Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning still struggles to score

DENVER — Rick Tocchet seemed almost in disbelief as he uttered the words after the Lightning's morning skate.

"We're last in the league in scoring goals," the interim coach said as the Lightning prepared to play the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night. "I don't think anybody would have said that this summer with all the guys we have."

Certainly not. And despite changes in ownership and coaching staff (including Barry Melrose's ouster after 16 games), and a roster overhaul, the Lightning didn't figure to be 6-9-7 and tied for third (also known as last) in the Southeast Division entering Saturday. But after scoring just 49 goals in 22 games — tied for the league-worst with Ottawa — the Lightning is still trying to find an identity before its season slips away.

"We're getting better. Baby steps," Tocchet said. "Looking at the tape, we were better than Minnesota (in a 4-2 loss on Friday). Specialty teams hurt us. … I think when it was 2-1 we had two guys (miss) empty nets. We're really struggling to score goals."

Captain Vinny Lecavalier leads the Lightning with nine goals and 18 points and is almost on pace to match his average totals of the past three seasons. Marty St. Louis, a former Hart Trophy winner who scored 25 goals last season, has five goals and 17 points. Ryan Malone and Jussi Jokinen have six goals each, but the Lightning is clamoring for other sources of production.

Tampa Bay Lightning still struggles to score 11/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 1:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: TCU’s Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during Thursday’s late College World Series game.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning


    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.