Lightning win in shootout 3-2. Stamkos scores two goals. Woo no comments
The only team on this list with a negative goal differential is the Lighting with their minus 11.
This hasn't been something that has popped up recently as the Lightning have been pretty consistent all year with their negative goal differential. Obviously their position in #6 in the league ranking and #2 in the Eastern Conference says to how well they are playing on a game to game basis, but then why the negative goal differential?
Well that's because when they lose a game, sometimes they do so in a spectacular fashion. So far this year, the Lightning have lost 8 games with a goal differential of 3 or more. Two of which they lost 8-1 (one against Pittsburgh and the other against Boston) and one they lost 6-0 against the Panthers. Most of these monumental losses can be attributed to the goalie tandem that started off the year, Dan Ellis and Mike Smith, who some nights couldn't stop pucks to save their job.
But I can't lay all the blame on just Ellis and Smith since the Lightning's defence has some glaring problems as well. And I guess it really doesn't matter that much if you lose a game by a little or a lot, because in the end you still lost the game, right? Perhaps. But then again, how does these huge blowout losses hurt the confidence of the team? And will having a dependable goaltender in net like Roloson help change the goal differential disparity? Or will this continue to last through the rest of the season?
This was no way to erase the loss to the Devils last night.
The Hurricanes had 4 powerplay goals on the Lightning tonight. And to top it all off, they also let in 1 short handed goal on Eric Staal.
The Lightning head back to Tampa Bay to take on Columbus on Tuesday night. The only thing positive to come out of tonight was Stamkos taking the NHL scoring lead with 33 goals, but right now, even that doesn't feel too positive
Enemy Blog: SBN's Canes Country
Record: Lightning (26-14-5) Hurricanes (21-16-6)
Game time: 7:00pm EST on CW44 and on the radio at 620 WDAE
The next time Stamkos and St. Louis will be back here in Raleigh it will be for the all-star game at the end of the month. But before we can get to that, we face the Hurricanes tonight after the loss last night to the Devils. Roloson is back in net again after letting in four goals on nine shots. According to Lightning Strikes, Nate Thompson and Mike Lundin are both game time decisions.
The Hurricanes sit in 9th in the conference just 9 points back from the Lightning. We've only played them once this year back in December in Tampa where the Bolts won 5-1. The Lightning look to bounce back from their loss against the last-places Devils last night before returning back home to face Columbus on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes are also trying to bounce back from a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Cam Ward is in net for the Canes and Eric Staal is looking to extend his 7 game point streak.
- Dwayne Roloson will start in net
Your pre-game reading links:
So before tonight's loss, the Lightning had the best home record out of the entire league. And as of today they are tied with Phoenix, Carolina, Nashville and the Islanders for having played the fewest home games this season at 19 games each. This is in contrast to the Lightning being at the top of the league in number of away games played so far at 26.
So although the Lightning's schedule has been brutal this year so far with all the travel, the Lightning have a ton of home games coming up, especially in the month of February to even out the schedule.
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Let's start off with something more important than hockey -
Vinny Lecavalier and some of his teammates attended All Children's first year anniversary since it's opened on January 9th 2010 in its new location. This is the same hospital that Lecavalier donated $3 million to. They have some awesome photos on their Flicker stream which can be found here. Especially this one of Thunderbug and this one of this adorable girl holding a thank you sign.
Now some hockey stuff -
The ongoing inner ear problems of Ritola that seems to get aggravated by flying in planes seems to have been helped by earplugs. The pressure changes that occurs during flying seems to exacerbate the issues he has with Meniere's disease and the wearing ear plugs seems to help with it. My question about this is, why hasn't this been tried earlier?
Lightning 3, Cap 0
While the Caps were without Semin and had just played a game the night before, the Lightning was the better team last night. The Lightning outshot the Caps 38 to 23 and Roloson got his second shutout with the team. Mattias Ohlund did a fantastic job shutting down Ovechkin last night and ended the night a +3. The Lightning play the Devils tomorrow night at home with Roloson starting in net followed by an away game in Carolina on Saturday night
James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail put together a list of the top defensive fowards at the midseason and Dana Tyrell made his list at #13.
Great quote from Boucher in Lightning Strikes:
"Every game is a tough game," he said. "I wonder what the playoffs are going to be. Every game is important. 'Oh, this is a low-end team, you can't lose. This is a division team, you've got ti win that one. this is a game for first place.' Okay, so when do we get a normal game?"