Lightning coach Guy Boucher says G Anders Lindback not the problem in Monday's loss
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback will take a seat tonight against the Hurricanes as Mathieu Garon gets his first start of the season.
Coach Guy Boucher said the decision had nothing to do with the way Lindback played in Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Islanders. In fact, Boucher said he was pleased with Lindback’s performance in which he made 40 saves as Tampa Bay was outplayed and outshot 44-26.
“If it wasn’t for Lindback, it would have been eight or 10,” Boucher said about the Islanders goals. "Twenty-four scoring chances and only four go in.”
As for how Lindback played in his first two games, Boucher said, “He makes key saves. Good goaltenders, they don’t stop everything and they might let one in that you don’t like but they make the right save at the right time and he does that. He kept us in and he kept us in (on Monday).”
Lindback did the same in Saturday's 6-3 victory over the Capitals in which he, as D Eric Brewer said, "saved the period" when he stoned Washington which had a 7-0 shot advantage to start the game thanks to three power plays in the first seven minutes.
Lindback volunteered Monday that he could have done a better job on David Ullstrom's goal that gave the Islanders a 4-0 lead early in Monday's third period. Lindback said he was cheating toward the center of the net because he was sure Ullstrom would make a drop pass. But Ullstrom went high with a wrist shot, taking advantage of the space the goalie left open.
Lindback’s stats -- a 3.50 goals-against average and .905 save percentage -- are not stellar, either. But it is way too early to start evaluating numbers.
For now, Boucher said Lindback is doing what was expected.
Other stuff from the morning skate: The Lightning will again go with 12 forwards and six defensemen. RW Dana Tyrell gets in his first game of the season as does D Brendan Mikkelson. Defensemen Brian Lee and Marc-Andre Bergeron are the scratches with RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie. … Boucher said not to read too much into the lineup changes on defense. He said his plan was to give all eight defensemen at least one game during the first three and then evaluate. … That said, Lee is off to a rough start in that he has been called for four penalties -- cross-checking, holding, hooking and boarding -- in two games. “I don’t think it’s as big a deal as you are making it,” Lee said. “Just play like normal and not get my stick on guys. It will be fine.” Still, Lee said of the penalties, “It’s stupid.” … Boucher has a solution to the Lightning’s woes at Nassau Coliseum. “I just can’t wait till they move,” he said. Monday’s 4-3 loss was Tampa Bay’s fourth straight on Long Island while being outscored 16-6. “Just a joke,” Boucher said. “There are ghosts just hanging around there. What we’re scared of I don’t know what. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen our team play as bad as every single game we’ve played in the Islanders barn. I just can’t wait till they move.” The Islanders are scheduled to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015-16. … RW Marty St. Louis is off to a fast start with three goals and five points, which entered Tuesday tied for second in the league. “Obviously, I’d like to be 2-0 than have the five points, but individually, yeah, I’m happy with my start. But it’s two games. Two games don’t make a season. You have to earn it every day and that’s what I try to do, just try to help my team every game.” Added Boucher: “Oh, he wants it. He wants it so bad. There’s an urgency to the man and it’s contagious for everybody. He’s come in with a great attitude this year of wanting to make sure he makes a difference.” … LW Cory Conacher has had quite a few weeks with the Lightning. He went through training camp on a line with C Vinny Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell, and on Monday was moved to a line with C Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. Conacher’s four points (one goal, three assists) also entered Tuesday second in the league among rookies. “It’s really been a dream start,” Conacher said. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my teammates and, obviously, the coaching and management side of it for giving me the opportunity to be on this team. It’s really incredible. I’ll probably tear up in the summer when I look back and realize I played in the NHL.” … Former Lightning W Jussi Jokinen, now with the Hurricanes, said playing for his hometown team, Karpat, in Finland during the lockout was more nerve-wracking than playing in the NHL, especially because he owns 1 percent of the team. “It makes the pressure to do good even more,” he said. “It’s a lot of attention. Everybody is looking at you. It was fun.”