Feb. 12, 2017
Lightning showing signs of life
?It's been a long time coming. It has been six weeks since we last saw the Lightning put two solid wins together. The 2 wins against Anaheim and Los Angeles were two of the most complete games the Lightning have played this season.
The 5-0 win against the LA Kings was easily the best performance of the season for goalie Ben Bishop. In the first period alone Bishop made 19 saves on the way to the shutout victory. It will take this kind of play from both Bishop and Vasilevskiy down the stretch if the Lightning are to get on that run that propels them to the playoffs.
We've talked about sense of urgency with this team and the Lightning had it these last two games. Against the Ducks they refused to lose. The Lightning outshot the Ducks 37-16 and were tied 2-2 at the end of overtime. It took a shootout for the Lightning to secure the win but the two points were most needed. The Lightning still remain 5 points out of the last wildcard playoff spot and with 28 games remaining will need to win a majority of those games to get into the playoffs.
This four game road trip coming up will not be an easy one for the Lightning. The Minnesota Wild are up first for the Lightning on Friday night followed by a trip to Winnipeg on Saturday. Then the Lightning will have a week off before going to Dallas and Colorado the following weekend.
It also looks the Lightning are starting to catch a break with the health of the team. The nagging injuries that hampered Kucherov, Point and JT Brown are starting to subside. Kucherov is looking like the Kucherov of old as he has 4 points in his last 2 games with 2 goals against LA on Tuesday night.
The Lightning are also starting to get contributions from their third and fourth line players. JT Brown, Luke Witkowski, and Gabriel Dumont have all contributed the last couple of games. This will need to continue down the stretch as the Lightning need a balanced scoring attack with Stamkos and Callahan out.
For the first time in a long time, the fans were on their feet Tuesday and Amalie Areana was rocking as the the Fans saluted the effort of their team in the 5-0 win. It looks as if Lightning hockey is back in Tampa. At least for 2 nights. And that is good to see.