Can't win without goaltending
Guess everything is back to square one. The Lightning finally gets some goals but gets lousy goaltending. Perhaps that is what this season is destined to be, an up-and-down battle in which the team fights for consistency and to get everyone on the same page at the same time.
Look, the Thrashers have some pretty good shooters. Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa can play with the best of them. But the shots on which they scored Saturday night weren't ones on which you said, 'Oh, wow.' And there were defensive lapses that led to the scoring chances, but everybody has those. In this context, I view them more as opportunities for game-turning saves, the kind of saves teams need to win consistently.
I still think Holmqvist hasn't been that bad this season overall, and he made a nice save in the first period on Pascal Dupuis' breakaway. But, man, they really needed him to step up at key times in a game in which the team wanted to make a statement, and even he admitted he failed while allowing five goals on 21 shots and two goals on four shots in the third period -- there was that one empty netter, after all.
Good to see the team score again, though. The top two lines were on their game, it seemed to me. The bottom lines were doing some good work on the forecheck.
On this night, the Lightning just needed a save.