February 20, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 59: at Carolina

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.

Now, I'm the first to point out to Lightning fans that the officials aren't out to get the team, and I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist (although, I may seem like I am at times - really, I'm not). However, there was definitely something fishy about this game. The Lightning got some very questionable calls made against them in the third period - which put the game out of reach for them and gave the Hurricanes a three-goal lead.

But there was also something screwy going on with the shots. Whoever the statistician is who was tracking the shots, they weren't counting all of the shots that the Lightning took - and I'm not talking about rebounds here. I'm talking about legitimate shots directly on Carolina's goaltender.

Having said that, the Lightning shouldn't have to depend upon the officials in order to win a game. They should be doing that all on their own, or despite the officials. But they really didn't play very well.

McKenna was the star of the game for Tampa Bay. He kept them in it, even when they might not have deserved to still be in it. I would estimate that the Lightning probably had about four or five shots on goal in the first period (instead of the one that's listed officially). But Carolina had 14. For the game, the Lightning probably had around 20 shots (instead of 13), but Carolina had 41. McKenna stopped all but four - and two of those went in on back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays for the Hurricanes.

New Jersey's a much better team that Carolina, and the Lightning stayed with the Devils for the entire game. I'm not sure what happened with this one. They didn't do anything the same as they did last night. Yet again, it was like two different teams.

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