by Patrick Hoffman on 10/05/08 at 05:45 PM ET
Not only are the Tampa Bay Lightning not scoring, but they’re also making life difficult for their goaltenders.
Through two games, both of which the Lightning lost by a score of 2-1, the team has scored just two goals and has allowed 80 shots on goal. Yes, they’ve gotten away with it because both Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig have been unbelievable in the two games but can they make it through a full season like that?
This blogger certainly doesn’t think so.
Yes, it’s only been two games and it’s a pretty new team out on the ice but new head coach Barry Melrose must tell them to put more pucks on the net. They only had 21 shots yesterday and took just 19 today.
When your team’s offense is made up of guys like Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Vinny Prospal, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Jussi Jokinen, scoring goals should not be a problem. However, it’s already been a problem through two games as the team hasn’t been able to have any kind of sustained offensive pressure, they’re turning over the puck, and not shooting when they have the room to.
If you’re not generating offense, you better make sure that you have a good defensive system in place and right now, I’m not so sure the Lightning do. Through the first two games, they’ve allowed 80 shots on goal and were letting the Rangers put bodies right in front of Smith and Kolzig. At this rate, the goaltenders won’t last the first month of the season let alone the full campaign.
Again, I know that it’s early on in the season but Tampa needs to come to North America, work on putting pucks to the net, forechecking harder and letting their goaltenders see the shot. If they can’t get these fundamentals down, it’s going to be a long season for Tampa and their fans.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.