With Ben Bishop sidelined due to a lower body injury suffered during Thursday night’s game, Anders Lindback got another chance at grasping the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s no. 1 goaltender position Saturday night. A good showing would have certainly helped his case, while performing badly could earn him a one-way ticket out of Tampa Bay.
Guess that ticket should be booked then, as Saturday night’s performance in a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was so terrible it left fans hoping he’d never again start in net this season, unless of course there’s nothing worth playing for. Five goals on 26 shots, and the winner coming with 20 seconds remaining. All that after your team had just bailed you out once again, intent on earning at least one point.
I’m sorry, but when your teammates play their tails off against a very good team they probably expect a little help in the form of huge saves at key moments. And what could be bigger than mere seconds remaining in a tie game?
That mistake not only cost the Lightning a point or two in the standings, extremely critical given their new division among other things, it also could spell the end for Lindback. Which would be a shame considering GM Steve Yzerman signed him during the 2012 offseason, promising he’d help bring stability to the team’s ongoing goaltending situation.
Unfortunately, stability’s not something Lindback’s brought to the Lightning. His 4.07 GAA and .843 save percentage in two starts this season prove that much.
Horrible as it sounds, this pathetic loss should mark the end of Lindback’s starts. Because really, who can afford to throw away points and games? Certainly not the Lightning, who need every point possible in order to make a legitimate playoff push.