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NHL Anaheim Ducks

Tampa Bay Lightning Winning But Improvement Still Needed

Ryan Malone Receives Congratulations From Teammates Following Goal

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We are about a week into the 2013 NHL season, with the Tampa Bay Lightning sporting a 4-1-0 record. While this is fun, and the team’s shown a lot of different ways to win, there’s still room for improvement.

With the Florida Panthers coming in town tomorrow night, we must rise to the occasion. I know it probably seems obvious, but the Lightning consistently have difficulty doing this. Instead, we let our guard down against struggling teams. It happened last week versus the New York Islanders, and is bound to occur again this season.

Another thing the Lightning need to correct is the power play. Now, before jumping on me, I’ll say we were magnificent with the man advantage last night. That won’t happen all the time though, and I don’t think we can expect it to. Our passing needs to be crisper and we must shoot the puck. I’m sorry but a bunch of passes between players doesn’t earn a goal, nor does it give the team much of a chance to try and score.

The second period also needs work, as the Lightning’s opponents have outscored them by a wide margin during that time. They were able to hold the Philadelphia Flyers scoreless there last night though, which is a step in the right direction. Plus the Lightning’s third periods have them outscoring opponents 13-1, a big key in their 4-1 start.

Goaltending remains a small concern as well, with Anders Lindback giving up a bad goal or two in each of his starts. Mathieu Garon hasn’t started enough games to really be assessed, though he looked good in his one outing.

Obviously, a lot of this could be attributed to having a shortened training camp. When a team has only a week of preparation, and tons of new faces, there’s bound to be some growing pains. The good news for the Lightning is that the only thing which matters, their record, remains very good. One thing’s for certain: if they keep improving every game, this team could be playing well into June!