5 Takeaways From The Lightning’s 4-3 Win Against The Coyotes

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

After a close game on Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche, where the Lightning lost 3-2, losing because of Darcy Kuemper’s spectacular performance in net, the Tampa Bay Lightning went to Glendale to face off against the Arizona Coyotes.

While the Lightning won, it certainly wasn’t an easy game. Flaws were shown as the Lightning nearly gave up a late lead to the second-worst team in the league. Arizona has just 108 goals for and 180 goals against. Tampa Bay has 164 goals for, and 136 goals allowed. Very different numbers between the two teams, yet the Lightning still barely won the game, being saved only by a Coyotes player missing a wide-open net.

Here are our five takeaways from Friday night’s game.

1. Blame shouldn’t be put on Elliott

It’s been a long time since Brian Elliott has been between the pipes, and there will be some issues that come with such a long time not playing. The same thing happened to Andrei Vasilevskiy after he got out of covid protocol, where he had one of his worst nights in recent years. While Elliott’s numbers don’t look good, it’s good to keep in mind that he is coming off a long break. Elliot also did not see a ton of shots and that made it even more difficult to get into a rhythm.

2. Finishing is Still an Issue

This has been said all season long, but the Lightning’s offense needs to finish their chances. This is caused by everyone on the team, and while most people will think of Ross Colton when someone says anything about not finishing chances, it happens to the best. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has had his share of unfinished chances. If the Lightning can fix this issue, things should be good moving forward.

3. Healthy Stamkos is scary

Not very often do you hear talks of a player being overrated, and then right after, the player returns to being a top player in the league. Stamkos is known for being injured a lot, and even last season he was injured for half the season. Now that he is fully healthy and has only missed one game, fans are seeing the Stamkos they all know and love. Stamkos had a pair of goals in the third period in Arizona that proved to be the difference maker on the scoreboard.

4. Moves need to be made at the deadline

In the 2019-20 and 2021 seasons, the Lightning have picked up important pieces who made big differences in their cup runs. In 2020, the Lightning famously gave up multiple picks to get Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.  Last season, the Lightning picked up David Savard at the deadline, who helped lift the Lightning to winning another cup. This season, however, will be different. Somebody off the current roster would need to be moved as the cap constraints are tight. Names that come to mind are Colton, Fredrik Claesson, Andrej Sustr, and possibly Maxime Lagace. Trading these players would give the Lightning some draft picks, but Colton can give the Lightning a reliable 4th line player who could help more in the playoffs, and it would help keep stress off some of the Lightning’s salary issues if Colton asks for too much when his next contract comes due.

5. Lines seem near perfect

The lines for the Lightning team are very close to perfect. It works, and they’ve been like this for a while now as the forward group is now all at full health. As long as the coaching staff doesn’t mess with the lines too much, everything should go smoothly until the playoffs.