Recap: Lightning lose dumb game to Coyotes
How do you recap a 0-0 game?
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost 1-0 in a shootout to the Arizona Coyotes on the road. Brian Elliott pitched a shutout in the loss, stopping all 26 shots he faced from the bad-but-trying Coyotes. While on the other end Connor Ingram had a good night stopping all 47 shots he faced from the good-but-not-trying Lightning and got the win in the shootout.
I’ll be frank, this is what Arizona does to teams. Often times they get blown out, but sometimes their opponent plays down to such a poor level that despite all the shots and possession, no one is going to make the play to take the lead and win the game. The motivation and pressure isn’t there. And no coach can force that out of their team when it’s against the Coyotes — because they utterly suck and are irrelevant to the league at this point in their history.
This game saw the Lightning take 28 shots on goal for 2.51 expected goals at 5v5. They added another 12 shots on four power plays for an additional 1.48 expected goals. In total, Connor Ingram is going to go home with 5 goals saved above expected, but did any of those shots ever want to go in the net in the first place?
I know this is a very nihilistic recap, but what could you possibly expect from a 0-0 game with the quality of play of the Arizona Coyotes? Between the Leafs and the Lightning, I’ve watched too many Coyotes games to know they make hockey boring and depressing. It’s basically a different sport to when the two blue and white teams I watch play each other. Different planet, different galaxy, different set of dimensions.
There is nothing to take away from this game for the Lightning. There’s no effort that should be applied to their losing performance. They know they could have been better, but how can you care against the Coyotes? Sometimes, in February with over a quarter of the season to go, you shrug your shoulders after a loss. It won’t ruin the team’s playoff hopes, or change their playoff opponent. Heck, the Leafs lost to Arizona twice this season.
It just is. And that’s how we’ll be. Just be.
On to the next one, if you can even call the last one one.
Saturday in Vegas, that’ll be a game, let’s go.