If you don’t pass well, you can’t control the puck.
If you don’t control the puck, you can’t shoot.
If you don’t shoot, you can’t score.
If you don’t score, you can’t win.
While completely rudimentary, there are some teams in the NHL that would do well to re-learn these basics. One of those teams is the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Twice the Bolts have played here in D.C., twice they’ve given away lead(s) to the Capitals, twice they’ve failed to score in overtime, and twice they’ve failed to win in the subsequent shootout… even against a backup goalie.
This is a team with irrefutable talent and chemistry—they won the Cup. A two years removed and a couple of spotty goaltenders do not form a valid excuse for their inconsistent play. One night they beat a formidable Eastern foe (the Flyers), and the next, they “run out of gas” against arguably one of the worst teams in the league.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not at all surprised that the Tampa Bay Lightning—as a franchise—are playing below expectation, and generally suck. Anyone that’s been a Bolts fan for more than a few years will recognize that familiar sting of subpar performance. I am suprised, however, that this particular Bolts squad can’t put together a solid win against a lower-echelon team.
Afterthought: The one guy on the Bolts’ team that just won’t give up is the radio guy. Jesus Fucking Christ listening to that guy simply makes the game exciting.