Lightning struggle to be consistent
We’ve seen this movie before. It was during the 2016-17 season when the Lightning got off to a terrible start and thought they could just hit a switch and turn it on and glide into the playoffs.
It doesn’t work that way in the NHL and you would have thought the Lightning learned that lesson during that season. Although the Lightning made a great run at the end of the season to try to make the playoffs, they ended just missing the playoffs with a 42-30-10 record.
The way this season is starting out it feels eerily similar.
The Lightning were blasted by the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 on Saturday night in their second home game of the season. Andrei Vasilevskiy was not sharp and the defense misplaced the puck on two of the goals.
Colorado was starting a rookie goaltender Pavel Francouz who looked the second coming of Patrick Roy as he made some unbelievable saves in the 46 shots on goal he faced in the 6-2 Avalanche win.
Francouz a native of the Czech republic was making just his second NHL start.
It seems the Lightning just can’t seem to play consistent hockey from night to night. No one inside the Lightning can put their finger on a reason why this continues to happen.
In the home opener against the Florida Panthers, the Lightning came out flat in the first period but rallied to win 5-2.
Two nights later in Sunrise, the Lightning lost to the Panthers 4-3 as they allowed the Panthers to score two power play goals in the loss.
On to Carolina where the Lightning played their worst game of the season so far being outshot 44-13 in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Hurricanes.
In Toronto, the Lightning rebounded with one of their better efforts as the line of Stamkos, Point, and Kucherov combined for nine points in the Lightning 7-3 win.
Two days later another bad loss in Ottawa. There was no fire, no sense of urgency, and the Senators beat the lightning 4-2 to get their first win of the season.
In Montreal and Boston the Lightning played their best games of the season. The Lightning did have a rough third period in Montreal, but held on to get the 3-1 win.
The best performance from the Lightning came against the Bruins as the Lightning won in a shootout 4-3.
Coming off two good road wins and playing at home, you would think the Lightning would be ready to play at home.
They played hard, outshot the Avalanche 46-24, but the Avalanche had the better scoring chances overall and took advantage of them in the 6-2 win over the Lightning.
Again turnovers, and mistakes with the puck cost the Lightning in this game and they paid the price losing 6-2.
If the Lightning want to have any kind of success this season, they have to play a more consistent game night in night out. They can’t take a shift or two off, can’t play for just 50 out of 60 minutes.
Points in the standings are piled up in the early part of the season as the open ice becomes a lot more restricted in the second half of the season as teams jockey for a playoff spot.
The Lightning have all the talent in the world. Their roster on paper is one of the best in the NHL.
Should the Lightning not make the Playoffs this season, you can bet Julien Breisbois will begin retooling this roster, and the first big change will be Jon Cooper being shown the door and a new voice will be heard in the Lightning locker room.
The Lightning will host the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday Night and then the Nashville Predators will be in Tampa on Saturday.