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Game 33: Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks

The Bucs lost to the 49ers 7-2. Wait. That doesn’t seem right. Let me try that again….

Okay, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the San Jose Sharks 7-2.

Admittedly, I did not watch this game. Likely, not many on the East Coast did as it was a 10:30 pm start for us. And, after looking at the score, that’s probably for the best. This didn’t look like it was very pretty.

First, the good news. Or, at least, the better news. I sort of it see it as a mixed bag myself, but…Martin St. Louis played in this game, only 13 days after getting struck in the face with an errant puck. He has a broken nose and a cracked orbital bone, but he was also wearing a full cage on his helmet, a la Steven Stamkos during playoffs.

It is expected that he will keep that full cage on for about a month to let his face heal. No word just yet if he’s planning on putting on a visor or not when it comes off. Apparently, his eye – which had had a blood clot in it that has since disappeared – was good enough to see out of to play. His vision had been reported as being cloudy.

The bad news is that the Sharks scored five goals in the first period, chasing Mathieu Garon was chased out of the net after the third goal, playing only 6:21. He was the losing goaltender of record for the game, despite only playing one-tenth of it. Dwayne Roloson came in, and allowed two more goals in the following 8:26, and then another two in the third period.

Obviously, not a good night for the goalies – or, I’m assuming, the defense as well. The Lightning managed a goal-free second period both defensively and offensively. But, as head coach Guy Boucher said after the game, by then, it was already too late.

Dominic Moore scored a goal towards the end of the first period, and St. Louis scored halfway through the third.

Lightning game stats of interest: Moore was 7 of 9 (78%) in the faceoff circle, but the team only won 43% of their total faceoffs. They were outshot 43-24, but the shots were pretty well distributed amongst all of the players for the Lightning; four had three shots on goal each, and three had two shots each. Despite having had seven goals scored on them, no one was worse than a -2 on the night – and only two of those goals came while the Lightning were down a man on the penalty kill. Even blocked shots and hits were generally well distributed among everyone.

All in all, looking the statistics over, it could have been worse, even with being out-scored by five goals. A lot worse, actually. There was no one particular player or group of players that were particularly awful. This was an entire team effort that just did not work. To put it simply, they didn’t have a bad game; they were just out-matched – especially in the first period. And, also likely, this stupid luck of theirs this season has continued.

But then, the Lightning also just do not play very well on the West Coast, for whatever reason.

Their next game is at the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, 23 December. Game time is 9 pm Eastern. The Raw Charge game thread will open up at 8:30 pm. Come join us.

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