Is there anything to say that hasn’t already been said? The Lightning need a competent starting goaltender. They need more defensive depth. They need Victor Hedman to recover from his concussion. They need to sellsellsell at the deadline and stock up on young talent, because holy cow, these guys aren’t going anywhere this season.
It didn’t take long for it to be clear that Thursday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes was going to be one of those games. The Bolts started the game rather listlessly, allowing the Hurricanes to control possession early in the first period. The ’Canes took full advantage of this opportunity, knocking two goals past starting goalie Mathieu Garon within the first five minutes of play. Although the Lightning countered with one goal of their own — thank you, Nate Thompson — the Hurricanes kept the pressure going. They scored twice more by the time the period finished — once on Garon, and once on replacement Dwayne Roloson.
The Lightning came out strong in the second period, dominating possession and shots (18 shots vs. 11), but they couldn’t put much of a dent in the ‘Canes lead. Teddy Purcell scored the Bolts’ second goal, but after that, the Lightning couldn’t manage to get anything else on the scoreboard while the Hurricanes scored once again. The game ended without much fanfare, as the Lightning slunk off the ice after a 5-2 drubbing.
With this loss, Tampa Bay has now lost five games in a row. They still sit at 38 points, while Carolina has now climbed to within one point of them. Unless the Bolts start winning, they could find themselves sinking into last place in the Southeast Division and challenging the Islanders for the title of “Worst Team in the Eastern Conference”.
To look on the bright side, the Lightning are now one step closer to getting a better draft pick in 2013. And at this point, it’s looking like they could surely use the help.
For more on this game, drop by SB Nation’s blog on the Lightning, Raw Charge.