There is some serious trouble brewing in Tampa Bay. The Lightning took a beat down from the Sharks last night; losing 7-2 in San Jose. Last night, Lightning fans and other NHL fans watched a Lightning team give up five goals in the first period alone! The goalie woes and the aging Roloson are starting to break down this Lightning team. The pressure is mounting for Guy Boucher and Steve Yzerman to get things turned around and fast. And this may be easier said than done for this team and Guy Boucher may want to start worrying that his job may be at stake soon if not already.
But enough talking about another NHL coach that may need to worry about his job. Lets talk about these daunting problems that the Lightning need to start facing very soon if they stand a chance at any type of playoff hopes.
The problems are what they have been all season long: Bad goaltending and bad defense. Without Mattias Ohlund, the Tampa defense has been getting run over with or without the 1-3-1 trap. Ohlund isn’t good enough to be a fix-all for them, however. The rest of the Lightning defense has been miserable and without a true top four blue liner to help solidify things, it’s not going to get better. The Lightning better hope that once this freeze is over on December 27th that they can look into trading for that true top four blue liner; but they may not get that trade without losing one of their super stars and there is no way that the Lightning would opt for that.
Yet, even with another top four guy in the fold that might not do much to save them from the miserable play of Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon. The Lightning don’t have much of a solution to work with in the minor leagues as Dustin Tokarski might still be too young to be their savior. So this leaves Yzerman yet again to work his magic once again once the holiday freeze is over and to determine if a new goalie or another top blue liner is the answer to their question.
Last year, Yzerman saved the Lightning’s season by acquiring Roloson from the Islanders. This time around, getting goalie help won’t be easy as they’re in need of more of a long-term solution. That means taking a shot at Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier, neither of whom may even be available without having to give up a lot. But this has to be a risk the Lightning are willing to take to be a contender in the Eastern Conference. Their goaltending is one huge problem that is providing a huge hole in the Lightning Hockey Club and they are going to want to patch that hole fast. The aging Roloson’s days in Tampa Bay clearly may be numbered.