Tom Pyatt Saving the Lightning Season

By anthonyweihofen

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa bay Lightning could be done for the season if they can’t beat the New York Islanders tomorrow.

Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout. The star player of the night wasn’t Stamkos for once but center Tom Pyatt.

In last night’s victory Pyatt scored both goals as well as in the shootout to put Tampa Bay ahead of the now 13th place Toronto Maple Leafs. Pyatt brought his season total up to 10 goals and 16 points on the year.

This total has brought Pyatt to more than double his season total for the last two seasons in which he played for the Montreal Canadiens. This brings his career stats up to 14 goals and 28 points in 166 games.

The Lightning’s upcoming game against the Islanders will be a true test of this team’s future. Though the Islanders have improved greatly since goaltender Evgeni Nabokov took over full-time in net they are still 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

If the Lightning can pull out the victory at home against the Isles then they could be tied for 11th with the Carolina Hurricanes. If they lose it will be statistically too tough for Tampa Bay to reach the post-season. They would need an incredible amount of bad luck towards teams ahead of them in order to make the playoffs.

Even if they were able to make the post-season after a loss from the Isles how much would the Bolts even be able to compete? They should be able to beat a 14th place team in order to beat those in the playoff eight.

The Lightning haven’t beat too many other current non-playoff teams this month. Tough losses to teams such as Toronto, Buffalo and once to Carolina on top of the losses to playoff contending teams such as Washington and Ottawa are reasons why a loss to another non-playoff contending team like the Islanders would likely be the nail in the coffin for the Lightning’s playoff hopes.

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