“They out-hit us, they outplayed us, they out-everythinged us, they outcoached us,” Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. “Their leaders out-did our leaders, their grinders out-did our grinders. Our goaltender got out-goaltended. The only thing good was the bus was on time for this game. The bus driver was the best thing we had.”
The game was a complete embarrassment.
The Lightning had 7 players with a -2 or worse: Kurtis Foster, Jeff Halpern, Ryan Malone, Martin St Louis, Paul Szczechura, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos. Other than Zenon Konopka and Alex Tanguay who had 0 +/- ratings, everyone else had a minus.
Marian Gaborik had 4 points, Brandon Dubinski, Vinny Prospal, Chris Higgins and Matt Gilroy all had 2 points for the Rangers.
Antero Niittymaki was awful allowing 5 goals on 20 shots. Ever since he took a short leave of absence for the birth of his child, he has not been the same. He has allowed 20 goals on 143 shots. That’s good for a .860 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA in the 6 games (5 stats, one sub in for injured Mike Smith). What was looking like a good goaltending situation before Mike Smith got hurt and Nitty became a father, is suddenly looking bleak at best. Rookie Dustin Tokarski came into a lose-lose situation and allowed 3 goals on 11 shots in his 2nd action of the season.
There was nothing during the game that got me excited other than finding out it was on Versus and on National TV, and Ryan Malone beating Aaron Voros’ ass. Malone hit him with 2 different knockout punches during the fight, he just happened to literally pick him back up off the ice from the first one. Malone has me very excited for Team USA hockey in the Olympics.
Regardless, it was small consolation to an embarrassment on national TV, and a game that left us in sole possession of 13th place in the East.