Snazzy new uni's aside, we had a feeling it was going to be a rough start to the Tampa Bay Lightning's season in 2011-12. While renovations are completed on the St. Pete Times forum (have you seen the video on the tesla coils...awesomeness), the Bolts were forced to start the season with a five game road trip.
The NHL didn't do them any favors, scheduling early dates with Washington, Boston and Florida along with tough games Carolina and that mausoleum in Long Island.
As you would expect, the Bolts have struggled in their first week on the ice - going 1-2-1 with a home-and-home with the Panthers to wrap up the long road trip.
So as we begin our new weekly featue: Bolts Out of the Blue, let's take a look at the week that was.
Weekly Record: 1-2-1
Season Record: 1-2-1
Bolt of the Week: Martin St. Louis, RW
Like a fine wine, Marty St. Louis seems to just get better with time. The old man was at his best this week scoring 2 goals and 3 points to lead the way for Tampa Bay's inconsistent offense. He need his fellow scorers to get going, but if St. Louis can put together another All-Star worthy season, Tampa Bay will continue to contend for the Southeast division crown.
Bolt that was a Dolt this week: Dwayne Roloson, G
Father Time, meet Dwayne Roloson. The Methuselah of goalies looked his age this week, as Rollie the Goalie had an eye popping 4.35 GAA and .833 save percentage. Roloson has been slow to react and just hasn't seemed to got his timing down.
The Lightning won't go very far if Rollie can't find his game.
Game of the Week: Washington 6, Tampa Bay 5 (SO)
Even though the Lightning lost, Tampa Bay and Washington dazzled a national television audience with a thrilling, playoff-like hockey game. You could tell how badly the Caps wanted that game but the Lightning just kept coming back and coming back. Tampa Bay made big free agent acquisition Tomas Vokoun look like a jobber and it took a herculean effort from Jason Chimera to keep the Caps in it.
Game we'd like to forget: NY Islanders 5, Tampa Bay 1
Filed in the category of "what the hell was that?" the Lightning joined USF, the Bucs and Rays as bay area based teams that had their doors blown off in within the last couple of weeks. As we mentioned, Dwayne Roloson was simply abysmal in this hockey game, surrendering 5 goals in 26:47 of work. Meanwhile, the Lightning's power play was power less going 0-for-3 and only Steven Stamkos found the net in this one - and that was on a deflection.
This week the Bolts have a home-and-home against the Florida Panthers, followed by a rematch with those pesky Islanders, but this time in the sizzledome (the SP Times Forum).