Avalanche goaltender makes a glove save against the Lightning’s Martin St Louis in the penalty shootout between the two teams. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Chris O’Meara ………………..
But then again as we all know the aftermath of the Lightning’s triumph was shortlived as the NHL and its players spiralled out of control all by their sheer inability to see what was happening to the game , the greed therein and the naivete’ of NHL governor Gary Bettman. Such as things are now for the franchise those heady days are now long gone and they’re now mired in mediocrity with Rick Tocchet now charged with leading them back to some semblance of respectability.
Mike Smith(41) the Lightning’s goaltender disputes the linesman’s assertion that he intentionally threw his stick at the Avalanche’s Milan Hejduk during the penalty shootout. The game was won 2-1 by the Colorado Avalanche which was played at the St Pete Times’ Forum in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Chris O’Meara …………………..
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s season so far can be best described as abysmal to say the least. And though I’ve never been much of a hockey fan , to my mind a competitive and combative sport is still a sport no less. Tampay Bay Lightning for all of its vagaries has been playing as if it lacks on confidence on the ice and has at this moment in time no real leadership on it. The hyperbole and furore surrounding the new owner Oren Koules led one to believe that after his purchase of the the from the Davidson family. The franchise would be on the rise to even bigger and better things. But then again when it comes to Hollywood hype Koules knows a thing or two about the whole transiency of the system therein. As a producer of the low budget movie Saw, the series that has become a blockbuster as well as being an accredited producer for the CBS sitcom Two And A Half Men. It can be said that Koules knows how sell make and sell a good product. Even when it happens to be mediocre in value. That being said Koules’ penchant for the game is unquenchable and it’s his passion for it and the franchise that may well also in some way determine its success on and off the rink.
Backup goaltender Peter Budaj of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with teammates after the team’s O/T victory 2-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Doug Benc ………………
It has to be said that it is never good to see a professional sport’s franchise mired in mediocrity. But then again it’s never good to see anyone be in such a predicament. Be it self inflicted or not which in many ways this whole situation for the Lightning wasof their own making. They served up a platter of delicacies to the fans by shedding players who’d served the franchise well. And brought in players whom in many respects didn’t fit the mould of what the franchise had been about to begin with and what had originally brought about its success. Now as the season has got under way and with no real identity to speak of this team struggles to even show some semblance of success. No leadership from the likes of Vincent ‘Vinny’ Lecalier and from even his teammate Martin St Louis. But yet the fans are led to believe that all will be right once they find their footing. And even with their young rookie Steve Stamkos now realizing the rigors of playing in the NHL isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. One can summize that this team’ll be in for a hard time as the season progresses.
Adam Foote on defense handles the puck as teammate and goaltender Andrew Raycroft looks on as the Lightning’s Martin St Louis on offense tries to make his presence felt. picture appears couertesy of getty images/ Doug Benc ……………………
If there’s one thing that has become apparent for both Tocchet and Koules with regard to the team is that it’s certainly not playing with any confidence at all. And as it sits at the bottom of the Southeast Division with just 22 pts , just two points adrift of the Atlanta Thrashers and some 19 points out of first place where the Washington Capitals who hold the lead. Much as many feel that it’s not out of the realms of possibility for the franchise to make a run at a playoff berth. I’m inclined to believe that unless they can catch lightning in a bottle and play out of their skins. The only thing that this team has to play for now is pride and self respect. And no matter what assurances and rhetoric that’s forthcoming from interim coach Rick Tocchet. The fact of the matter is that this team just isn’t good enough to hang with the big dawgs of the NHL at present. Nor are they likely to be until they get a backbone. Defensively they’re abysmal and on the offensive side of things at times they’re all somewhat gunshy. A far cry from those halcyon days of being called champions and their bravado on the ice went unquestioned.