce?"
"So we can learn to get back up."
Going into the season, knowing that the Guy Boucher system was going to be a learning process, it was easy to guess that the Lightning were due to have road-bump games like last night's difficulties in Sunrise against the Panthers.
In comments posted at the St. Petersburg Times, Coach Boucher was aware of them too. These remarks may have been directed at Mattias Ritola, who played his first Lightning game last night, but it also applies in the same fashion to the team.
"He hasn't had a game with us. It took everybody else five games to figure out what to do, so he's going to be all over the place. … I want him to make mistakes, and make mistakes because he's going and not because he's holding back."
The team, in general, reflected this. It wasn't a question of effort, or a question of energy... They were doing, and not holding back, yet they were making mistakes in the process.
That's where the disappointment lies: Unlike Mattias Ritola, the rest of the Lightning have played enough under Guy Boucher's system to be a little more effective in execution. They were expected to know better by now.
Ritola, playing a good deal with Ryan Malone and Dominic Moore, was minus-3 on the night. But the Moore line stood out and turned heads for the right reasons as well (energy and effort).
But why do we fall down? To learn to get back up... Last night's loss was a lesson. We'll see what the Bolts learned from it tomorrow night, when they face off against the Stars.