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After 25 Games, The Lightning Strike Rarely

Posted Dec 5, 2008 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Dec 5, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Despite an ownership change, a roster overhaul and the firing of Coach Barry Melrose, the Lighting are still arguably the worst team in the National Hockey League.

After Thursday night’s 3-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay is 1-4-4 under interim coach Rick Tocchet, who was supposed to inject some enthusiasm and a different approach.

Instead, the Lightning find themselves with an NHL-low six wins after 25 games. No club has scored fewer goals, and no team has a more-lopsided goal differential.

And all this misery comes despite the outstanding work of young goaltender Mike Smith, who ranks fifth in the NHL with a .928 save percentage.

Meanwhile, discarded defenseman Dan Boyle has helped the San Jose Sharks to the league’s best record. Tampa Bay’s former sparkplug ranks second among defensemen with 23 points while averaging more than 23 minutes per game.

Melrose has returned to his ESPN analyst gig in Bristol, Conn., where he will be paid to comment on Boyle’s stellar play and the ongoing travails of the Lightning, who just lost to a Boston team that was missing three of its top four defensemen.

At this point, you have to wonder whether Vinny Lecavalier has any regrets about signing a long-term contract to remain in Tampa and be the face of a franchise that is floundering in the early stages.

Given the penchant of new ownership to make sweeping changes, we could see some significant personnel moves by the start of the new year.


Reader Comments

Por (jay) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

what is the point of this. no useful or thought provoking comments. just a bunch or rambling

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Por (Katya) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

My only solace in all this is Mike Smith… I want to rant and rave about Boyle…Is there anything (at this point) can be done?  Can we trade our new ownership???

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Por (Bill Berg) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Looks like this TEAM is not as good as we all thought it should be. Many reasons we do not know about or they are just not the correct mix. V4 should go to management and ask to be released from his part of contract that syates no movement! He is about the only TRADE Bait player that could get 3-4 players that can make this tEAM NOW and have a chance to have a VERY GOOD team for a few years to come!

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Por (Derek H) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Great. More change we can believe in.

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Por (Goalman) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I know I’m beating a dead horse,but can we all agree that the Boyle move was one of the worst in the league and definitely the worst in our hockey club history. So now are we going to hear from the same “Boyle ” experts that Vinny4 should go . Trade him for what.A player who won’t be in the Hall of Fame? Marty should be traded? For what?A player who isn’t an energizer and a recognized Star in the league.
Get rid of slugs like Malik and Vrbata before you start blaming our core. Lundin looks scared and doesn’t hit.He should go too. Roberts is done. When he’s not injured he remains too old to play at his former level.This club needs a major overhaul.It won’t be rebuilt n one season.We have a long way to go.

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Por (Goalman) on December 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Just to add some further comment concerning Dan Boyle; the reason we don’t score goals is because we CAN"T GET THE PUCK UP ICE. What would you give for a Danny Boy rush through the other team? When we said goodbye to Dan we said hello to Paul Ranger’s inability to make a first pass. He can’t hanle the pressure without an outlet like Dan. But, that’s O.K. Dan really wasn’t a defensive defenseman. As has been said before, Dmen that are stay at home can be found throughout the league, but the Lindstroms and Boyles are a rare commodity.

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Por (Dave Barry) on December 06, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I gotta point to this - the Bolts suck. Prospal was an idiot for returning to TB. He should have stayed in Philly and scored 40 goals getting fed by our select group of pivots.

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Por (dale) on December 06, 2008 (Suggest removal)

OK Hockey are getting what they deserve. They came in here throwing their smug faces and bad haircuts around like the idiots they are. The diehards on this blog could have done a better job with this team. They had no feel for what was needed to improve the Bolts, Feaster was 2 or 3 players from contending. Last years team with a Rob Blake on d, Malone (earning 4m), and someone like Jeff Carter who for some reason was avaiable and we’d be competing for 1st in division.  How could they think Malone & Vrbrata are worth 10 m, and Boyler not worth 6? Monkeys

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Por (Steve B Henderson) on December 06, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I agree, we miss Boyle terribly..maybe he did have his defensive lapses, but look at what our offense is doing now without him. The cowboy owners should be sent packing…who do they think they are? They disrespect Boyle, lie to him and send him packing and bring in some expensive free agents (Vrbata, Roberts, Malik) yada yada yada..and what do we have? Another season heading into the dumpster. I Feaster had the payroll these clowns are throwing around we would be in much better shape. Anyone also noticing Lawton’s act? The guy is a mouthpiece and power hungry. Go back to your failed hockey agent business!

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