Well, the Ranger game is now over and I suppose it’s time to go over my downright dreadful predictions. Without further ado, my post-game recap.
1. Lightning dominate the game but the score is close until the final buzzer. The Rangers are red hot but the Lightning have all the intangibles necessary to beat this team. The final score? 5-4 Lightning. Okay, so I didn’t get this one right. In all honesty, it was the Rangers night. They outshot the Lightning, out-hussled the Lightning and just plain outworked the Lightning. It wasn’t the best of games for the Bolts. They need to turn it around. Who on earth would have thought this team would be under .500 in December?
2. Steven Stamkos scores 2 goals to get him up to 12 goals in his last 13 games. So much is being made of Phil Kessel and how hot he is right now, but let’s be honest here; Stamkos is the hottest guy in the NHL by a mile. Can anyone say Art Ross? Sorry. That’s a prediction for another blog. So Stamkos didn’t score. Did I jynx him?
3. TSN’s highlight package for the game will contain John Tortorella doing his patented head shake while uttering a profanity just before the camera cuts away. Ironic how that always works out. I got this one pretty much spot on! You could tell that Tortorella wasn’t happy with either goal that got past Lundqvist tonight. He looked shaky for most of the game. Had the Lightning come on a little bit more I think this could have been a victory.
4. Victor Hedman has a great game both offensively and defensively with a +1 rating and an assist (his first of the season) to show fans, management and the coaches why he deserves that big new contract he signed. Zeroes across the scoreboard for Hedman tonight. He wasn’t great but he was far from bad. His game seems to be rounding into form. Good thing, the Lightning need him.
5. Brad Richards, Steve Eminger and Ruslan Fedotenko (all former Lightning members), will factor into the scoring either on the goal column or the assist column in the losing Ranger effort. I was close with this one. Brad Richards had a goal and an assist and Ruslan Fedotenko scored a goal. Poor old Steve Eminger…no points for him.
6. Eric Brewer will not have a minus rating in tonight’s game…WHAT?! I know, I know. It will be a surprise when this happens. Someone should alert the New York Time, or Post or whoever….just not Brooksie. I’m sure some of you laughed when I made this prediction. Heck, even I was a little skeptical. But, not only did Brewer not finish with a minus rating, he finished with a plus. It’s a holiday miracle folks.
7. Offensive depth will not be an issue tonight as at least one goal will come from an unlikely source. At this point in time, unlikely source is basically anyone not named Stamkos. I’m only kidding; at least one goal will come from someone who isn’t noted for offense. Pretty good call on this one as Downie and Pyatt both scored tonight. Downie’s not exactly an unlikely source but it would be nice to see him light the lamp a little more often.
8. Lightning special teams will once again be an issue. The power play won’t be bad but the penalty will be a huge problem in the game against the high powered Rangers. No power play goals for either team. Not really a surprise when you consider there was only three penalties called on the night. Shame, I thought I had a real chance with this one.
9. After yet another shotty goaltending performance, the goalie rumors and talk will be there in full swing. On that note, Steve Yzerman was on the radio yesterday and goaltending was one of the topics. He did not sound thrilled….Mathieu Garon wasn’t brutal tonight but there was room for improvement. You would have liked to see him hold the team in the game a little bit longer. That being said, he gave more than Roloson would have.
10. The predictions I make will most likely be wrong and I will have to suffer in shame as a result and probably cry….I didn’t cry.
Well there you have it folks, another loss. Now, 11-12-2 on the season, the Lightning need to step things up. This team is in desperate need of two wins here in the next two games. Both the Senators and Islanders pose dangerous players but don’t be fooled into thinking these games aren’t winnable.
Thanks for reading.
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