Is it just me or does it seem as if watching Lightning games has become a grasping competition by Rick Peckham and Bobby Taylor when it comes to bright spots? Heck, let me go further and blame producers as for the umpteenth time since preseason the Lightning will be broadcasting a Chris Gratton piece, referencing his status as a former Kitty.

Here we are, with the Lightning in a 2-1 hole during the first period and Rick and Bobby were musing several times that the Martin St. Louis opened scoring. More talk about Marty -- he scored the opening goal! -- more talk about that opening goal by St. Louis and an overall neglect of what was going on, on ice. Then, chip in references to Saturday's game against the Thrashers: repetitive talk about how well the team played, how great the team played, what a great effort by the Lightning.

To steal a line from Jim Rome: Scoreboard! 6-4, on the losing side, ultimately is a failing effort.

Sometimes you gotta face facts that things aren't bright and rosy. Of course, this gets blurred a bit too often on TV and through the media. In some of the losses this season, the effort has been there along with consistent errors in how the Bolts move the puck -- slogging ahead with razzle-dazzle attempts when the passing lanes have been clouded, if not closed. This further infuriates me when Bolt forwards decide to be selfless and dish off the puck instead of finishing a drive to the net or taking the shot. Yes, selflessness on ice will pay off if you're able to deceive the goalie on a one-on-one, but how many times have the Lightning been in a position to do thisso far this season? Or more importantly, been in a position where an opposing defensiveman or forward isn't in position to swipe the puck and ruin the play?

Another disappointing loss tonight where effort came up for naught. Effort can be trumpeted all over the land, but it comes down to wins and losses because there are no points for moral victories in this league... and the Lightning aren't supposed to be a team vying for moral victories alone to begin with. Bobby Taylor can say this is really gotta be disappointing because the Lightning were playing so well... But if they capitalized on opportunities and played with a little more urgency before the final minutes of the 3rd period in Miami tonight, having a late goal scored by the Panthers wouldn't have mattered.