February 12, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 55: vs Toronto

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4.

It only took them 55 games to do it, but for the first time all season, the entire Lightning team left all of their baggage at the door and played a very business-like game. It was very calm, practical, no-nonsense, and very workman-like. And that was very refreshing - and a big reason why I think they won.

St. Louis had the best game. He ran the ice in that first period. That goal line goal was just spectacular. You really don't get any better than that. Malone wasn't too shabby with his two goals, either. And to round out that line, Lecavalier's wrap-around was very pretty as well. That line had 4 goals, 4 assists, and 16 shots on goal.

They also converted on 3 of their 4 power play chances, kept up on shots all thru the game, and dominated in the face off circle. They stayed out of the penalty box giving Toronto only two power plays, and passing was much, much better this game, too. The passing was like night and day from the last game to this one. Sure, there were some defensive breakdowns, and McKenna could've had a goal or two that got past him, but what matters at this point is that they won.

I thought Prospal had a pretty good game as well. He didn't get on the score sheet, but he made some great defensive plays in the first period. The forwards weren't helping out as much with the defense during the second and parts of the third, and I think that's partly why the defensive breakdowns happened.

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