by Jon Jordan on 04/21/11 at 04:05 PM ET
As promised, my latest round of answers to the latest round of questions from Brian Metzer of FromThePoint.com, on all things game four and what’s to come from here…
BM: The Lightning managed to score 241 goals during the NHL’s regular season, good for 8th in the league. However, now that the playoffs are four games old, they are looking like a team with a serious lack of scoring depth. They have scored just nine goals in the series, four of which came from the blade of Marty St. Louis. It is also worth noting that if you remove the fact that they put up five during a Game 2 victory, they have scored just four in the remaining three games. How big a concern is that lack of production moving forward in the series? Have Marc-Andre Fleury and his defense been that good?
JJ: It’s huge, Metz but you have to give credit where credit is due. Fleury has been excellent and the Penguins, as a team – not just the defensemen, have clamped down with the lead. Of course, in games three and four, the Lightning willed their way to tying things up, but they had to rely on relentless individual efforts to do so, particularly last night, and probably exhausted themselves in the process. Pittsburgh has now scored the first goal of the game three times in the series and, voila! They’ve won all three times. You can’t come back all the time and the Lightning have got to have better starts, period.
As for scoring depth, as you pointed out, save for game two and Sean Bergenheim last night, what scoring depth? After Marty’s four, the Lightning have not a player with more than a single goal; five with one apiece. Mattias Ohlund’s goal was an empty-netter. Take out that and Eric Brewer’s game two tally, and you have three goals from forwards not named Martin St. Louis in four games.
That’s just not getting it done.
Aside from Steven Stamkos’ gargantuan goose egg, I’ve been calling for some offense from the role players – the Bergenheims, the Adam Halls, the Dominic Moores – those types that a team needs to contribute for playoff success (much like Arron Asham is doing outstandingly for the Pens). Bergenheim came through last night but where is everyone else? This is a team game and this team has plenty M.I.A. right now, especially in terms of offense.
For the rest of my answers to Metz’s latest questions (and for the rest of his fine work on this series and much more), head on over to FromThePoint.com.
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