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With little consistency in goal, Tampa Bay Lightning goes back to Roloson tonight versus Capitals



It seemed an easy question for Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher: don't you wish one of your goaltenders would take the lead and make the job his own?

 Boucher said "yeah," but then added a "but."

Before we get to his reasoning, a little update. The Lightning will go with Dwayne Roloson tonight against the Capitals, a day after Mathieu Garon did not do so well (three goals on eight shots in 15 minutes before being pulled) and Roloson did fairly well in relief, stopping 22 of 24 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes.

That came after Roloson played well against the Canucks in a 5-4 shootout loss, but before that played in just six of 20 games while he got his game back in order.

Oh, and by the way, Tampa Bay has pulled its starting goalie nine times this season. It also is last in the league with a 3.35 combined goals-against average and is second to last with an .889 combined save percentage.

Now, back to Boucher, who you recall was asked if he wished one of his goalies would make the job his own, which would mean finding some consistency.

"Yeah, but, you know what?" Boucher said. "You look at how we played defensively in the first period (four goals allowed against the Hurricanes). They (the defense) didn't play the game that they should have had. We got beat one-on-one defensively in the first period and left the goalie alone. Of course, if my goaltenders would make miracles, nobody would cry about that. But it's a real team thing." 

True, but the goalies are supposed to bail out the defense from time to time and we haven't seen enough of that.

All that adds up to the Lightning playing a very defensive-oriented game tonight against the Capitals, who have won five straight at home. As someone with the team said, "It might be boring."

Other stuff from this morning: Boucher said he likely will go with only six defensemen tonight as opposed to seven the past two games. That means Pierre-Cedric Labrie is probably in. No word on which defenseman will come out. ... Did you know the Lightning is 10-1-4 in one goal games? Shows you how often it gets blown out. ... How about these grisly stats: Lightning power play is on a 2-for-35 streak and also is on a 1-for-34 streak on the road. ... The Lightning, in each of its past two games has allowed a goal fewer than 35 seconds after scoring one of its own. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler on Tuesday scored 30 seconds after Vinny Lecavalier's goal. Carolina's Jay Harrison on Thursday scored 34 seconds after Nate Thompson. "There's a cliche that you have a  goal, the next shift is huge because you either want to keep the momentum or keep the momentum away from them," Thompson said. "So, whenever you score a goal and they score one right back it really takes the wind out of your sails." Boucher did not seem to have an answer. "There are different lines with different people, so the frame of mind is probably where it starts," he said. "I'd have to go blow-by-blow and see what happened there, but they are all different." One thing not different is that in both cases Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis and Matt Gilroy were on the ice.

[Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 3:28pm]


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