Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning at a loss to figure out Nassau Coliseum losses

RALEIGH, N.C. — Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was joking, it seemed, when asked how his team can overcome a dreadful streak at the Nassau Coliseum.

"Them moving to Brooklyn might help us," he said, laughing.

Actually, the Islanders are scheduled to move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season. In the meantime, what can the Lightning do to break a four-game losing streak on Long Island — it began Dec. 22, 2010, and continued with Monday's 4-3 defeat — during which it has been outscored 16-6?

"I don't know," Yzerman said Tuesday. "I just always found if things don't go well against a team, do something dramatically different. Maybe you have to change the way you do things, stay in a different hotel."

Steve Thomas, Tampa Bay's player development coach, said he doesn't believe players go into an arena thinking they can't win.

"But I think it's in the back of some players minds we haven't won (on Long Island) for a while," he said, "and sometimes you press and go outside the structure of what we're trying to do."

Bottom line, coach Guy Boucher called the way the Lightning plays at Nassau Coliseum a "nightmare" and "a joke."

"It's unbelievable," he said. "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."

But RW Marty St. Louis said the streak is coincidence. He pointed out Tampa Bay beat the Islanders in a 2004 playoff series in which it won twice at Nassau Coliseum.

Reminded the team at the time stayed at a different hotel, St. Louis said, "Yeah, I liked the beds."

GOOD JOB: If there was any doubt what Boucher thought of Anders Lindback in Monday's loss he squelched it, saying if not for the goalie, who made 40 saves on 44 shots, New York might have scored eight or 10.

"Twenty-four scoring chances and only four go in," Boucher said. "Usually there is at least one goal per five scoring chances in the NHL, so you calculate and you tell me how he played."

Lindback's stats are not stellar. His 3.50 goals-against average in two games entered Tuesday tied for 28th in the league and his .905 save percentage was 26th.

But as 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."

GAME TIME: D Brendan Mikkelson played his first game, and had an assist, as defensemen Brian Lee and Marc-Andre Bergeron were scratched.

Boucher said his plan through the first three games was to play each of his eight blue-liners in at least one "and evaluate from there." That said, even Lee knows that after four minor penalties (two in each of his first two games) he has to find a way to stay out of the box.

"Got to keep my sticks out of there," Lee said. "It's stupid, stupid penalties."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning's 6-3 victory over the Capitals Saturday had a record 2.8 television rating on Sun Sports and peaked at 3.4 in the Tampa Bay area. Each ratings point equals about 18,000 households. … RW Dana Tyrell, scratched in the first two games, played 8:37 in his first NHL game since January 2012 surgery on his right knee. … Rays pitcher Chris Archer, a Raleigh native, tweeted he was at the game. … Former Lightning and Hurricanes players Cory Stillman and Kevin Weekes sounded the pregame siren.

Comments
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18
Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

LAS VEGAS — Before Devante Smith-Pelly could relax or breathe or even start thinking about his game-tying goal, he had to start moving his feet.The period of recall began midway through the third period Thursday night, when the Capitals trailed, 3-2....
Published: 06/08/18
Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

The Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise's 43-year history Thursday night in Las Vegas.And still the St. Louis Blues and their fans wait. The Blues marked their 50th NHL season this year; 50 years without a Cup.He...
Published: 06/08/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

As the Washington Capitals celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship, Rick Stroud reflects on what could have been for the Lightning, which came within a victory of eliminating Washington in the conference final.Plus, the Rays lose in ...
Published: 06/08/18
Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

LAS VEGAS — Alex Ovechkin put both hands to his head and screamed while he left the bench and skated into the thick of the Washington Capitals' joyous celebration. And right before Ovechkin hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Washington captain put ...
Published: 06/07/18
Updated: 06/08/18
Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

You might not recognize the name, but my words were probably some of the first you read after the Lightning won its first – and, so far, only — Stanley Cup 14 years ago today.In the days before social media, email newsletters and push not...
Published: 06/07/18
The Lightning Effect on the Stanley Cup is about to strike again

The Lightning Effect on the Stanley Cup is about to strike again

Call it the Lightning effect.The Washington Capitals are a win away from ending years of frustration and winning their first Stanley Cup.As if we doubted them.RELATED: More Lightning coverageAlex Ovechkin and his Caps teammates have the Tampa Bay Lig...
Published: 06/05/18