After taking a 7-2 beat down from the Sharks in San Jose, one that saw the Lightning give up five goals in the first period, pressure is increasing daily for Guy Boucher and Steve Yzerman to get things turned around and fast.
For the Lightning, 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.
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. That means Yzerman will have to work his magic once the holiday trade freeze is lifted on December 27.
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.
Time is ticking for the Lightning season to be pulled out of the mire and it’s Steve Yzerman’s time to shine.
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.