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So apparently the game plan was lost in the mail on its way from New York to Philadelphia and then from Philly back to Tampa. Not to worry though, things are going to be fine soon enough. Okay, so that may be a little bit of an optimistic view on things. This post-game wrap up is all about one thing; one VERY big thing.

I have lowered my expectations for this team until the point that changes are made.

Yes, gone are the days of optimistic points of view and looking at the positives in each and every single game. The Lightning are a mess right now. There is no drive, no want and no continuity to the style of game they are playing (unless lazy is a style….). That being said, I too would find it tough to get inspired if the team couldn’t find a goalie who could put up a save percentage over 0.800% in a game against the Devils. Would that be too much to ask? For this Lightning team, apparently so.

All that said, the team did fight back from two deficits tonight. The second the Devils had the two goal lead, I honestly thought I could go to sleep. Looking at past performances, was there really any thought that they were going to get the game tied? Not really. But all of a sudden we were in the middle of a tie hockey game. The Lightning had a chance! I felt like a child on Christmas morning. Was I going to get two wins in the span of three games? Of course, I then unwrapped my first present to find socks. Socks of all things. Three more goals for the Devils and this was a 5-2 hockey game.

Give the guys credit; they fought back once again with none other than Steven Stamkos leading the way with 2 goals. When you’re looking for that spark to get the team going, Stamkos is the guy to do it. He now has 18 goals on the season, and despite the team’s struggles, he is putting up fairly decent numbers.

Wait….I’m starting to sound a little optimistic here. All this fighting back talk and how we worked hard to cut leads down. ENOUGH.

A loss is a loss is a loss. There is no way ways around that. Either you win, or you lose. The Lightning are doing more of the latter right now and with the team they have, it’s simply unacceptable. There is only so much losing that a group of guys can endure before changes need to be made. Honestly, I think that point is coming for the Lightning.

The first “domino” may have fallen today with the signing of Antti Miettinen. Is he the sure fire offensive power house that the Lightning need in the top 6 right now? Probably not. That being said, he’s strung together a really nice NHL career and he can’t hurt the team right now. Any change is a good change at this point. He can give you 15 goals in a season and should fit in well with this group.

So with the domino comment having been made, let’s look at some possible moves that could be going down soon enough. Goaltending is still the biggest issue with this team. As alluded to above, when you have two guys who can’t put together a save percentage of above 0.800%, there’s a problem. It’s not even like this is a one off thing, both Roloson and Garon are off at the moment. I’m willing to give Garon the benefit of the doubt as he has had some moments this season. Unfortunately, I think Roloson’s time in Tampa is coming to a close. If a move is made, he has got to be the odd man out.

The name of Evgeni Nabokov keeps popping up in the Twitter-sphere. This isn’t really a surprise when you think about the triangle of goaltenders floating around on the island. In all honesty, it probably wouldn’t take a lot to get Nabokov right now. He’s not playing much and there is reason to believe that he’s not overly happy in New York. That being said, I don’t believe he’s the answer.

Nabokov would be a solution for the short term. He may be able to provide some stability in net this season, but in all honesty, what’s that worth right now? Soon enough we are going to have to count this year as a write off. Yes, that sounds pessimistic, and it is. The Lightning need long term stability in net. Names like Bernier and Schneider continue to pop up in conversation and I do believe that either one of those guys would be a great fit in Tampa.

One of the frequent commenters on my blogs, Norbs, mentioned Anders Lindback out of Nashville. The more I think about it, the more I would love that move. He is big, strong and a great, underrated netminder in this league. What would it cost to get him? Not as much as Bernier or Schneider; that’s for sure.

All of this said, Bernier is probably the most likely. Things in Los Angeles are getting just as bad as they are here in Tampa. Both sides could use a change. So I ask you, the readers, what’s the next move for this Tampa team? Where do we go from here? Do you consider tonight’s game a step in the right direction, or just another loss for the record books?

Thanks for reading and have a good night.

