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.