I don’t what was worse to watch as a fan. The 5-0 loss to Toronto last Thursday night or the third period of the debacle last night that turned into a 5-3 lightning loss. The Lightning were playing the 2nd worst team in the league , the Arizona Coyotes and played one of the worst periods of hockey this season giving up 3 goals in the loss.
The Lightning had a power play late in the period which gave them a 6-4 man advantage and could not get a shot on goal. Oh yeah they allowed a short-handed goal to Arizona while on the power play to seal the deal in this game. This was the third straight loss for the Lightning, all at home.
Fatigue, too many rookies, lack of focus, whatever the reason, the Lightning need to figure it out quickly. This team has 10 games left in the season and will be in Boston Friday night followed by Detroit on Saturday. The Lightning realistically need to finish with 91 or 92 points to even have a chance at the playoffs. That means a record of 7-2 down the stretch. Stranger things have happened, but the way the Lightning have played overall these last 3 games does not give the fans much hope.
Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namenstikov all contributed tonight with points on the score sheet. Andrei Vasilevskiy looks like the goalie we saw in that mid December-January swoon that really put the Lightning way back in the playoff race. Vasilevskiy needs to play better immediately for the lightning to have any chance at all of a playoff series. He has allowed 5 goals in 2 out of the last 3 games.
The Lightning have 77 points, which puts them in tenth place in the conference just behind the NY Islanders and 4 points behind Toronto which is where they have been for the last week. The Lightning need to leap frog both of those teams to get into the playoffs.
HC Jon Cooper and the players on this team have no answer as to why this team looses focus so quickly. The Lightning will need to forget about this one real quick as the Boston Bruins await on Friday night. Every game becomes a must win now.