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   new   jersey   devils   miettinen  
December 13, 2011 12:29 AM ET | Delete
Only saw the first half of the game. Roloson was horrendous and deserved to be pulled. I swear, when will Tokarski be given a chance...I understand neither of the other goalies can go down without waivers, so sending one of them down is not an option, but maybe you could keep 3 goalies on the active roster and go from there. It can't really get much worse; something needs to be done, and now.
December 13, 2011 12:34 AM ET | Delete
As for the Miettinen signing, I like it. Can't really go wrong with a guy that has been a proven depth scorer in the league.
December 13, 2011 12:38 AM ET | Delete
Roloson is just brutal. It's gotten to a point where I don't even expect him to finish a game he starts. If only NHL games were 20 minutes long. Maybe we'd have a fightning chance. Or, in the case of tonight's game, 30 seconds.
December 13, 2011 12:39 AM ET | Delete
I would put Roloson on waivers if some trade or acquisition could be made. Just calling Tokarski up, I'd keep three on the active roster as you said. If he were more proven it would make sense to waive Rolly, but he's not.
December 13, 2011 12:40 AM ET | Delete
Exactly my opinion on the Miettinen move. I was honestly surprised that he hadn't been picked up earlier. Lots of teams could use a guy like him.
December 13, 2011 2:07 AM ET | Delete
Harding or backstrom from the wild wouldn't be a bad idea either?
December 13, 2011 2:11 AM ET | Delete
I like the Harding idea. As a UFA we wouldn't really have to give up anything to get him. Personally, I think Backstrom is a little too old at 33 to be the netminder of the future for this group. Harding at 27 makes a lot of sense though. Great idea
December 13, 2011 2:38 AM ET | Delete
Backstrom old?Our current goalie was around when Moses was floating down the river.
December 13, 2011 3:03 AM ET | Delete
Ahaha very true. But how many prime years does Backstrom have left at 33? Not too many. I really believe we need the young guy to come in and be the number one for many years to come.
December 13, 2011 4:44 AM ET | Delete
December 13, 2011 6:10 AM ET | Delete
December 13, 2011 6:19 AM ET | Delete
Goaltending is not the only problem, the D mut be addressed as well. The absence of Jones, Smaby, and Lundin may be hurting this team more then originaly thought. With Kubina and Clark gone at the end of the year it should free up some money but not enough to land a Big D man. Who would even be avaiable?
December 13, 2011 11:13 AM ET | Delete
Right now, I would dare to even say try and go for Mccabe at a decent price, anything would be a help right now. Ohlund needs to get back asap. As for summer UFAs, I actually have no idea, sure there's a list of impending UFA Dmen. I'm at the game on Thursday, they need to play better or else I'll flip lol.
December 13, 2011 11:20 AM ET | Delete
http://www.mynhltraderumors.com/2011/11/09/2012-nhl-free-agents-unrestricted-defensemen/there we go.
December 13, 2011 1:49 PM ET | Delete
Miettinen would get picked off...
December 13, 2011 6:48 PM ET | Delete
I'd sign McCabe at this point; absolutely. He can't hurt. I've been reading that there's a good chance Ohlund won't play for a really really long time now. That's concerning.
December 13, 2011 6:59 PM ET | Delete
Of course he would....The Jets just couldn't sign him before? Back to square one.
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Blog Archive

01 Lightning News and Notes to Start December
02 Why Bolts Must Get Into Bobby Ryan Trade Discussions
02 Breaking News: Lightning Make Minor Trade with Panthers
03 10 Bold Predictions for Rangers vs. Lightning Game
04 Lightning Lose to Rangers: My Prediction Round Up
06 Simply Embarassing: Lightning Drop 5th Straight to Islanders
08 Lightning Beat Rangers to End Losing Streak - Mixed Bag
10 The 1-3-1 Returns: Flyers Take on Bolts at Wells Fargo
11 Lightning Fall to Flyers: The Slot Looks Like a Drive-Thru
12 From Bad to Worse + Lightning Sign Miettinen
14 Lightning Talk: Defensemen to Target in Free Agent Frenzy
14 Scenario
15 Bolts Squeeze By Flames Thanks to Dominant Second Period
17 Lightning Should Make a Push for Shea Weber
18 Bolts Down Blue Jackets + Rumor Round-Up
20 Why the Lightning WILL make the Playoffs This Season
22 Lightning Embarrassed by Sharks in San Jose: U-G-L-Y
22 Tampa Bay Lightning: I Want Your Opinions
23 Bolts vs. Avalanche: A Long-Winded Game Preview
24 Bolts Lose to Avalanche in Goalie Battle + Rumor Round-Up
25 Risky Business: Victor Hedman and Other Top-5 D-Men
26 Flyers vs. Bolts Shaping Up to be a Great Game -- Preview
27 Next 6 Games Vital for Lightning + My Predictions
27 Bryzgalov Shaky as Lightning Beat Up on Flyers
29 A Tale of Two Underperforming Teams: Bolts vs. Canadiens
29 A V for Vinny, a V for Victory: Bolts Down Habs 4-3
30 Bolts/Canes Preview + HB Hotstove Response + Rumor Update
31 Lightning Defeat 'Canes 5-2 on Phil Esposito Night