January 4, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 39: at Atlanta

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1.

It's too bad that Smith couldn't keep the shutout, but he did get the win. And winning is more important right now than the shutout. Still, it would've been nice for him to get it.

This was probably one of the best all-around efforts that I've seen from the Lightning yet this season. Other than St. Louis with his two goals, no one really stood out head and shoulders above the rest. They were disciplined, they got plenty of shots on net, they were good defensively, they converted on the power play, they didn't panic when up 3-0, and it was a solid and very no-nonsense kind of effort. The only area that they were a little weak on were face offs, but that didn't seem to hurt them much in the end.

The difference between last night and tonight was like night and day. It was almost as if they were two entirely separate teams that played. Last night, they were very jittery. Tonight, they were as patient as stones - nothing got to them.

Sure, it wasn't exactly the most exciting game I've ever watched. But as I said before, winning is far more important. It's almost halfway thru the season, and Tampa Bay just won their 11th game. The only thing that's giving them any kind of hope for a playoff run at this point is that they've got 10 overtime losses, which gives them those 10 extra points in the standings. It's the only saving grace that came out of the first half of the season.

This win is a great start to their road trip. Hopefully, they can maintain the consistency that they had tonight. Flashy might be more entertaining, but winning is winning. Steady trumps flashy when it gets you to where you want to go.

The New Jersey Devils know all about that kind of philosophy, don't they? And you know what? It's worked well for them. People might complain about how boring it is, but those Stanley Cup championships still look awfully sweet.

1 comment:

  1. You are right about it being a shame that SMith couldn't get a shutout. He desreved that one the way he has been standing on his head for them. We are so lucky to have a workhorse like him. He has bad days too but he has done a great job. (Thanks for the invite by the way) Go Bolts!