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That was quite possibly the most embarrassing game I’ve ever seen. In fact, embarrassing isn’t a strong enough word. The Lightning were absolutely brutal tonight in a game that I considered to be one of the very key games this season. Why, why, why? How can a team come out so flat and give up so many goals in one period. A goal every 4 minutes for the Sharks? That’s what it averaged out to; absolutely ridiculous. Here’s my Good, B….Ugly analysis. There was no bad in this game. There was only good, and ugly (the good section is VERY short).

The Good
The only good note I have tonight is Marty St. Louis back in the line-up. This was great to see, not just for the team moving forward but also for his health. When a player is injured, whether I like the player or not, I always wish a speedy recovery. Beyond the game, all these guys are human beings. Really glad to see Marty come back tonight and score a goal. This injury could have been a lot worse.

The Ugly
Simply put, you aren’t going to win many games when you give up more than 40 shots. For a coach that supposedly preaches defense, Guy Boucher seems to be giving up the slot quite readily. There was once this little word called “coverage”. I think that it must have been lost in translation tonight. The Sharks were getting chances from everyone, everywhere on the ice. This trend has got to stop.

There is a good chance that Moore will be suspended for his hit from behind tonight. Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a little bit of a traditionalist when it comes to physical play, but this is the exact type of hit that the NHL wants to get rid of. Don’t be surprised if Brendan Shanahan sends a message with this one and suspends Moore for 2+ games. If Moore is suspended for any period of time, the depth problem is going to rear its ugly head even more so than it is now. If there’s anything that we’ve learned this season it’s that this team does NOT have the depth needed to make a huge run.

I’ve actually surprised myself here; there hasn’t been a mention of the 7 goals against in this blog. Garon started tonight, and you know, I felt okay about tonight. Over the past few games, he’s given the team a chance to win. That’s really all we can ask of this tandem right now. Tonight, not so much. Garon’s stats, when pulled, had a save percentage below 0.700%...UGLY. It’s not even that these were not savable. It was just an ugly display of goaltending with a guy who looked incredibly fragile. Fear not, fans, Roloson is here to save the day. Just kidding. Roloson couldn’t save the team tonight and things got from bad to worse. Before long, we had ourselves a 5-1 first period. By that point, I think the team had pretty much given up.

Unfortunately, this is just the sort of thing that’s been plaguing the team this season. We played two really solid games that put us in a position to go on a nice little run before the holiday break. Why is it that this team can’t win 3 in a row? It’s become a one step forward two step back system that isn’t going to take these guys anywhere.
Overall, this whole game was ugly from a Lightning perspective. Before the game, I told a few friends that the Lightning defense had to be ready for the big forwards that the Sharks boast; they clearly weren’t. Is this a coaching thing, a preparation thing or something else? I’d be interested to hear your perspective on that one.

I really don’t want to go into a lot of game details tonight because it was so bad. We don’t need to analyze every goal against just to come up with the same conclusion; the goaltending isn’t good enough. We don’t need to look at this forward group again and say that there isn’t enough depth. We don’t need to look at this defense and say that it’s time for a call-up or signing. We just need to see change. Steve Yzerman, this is one fan’s request to you, make this team a winner.

My Final Thought
I was watching both the Lightning game and the Canucks/Red Wings game tonight (what a game that was). During the intermission, TSN’s James Duthie asked the question: “how long is it before Guy Boucher starts feeling the heat?” or something along those lines. My thoughts on the issue are as followed. Guy Boucher has been a great coach for a long time. The Montreal system seems to develop coaches really well (see Boucher, Muller etc.). My concern with Boucher is his reluctance to change. Clearly this team isn’t responding to what he is saying, so preach something else! Why is it that we keep seeing the same systems and positioning every game? When Bruce Boudreau was fired from Washington, you could tell that he had tried absolutely everything; he said it himself. I just don’t see that same willingness to adapt in Boucher. Despite the issues with this club personnel wise, I’m not sure that I view Guy Boucher as the right coach for this group. What are your opinions on the matter? Is Guy Boucher the guy to coach this team moving forward? Who out there would you hire?

Up next the Lightning will travel to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche. If there is ANY game that could be considered an “easier” victory in this league, this would be it. The Avalanche are just a mess and this is the perfect opportunity for the Lightning to rebound after such a brutal performance tonight. That being said, are the psychological effects from this loss going to stick around? Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading and have a good night.

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   san   jose   sharks  
December 22, 2011 5:56 AM ET | Delete
That was about the worst game we have had to deal with. Way to go Moore, you take out St. Louis then yourself. Shannon is now out, add him to the list of walking wounded with Thompson, Gilroy and Ohlund. Granted, out of those 4 guys only two of them are worth ANYTHING to this team. Shannon has no effort and Ohlund needs to call it quits.
December 22, 2011 6:17 AM ET | Delete
That was a little soccer playing on the Moore hit. Jones had a very simular hit on him with no call and I think was worse looking. As far as the Game YUCK! Can't believe I stayed up to watch that garbage. No fight, No speed other then our occational Tyrell burst here and there, and goaltending i'm not even going there. A BIG change needs to happen after the feeze.
December 22, 2011 6:26 AM ET | Delete
Boucher needs to change something but I feel he's safe with the job for now. This team is no where near last year, if they were down by a goal or 2 you allways felt they would come back. This year, it feels the D and Goaltending is going to spot 4 goals min meaning has to score 5 every game? These diamonds in the roughs we keep signing aren't cutting it anymore. Maybe your right and they need to go after a Sutter or Weber. I'm lost for words anymore.
December 22, 2011 6:33 AM ET | Delete
Only complaint about Boucher is we keep bringing in guys from his coaching past. These guys are minor leaguers for the most part and honestly it's getting old hearing about it. Still to me it's hard firing a coach that came with in 1 goal of the cup last year as most teams would say we just need better players all around. Maybe a replacement for Fleming might help? The guy is sick with cancer i know but maybe they need another set of eyes on the Bench? Just a thought
December 22, 2011 12:28 PM ET | Delete
You guys all hit the nail right on the coffin here. This is just getting bad. Need I say more?
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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