Anyone who watched the Lightning go down three-to-zip against the Capitals on Wednesday should not be surprised by their 8-2 loss against the Devils on Friday. The only reason they won the game at MCI Center was due to inconsistent calls by the referee. The Caps’ disallowed goal (Willsie) was pretty much the same as the Bolts’ second goal (DiMaio in the 2nd).
The Caps played as well the Bolts that game, even if the box score shows half as many shots on goal. It never should have gone to a shootout. I was glad, however that the Lightning finally won a game in D.C. They’d lost the last 13 games at MCI.
Speaking of shootouts, the Rangers should have kicked the hell out of the Caps last night in NYC. But, it went to a 15-round shootout because Olie Kolzig was godlike in net against the penalty shots. That final Marek Malik shot was pretty freakin’ sweet, though.
My point is: While the St. Pete Times declares “The Lightning is back,” they must mean that the Lightning is back to their days of inconsistent play and taking “lesser” opponents too lightly; cross-reference the Caps game. On the other side of that coin, the Capitals are playing well… dare I say above expectation? Sure, they’ve lost four in a row as of tonight’s loss to the Sabres, and Alex Ovechkin is in a “scoring slump” by way of four assists in four games, but those last four games were lost by one goal, two games by shootouts. As Kolzig warned before the season started: “We’re better than people think.”
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari