January 9, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 40: at Phoenix

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Phoenix coyotes 3-2.

I've read the papers online this morning, and everyone's getting down on the Lightning's game last night. Honestly, I thought they did pretty well. The effort was there, but perhaps the only thing missing was the focus, which is understandable with a few days off.

The first period wasn't the best, but like I've said, they lacked focus. They weren't perhaps as mentally prepared as they could've been. We've all been there, tho. After a long weekend, sometimes it takes a bit to get back into the swing of things on Monday morning. Unfortunately, they don't have as much time as the rest of us do at work to readjust their thinking.

Smith had a great game, I thought. He looked pretty sharp - sharper than he has the last couple of games, anyway. I think the time off between games did him a lot of good. I've noticed that he hasn't been out of his net wandering around as much as he had been. But a couple of bad goals is enough to make anyone a little cautious, tho.

Halpern, Malone, and Meszaros had great games, too. Congratulations to Meszaros on finally getting a goal - his first in over 60 games, I guess. And Halpern was just everywhere - but definitely in a good way. Halpern, Malone, Meszaros, & Smith were probably the only ones prepared for the game from the very beginning, while it took the rest of the team until the second period to mentally drag themselves off of the golf course and back onto the ice.

Not that I'm blaming them for that, since they really were in the game until the very end. I mean, the set up for that face off in the last five seconds of the game in the offensive zone was just amazing. I didn't think they'd even get a shot on goal with that, and they did. They almost two shots, in fact.

The third period was by far their best period of the game - and the last half of the third particularly so. I suppose it was Phoenix's third goal that did it. It's that coming from behind thing that really gets them going, I've noticed. Which wouldn't be bad if they were able to win more often.

Speaking of congratulations.... Congratulations to Vinny Lecavalier for being named to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. He's just got to be thrilled that he's playing in an All-Star Game in his hometown. Of course, it helps that it's also the Montréal Canadiens' 100th season, too. Good luck and have fun!

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