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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.
Complete Overhaul
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?

Yes, absolutely!
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.

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lighning   fan   opinions   survey  
December 22, 2011 2:01 PM ET | Delete
In my opinion the 1-3-1 was a ploy to hide the defense. It is not working anymore. While the Lightning need to find solid goaltending. They also need to improve the defense corp.
December 22, 2011 2:02 PM ET | Delete
You have high octane quality forwards. They are limited to forming their offense through transition because of the 1-3-1. Improve the defense, end the 1-3-1 and take the shackles off of the offense.
December 22, 2011 2:12 PM ET | Delete
Our team cannot operate with the defense and goaltending we have. Our offense is good, but they can't play to there potential when they are Soooooo worried about massive defensive and goalie gaffs.
December 22, 2011 2:15 PM ET | Delete
Harding, Sarich and Martinek.
December 22, 2011 2:31 PM ET | Delete
Agreed on that one GS. The 1-3-1 was just a protective measure from Boucher that isn't working. As Artyukhin said, the offense is scared. One mistake and it's in the Lightning net. That's no recipe for success.
December 22, 2011 4:01 PM ET | Delete
My thoughts are tweak the offense by sending Downie and Purcell somewhere, gut the defense. Bergeron, Kubina, Clark and Ohlund. Both goalies need to go. At this point the season may be shot, but let's look to the future.
December 22, 2011 4:26 PM ET | Delete
It's a shame Lecavalier's contract is structured the way it is. He really isn't tradable till 2016. I think there would be a market out there for Kubina and Bergeron. Purcell and Downie there is for sure someone who would take them and give us a decent return.
December 22, 2011 5:56 PM ET | Delete
Someone needs to light a fire under Vinnie And Purcell. Defense for sure Bergeron is not a top 6 on a playoff team I don't think. He is scary when he has the puck in his own end. Roly the Goalie is a disapointment so far I feel bad for him but it might be time for a change. What about Nabokov?
December 22, 2011 6:06 PM ET | Delete
GoBoltss61: Bergeron is downright frightening from centerice in. It's a game of Russian Roulette every time he is on the ice. Nabokov would be a short term solution for sure, but I think that we are in need of a long term solution.
December 22, 2011 6:06 PM ET | Delete
Vinny's fire seems to have been put out. I guess that's what 85 million and a Stanley Cup ring will do? He just looks disinterested half the time.
December 22, 2011 6:49 PM ET | Delete
I would say complete overhaul but who is going to take anyone from an underpreforming team. Purcell starts on the 4th line and needs to work his way up the lines per game. Downie decent but the refs are out to get him it seams, last nights elbow to the arm pit penalty need i say more. Malone has a no movement. Other then that who can be traded? Stammer, Marty, Vinny= NO WAY! This team is a shell of last years team.
December 22, 2011 7:00 PM ET | Delete
This franchise can't afford a lottery pick this year. The fan base is known to be "fair weather" but I'm sorry if your hockey team sucks and it's 75 degrees in the winter and your just an average hockey fan, what are you going to do? I feel the worst for Mr. Vinik who dumped 40 mil into his building and is doing everything possable in his power to put a winning team on the ice. Something will happen just feels not soon enough.
December 22, 2011 7:48 PM ET | Delete
Vinik knows that this will take awhile and he trust Lieweke and Yzerman completely. ALL Lightning fans, including me need to chill out and let someone like Stevie Y do what he does best, make winning teams. The 3 in charge see the big picture were as us mere mortals only see what is right in front of us. In Stevie we trust.
December 22, 2011 7:48 PM ET | Delete
those of you blaming vinny is funny,,, have any of you watched any of the games? vinny is one of the only ones giving effort BOTH ways!Vinny is not the problem,,,he is playing hte second best on the team
December 22, 2011 7:53 PM ET | Delete
He has played better as of late, but to me, it's not enough. He's like Shawn Horcoff in Edmonton; a guy you don't mind overpaying but he's not living up to his contract and it's just hurting the team. Artyukhin, yes we do need to chill out for sure. That being said, something has to give here. Oomroy: We can't afford one, but we might end up with one anyways.
December 22, 2011 8:06 PM ET | Delete
Skating around the other teams blue line and fanning on half on the pass's coming his way is a good two way effort. Um, I going to go with no it's not. For $7,727,500 per year he should be comPeting with Stamkos for most points on the team.
December 22, 2011 8:37 PM ET | Delete
Artyukin: Vinny is actually getting 10 per salary cap hit is 7.7. I agree with the chilling out. Being a season ticketholder since i moved here in 03 i've learned to just lower the expectaions like mentioned a few blogs back. It's just a little disapointing when you go from 1 goal to the cup to lottery balls
December 22, 2011 8:43 PM ET | Delete
I was going with the cap hit. I am wishing for a penalty free buyout in the new CBA.
December 22, 2011 9:10 PM ET | Delete
I don't think anybody is disagreeing with the fact that Vinny does bring some nice things to this team. That being said, he is NOT worth 10 million dollars per year. As one of the highest paid players in the league, he should be doing everything for this team. At this point, he's simply not.
December 23, 2011 11:33 AM ET | Delete
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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