Yes I realize two games are missing. I'll get to those this week.
Opponent: @ Minnesota
Did I watch Live?: Yes
Three Stars: 3. Nikita Kucherov 2. Ben Bishop 1. Devan Dubnyk (From now on we will just assume that the number spot will go to the opposing goaltender)
Worst Play: Steven Stamkos tripping over....ummm...his own skates and wiping out. For a super awesome wonderful hockey player there are moments where he resembles a baby gazelle. Let's hit the flashback machine!
This stuff is getting pretty old. Lightning play well, get chances, don't score. The Lightning have a momentary let down, the other team scores. The Lightning start moping and watch Ben Bishop stop a bunch of shots. The Lightning regain momentum, hit a couple of posts, get robbed by the goaltender once or twice. The Lightning hear the final whistle, skate back to the bench with Sad Panda faces because they lost again. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Another road game and another loss. This time it was to the Minnesota Wild, 1-0. Ben Bishop was back between the pipes and once again, despite having a pretty good game, took the loss. He has now dropped five in a row. Total amount of goals scored by his team in those five loses – 3 (two by MY BOY NIKITA KUCHEROV).
In our fun with numbers section lets look at Ben Bishop. He is now 5-7-1 on the season. In his five wins the Lightning have scored 19 goals. In his 8 losses they've scored 11 (and 7 of those came in 2 games). That's not a lot of support. It's enough to make the tall man take up drinking. If it isn't then watching his so-called teammates score 8 goals in Andrei Vasilevskiy's two wins should have him reaching for the nearest bottle of Fireball (he looks like a guy who drinks Fireball, right?)
Maybe they're saving all of their goals for the post season. Or they're trying to see if a goaltender with a losing record can win a Vezina. Who knows? Whatever they're doing they have to figure it out soon. Their next two games are against Buffalo (thank you for the 3 wins!) and Calgary (the first JoVsJohnny match-up!). Then things get a bit challenging with the Rangers, Capitals and Kings all coming up.
There is some good news lost in their offensive struggles. They've definitely fixed their penalty kill. Since giving up 2 power play goals against Dallas on October 13th, they've killed off 31 of 33 times shorthanded (and one of those was a 5-on-3 goal) to raised their overall kill percentage to 80.9%.
Overall they're only giving up 2.31 goals a game which puts them 8th in the league. That's good. They're just behind Anaheim who is giving up 2.29 games a game. The two teams play each other on November 21st – bet the under.
At some point they're going to figure out how to score again. They are literally too good not to eventually succeed. We just have to sit back and hope it's not too late in the season.
Jo or Johnny:
Let's welcome Jonathan Drouin back to the lineup! The youngster was finally healthy enough to suit up and play. Not wanting to disrupt the awesome chemistry that the top three lines have developed (why yes that is sarcasm) he skated with Brian Boyle and possible fledgling Jedi JT Brown.
|Aww, Star Wars Couple's Costume! Photo taken from Lexi Lafleur's (that's his girlfriend) Instagram|
Sadly our favorite skater was held scoreless in his return to action and still sits at 6 points. On the other side of the continent Johnny Hockey threw down 3 points in his match-up with Sidney Crosby. He has taken advantage of Drouin's absence to take an 11 point lead in their competition. He sits at 17 points with 4 goals and 13 assists in 15 games played.