Panic in Tampa Bay

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Updated: October 13, 2019

While it is early in the 2019-2020 NHL season, there has to be panic in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. With a 2-2-1 record, the Bolts are coming off a 4-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators, looking disorganized and demoralized as they battled a division rival who is clearly in a rebuilding phase.

Yes, it is early in the season but alarm bells have to be ringing when you consider that Lightning made a hasty exit from the 2018-19 playoffs after being swept in 4 strate by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Team captain Steven Stamkos has been vocal about the team’s performance. “We just continue to be the freewheeling team that thinks we can just come into games and win because we’re skilled,” Stamkos said, “We keep falling back into the same old bad habits that we’ve been doing, that cost us the season we had last year. “Unless we change things, it’s going to be a really, really, really long year.”

Against the Senators, the Lightning managed just 21 shots on goal and gave up an astounding 34 against a young Senators team, with their top line Kucherov, Stamkos and Pointing managing just 2 shots and going a combined -7 for the evening. In a previous matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Lightning gave up 44 shots and managed just 13 against their opponents.

There is plenty of time left in this season but unless something changes, the team that looked unbeatable last year is in for a very long season. Kucherov, Stamkos and Point have to raise their level of play, put more shots on net and the defensive squad must shutdown their opponents.

There is panic in Tampa Bay but this may simply wake a sleeping giant.

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