NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

Blown Lead, Game Prompt Tampa Bay Lightning To Take Action

Brendan Gallagher Reacts To His Game-Winning Goal

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When teams are struggling with nothing going their way, it’s only natural to begin losing a little confidence. That’s what is happening with the Tampa Bay Lightning lately and, following tonight’s blown two-goal third period lead at home against the Montreal Canadiens, it led to a players-only meeting behind closed doors.

Actually, this was a long time coming for Tampa Bay. Every close loss, missed opportunity or defensive gaffe was costing them precious points. In just over a months span, they’d gone from tops in the Eastern Conference to within two points of the bottom. There were even rumors circulating regarding head coach Guy Boucher‘s job security.

As for team confidence, you could easily see it dwindling with every loss. Players were either trying too hard or not enough, thus costing the team wins. Steven Stamkos was hot (as expected), but Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and others were struggling to find the back of the net.

In addition, it seemed like almost every mistake was coming back to haunt them. Look, the Lightning’s goaltending woes are well documented. It’s been this way for years and won’t change overnight. That’s why the defense needs to step it up, either by out-battling or throwing their body around.

Tonight’s loss to Montreal is a great example, as the puck was underneath rookie goaltender Cedrick Desjardins but no whistle was blown. They kept whacking and it eventually squirted out, leading to Stamkos diving head first into the net trying to prevent that goal. It didn’t work and had many fans questioning where the defense was because, quite honestly, the star forward shouldn’t be doing such a thing.

Will this players-only meeting result in a playoff spot? Probably not. Could it spark them to some wins? Yes, most definitely. This Lightning team cares and won’t give up until everything’s said and done.

 

Lauren Burg is a Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and join her circle on Google.