The Tampa Bay Lightning lost an embarrassing game last night to the NY Rangers, 5 to 0.
The Rangers got 4 first period goals from Brandon Prust, Marc Staal, Vinny Prospal and Brandon Dubinsky to put the game out of reach before the Bolts even really knew what hit them.
Mike Smith lasted a grand total of 7 shots on goal, allowing all 4 of the first period goals. At this point, I have pretty much given up hope on Smitty becoming a starting caliber goaltender. He has a fire that I really like, and occasionally has games that make you think he could be an above average starter in the NHL, but he lacks any discernible consistency. He has a .897% save percentage and a 3.16 GAA both good for 41st in the league. Not only do the Bolts have to look for some more scoring pop in the offseason, they have to find a reliable netminder.
While the game was an embarrassment, I’ve been preaching for two weeks now that losing is in the best interest of this club. There are 3 to 4 bonafide studs in this years draft, and we need to be in position to draft one of them. We still sit in the third spot as far as the draft lottery is concerned, leaving us a chance at landing the number one pick in the draft.