Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lightning's massive changes aren't on defence

CURRENT LIGHTNING ROSTER

FORWARDS

Brandon Bochenski
Ryan Craig
Adam Hall
Jeff Halpern
Jussi Jokinen
Vincent Lecavalier
Ryan Malone
Michel Ouellet
Vaclav Prospal
Mark Recchi
Gary Roberts
Wyatt Smith
Martin St. Louis
Nick Tarnasky
Radim Vrbata
Jason Ward
Evgeny Artyhukin

DEFENCEMEN

Matthew Carle
Filip Kuba
Mike Lundin
Shane O'Brien
Alexandre Picard
Paul Ranger
Matt Smaby
Ty Wishart

GOALIES

Olaf Kolzig
Karri Ramo
Mike Smith

LAST YEAR'S LIGHTNING ROSTER

FORWARDS

Michel Ouellet
Jussi Jokinen
Jason Ward
Mathieu Darche
Martin St. Louis
Craig MacDonald
Ryan Craig
Andre Roy
Junior Lessard
Kyle Wanvig
Nick Tarnasky
Vincent Lecavalier
Jeff Halpern
Andreas Karlsson
Tim Taylor
Blair Jones
Chris Gratton

DEFENCEMEN

Alexandre Picard
Doug Janik
Dan Boyle
Matt Smaby
Brad Lukowich
Mike Lundin
Paul Ranger
Shane O'Brien
Filip Kuba

GOALIES

Marc Denis
Karri Ramo
Mike Smith

Insane additions by Tampa this summer. But 2 major questions will remain going in 2008-09:

1. How are the defence going to perform? There were no upgrades there at all. Remember, the Lightning's 267 goals against last season was 2nd-worst in the NHL. Their 227 goals for ranked them about 17th in the League. 23 of the 27 players were in the minus category. That is skewed a bit because Jeff Halpern came over late at the trade deadline in the Richards deal. Jussi Jokinen, also acquired in the Richards deal, finished in the minus category.

2. With the massive change in the forward lines, how will the chemistry be? That's the risk of buying a team. Maybe the addition of veterans like Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi will help with that.

The team will have to pull together defensively to cut back on the goals against, because Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig can't do it all by themselves.

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3 Comments:

At July 9, 2008 at 7:35 AM , Anonymous Neville said...

Two of the hardest hitting players from last year were also two of the most charismatic and popular players (for both the other team members and the fans). I talk of Chris Gratton, and especially Andre Roy (who was greatly underutilized).

I believe the lightning need the passion these players bring.

We want Roy!

 
At July 9, 2008 at 8:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A number of points that seem to have been forgotten:
The Lightning team ultimately gets their revenue from the fans. Dropping Boyle, and probably Gratton and Roy, is unlikely to please said fans. And then they increase the season tickets over 100% in some cases, and this after the Lightning’s poorest showing to date. The fans are bound to love that.

Don’t they realize that it’s not just about winning the cup ... only one team does that per year. It’s about attitudes, passion and familiar faces. Yes, it’s professional hockey and players will move on; however, it’s not about keeping a few high profile faces and changing the rest of the team. Vinny + Marty do not equal the Lightning team, in fact those two players have personally endorsed players such as Andre Roy, Danny and Gratton for their attitude ... wait, these are the very people who aren’t on the roster!

Personally, I’d rather see attitude than big names, in particular the bone crunching kind dealt out but Roy or Gratton.

 
At July 9, 2008 at 9:45 AM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Wow. I didn't know Gratton was so loved. I thought he was a mediocre player. Guess I didn't see a lot of Lightning games last year.
For sure Andre Roy is a player you have to keep though. He was instrumental as a role guy in the Bolt's Cup win.
Thanks you 2 for the input. I wasn't aware of the ticket increase either!
Now the team HAS to excel.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.