January 10, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 41: at Anaheim

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Anaheim Ducks 4-3.

This was night and day from the game in Phoenix. The Lightning were focused on the game from the very beginning, and played pretty consistently throughout. And they were dictating play at times, which isn't something that they've been able to do most of the season.

The Lightning power play didn't look very good, but then Anaheim has some really good defensemen, too. However, their penalty kill looked great. The pass that Lecavalier made up to St. Louis for the short handed goal was very pretty. As was Lecavalier's pass to Prospal later on in the second period. That one almost looked like a shot rather than a pass, but in the replay it was clearly a pass.

Meszaros knocking down the shot when Ramo was out of the net was amazing. He definitely saved a goal on that one. (Who has the best non-goalie save percentage, I wonder?) What is it with Tampa Bay's goalies getting caught out of their nets these days? Normally, that hasn't been a problem. I wonder if it's just a case of bad timing or what.

Malone obviously had a good game with netting two goals. As did Halpern and St. Louis. That was a good line. Between those three, they had 13 of the 19 total shots the Lightning took in this game. Which doesn't speak well for the rest of the team in that department.

They almost let Anaheim back in it, but thankfully didn't. And that's a good sign. Not so long ago, they would've lost a game like that.

Anaheim's been one of the better teams in the Western Conference, and the Lightning were better than they were for long stretches of the game. Particularly at the beginning, I think the Lightning's intensity and drive really threw the Ducks off. It was like they weren't sure how to handle them. And that's good.

The Lightning need to make other teams play their game, and that means ignoring what the other team's doing, to a degree. And that's all about puck control, positioning, passing, and all of the little things coming together into one cohesive style. When any team makes their opponent play their game, then most of the time, that team will win.

This was game 41 of an 82-game season, so I'll post up some kind of Lightning's mid-season report either today or tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah they looked good but it won't last it never does. I guess we'll have to take the wins as they come and be satisfied with that.