February 25, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 61: at Edmonton

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.

This is a game they could've won. Even with the slow start. Unfortunately, they were only able to convert one of the three power plays that they had. They had a great penalty kills, tho, not giving Edmonton anything on their six tries on the power play.

One of the recurrent themes for the season with the Lightning have been shots. They don't take enough, and they give up too many. On the one hand, it's really shown everyone who the good goaltenders are. On the other, it's also shown everyone how inconsistent the defense is.

Part of the problem they've had all season has been with positioning. They all want to help the guy with the puck, so they bunch up around him leaving no one in front of the net at either end. It pulls everyone out of position, and gives other teams far too many chances.

If there's everyone in front of the net protecting their own goalie, then it's harder to get the puck to center ice and create a scoring opportunity. If everyone's gathered around the goalie at the other end, then there's no one on the blue line to stop breakaways. They need to spread out more and play where they're supposed to - and do the jobs they're supposed to be doing.

It's nice to want to help out teammates, but they need you where you're supposed to be and where they expect you to be. The only times they do that is on special teams, and they should be doing that all the time. And when they do do that, and take more shots, they tend to be very competitive in games.

Ramo, again, had a good night. Four goals on 45 shots actually isn't bad. It could've been better, of course, but it could've also been far, far worse.

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