NEW YORK, NY (FNN SPORTS) – Last night the Lightning began their second road trip of the season, facing off against a young New York Rangers team. After a close call loss to the Predators Saturday night, most would have predicted the Bolts to win this game. Although the Lightning hit ice with early mis footings and lack of connections, they were first on the board after Point showed his speed coming up the ice to connect a pass to Kucherov. This was a hopeful early sign, especially because Kucherov was scoreless the past six games.
As Brayden Point put it in an interview this morning, “We’ve got a lot of skill and sometimes we’re just not using it. Passes are a little bit off right now.” Tampa Bay is a very skilled team, but the connection is still lost upon the lines. It’s still early in the season and consistency right now is the best bet to see what chemistry strikes up. Coach Cooper is not short-sighted on this, given his constant shuffling of the lines and D-pairings. Coach Cooper says that he’s not upset with the how the guys are playing right now.
It’s a frustrating loss to fall to a re-building Rangers team, but according to defenseman Ryan McDonagh, “they won more battles than us last night.” The Bolts must continue working on minimizing turnovers and maximizing on their offensive zone time. It’s going to be a long season if the team is relying on Vasilevskiy to make many big saves every game. It didn’t help that they played without key player Anthony Cirelli, then lost Victor Hedman and Pat Maroon in the first period. The loss of those players ended up putting more pressure on the rest of the Lightning players and their legs.
Sources say that this morning Tampa Bay called up Cory Conacher and Alex Volkov to the Lightning roster. It’s possible that we’ll see both guys on the roster tonight as the Bolts face the New Jersey Devils, who have had some strong surges against good opponents, so they can’t be overlooked in the potential performance they can serve up tonight, but they don’t have a goalie who’s shoulders they can rest the game on. If the Lightning show up in the offensive zone tonight and really place shots on goal, they can head to Long Island with a victory and confidence.
Kasey Hudson is Associate Sports Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org