After last night’s brutal loss to the San Jose Sharks, it’s time for the Tampa Bay Lightning Holiday Multiple Choice survey! No answer is a wrong answer; this is just to get a perspective from each and every single one of you. Without further ado, here we go.
1. What should Steve Yzerman’s next move be?
A: Fire Guy Boucher
When teams struggle, typically the coach takes the fall. That statement holds even truer when the team is expected to challenge for, if not win, the Stanley Cup. To start the season, expectations for this team were so high from around the league. Why is it that they haven’t been able to perform? Of course, the players should take some of the blame, but watch the team and it’s pretty easy to see flaws in the system. Either Guy Boucher makes some changes in his system (which he seems incredibly reluctant to do), or he should be fired.
B: Trade/Sign a Stop-gap Goaltender
It’s pretty clear that one of the biggest flaws with this team right now is goaltending. Neither Dwayne Roloson nor Mathieu Garon seem to be able to put together solid performances to lead us on a run. If this choice is your answer, you believe a guy like Marty Turco or Evgeni Nabokov is the answer this season. Even if it’s just to get this team into the playoffs, an older netminder is the answer until at least next season.
C: Call-Up a Defenseman
There are a few great defenseman down in Norfolk that have been rumored to be on their way up for quite some time now. The thought is that the NHL experience will allow them to develop while making this team better at the same time. That being said, over the years, Steve Yzerman has seemed rather reluctant to call-up young players from the minors. There are pros and cons to that mentality. However, could calling up Barberio or Gudas change the fortune of this team? If you choose this option, you believe so.
This is the option that includes trading for a young, future goaltender (Bernier, Lindback, Harding etc…) and making a trade for that big name defenseman. If there’s anything I’ve learned this season, it’s that this team doesn’t have that number one D-man. Brewer was it last season, but even then he was a 1b. If you pick this option, you believe that the team needs that 1a D-man and a good young goaltender. You believe that these moves alone will turn the fortunes of this team around.
2. Is this team a playoff team?
This team has a lot of really solid pieces. Guys like Stamkos, Hedman and St. Louis should be able to lead this team to a playoff spot all by themselves. If this team can get any sort of goaltending, this team will be one to be reckoned with. There are too many great players on this roster for it not to make the playoffs. After all, we have the NHLs leading goal scorer. How often does the team with that guy miss the playoffs?
No, have you watched any games?
This team is an absolute disaster right now. Look at the standings; there’s too much teams to pass in order to get into the playoff picture. Not only would the Lightning have to go on quite the run, they would need other teams to fall back to the pack. It’s just not mathematically likely that the Lightning will make the playoffs. I would rather see this team just sit back and wait till next season. We have the talent, we just need to get it all in order.
What is your mentality going forward this season?
I’m Already on the “Fail for Nail” Campaign Tour
This team isn’t going anywhere. We might as well try to make the draft pick as high as possible. How good would Nail Yakupov look in a Lightning jersey next season? He’d look pretty good beside Steven Stamkos heading forward wouldn’t he? This team needs to start building up depth and there is no better way to do that than through the draft. It all starts with Nail Yakupov. Heck, any pick inside that top 5 gives a great player. Maybe even a future number one D-man.
Give it all we’ve got! Whether we make the playoffs or not, try
There’s nothing you hate more than seeing a team purposely lose games to get a high draft pick. It makes you sick. The Lightning have enough talent to make some games interesting and entertaining whether they make the playoffs or not. This team is in a win-now mode so whether we get a high draft pick or not doesn’t matter. Go out and sign a big free agent in the summer and win it all next season.
No “Mentality” Needed; This Team is Making the Playoffs
We don’t need a mentality this season. There’s a great chance that this team makes the playoffs. We need the team to give it their all every single time the team steps out onto the ice. The only real success in this league is wins. Drafting high every year doesn’t matter. Go out and win as much as possible.
Well there you have the little survey. If you ask me, after last night’s game, I’m all for the total overhaul and fail for Nail campaign. That being said, if Steve Yzerman can make big moves sooner rather than later, this team still has a big chance. I don’t know about you folks, but last night’s game took a lot out of me. There was something about it that was just incredibly deflating. I wrote a blog about how the Lightning will make the playoffs. I still believe they could. That being said, I know longer believe they will. This team is an absolute mess. I’ve almost jumped onto the “fire Guy Boucher” bandwagon.
The Bolts take on the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Friday and this is a HUGE game. This is the last game before the Christmas break and I don’t think that it could be a more pivotal point in the season. Either the Lighting head into the break on a winning note, or the losing continues. To me, heading into the holidays on a good note is so important for a team moving forward into the new year. I’ll be back after the game with post-game notes and analysis.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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