The Lightning’s brief and tenuous winning streak screeched to a grisly halt last night against the Buffalo Sabres. If you watched any part of the 3rd period, then you are still pointing at me and laughing tauntingly. What the hell happened?
My Lightning skated into that 3rd period with a 3-point lead, but they have been known to blow better leads than that, and true to character, they more than blew it. They gave up the lead and granted the Sabres a few more goals after that, to ultimately lose 7-4.
You have to try to play as miserably as they did in the 3rd period. It requires effort to suck that bad! The Lightning were daydreaming, exchanging favorite recipes, sharing beauty tips, anything but playing the game of hockey for 20 minutes. It was pathetic, embarrassing, and unacceptable.
My boy Marty St. Louis said, “You can write the same story as the last time we were here: third-period collapse. It’s a bad feeling.” It must be, considering how flagrantly he contributed to that 3rd period collapse. Marty hasn’t added much at all to the team for quite a while, and while he’s still my favorite little-man player, I was horribly disappointed in him, Ramo, and hell, the entire team last night. The only one who didn’t just lay down and die seemed to be Vinny Lecavalier, who still fired shots (but missed) during that painful 3rd period and wasn’t in the same foggy stupor the rest of the team lapsed into.
It’s hard to be overly critical of the goalie though, when the rest of the team fails to support him or to do their jobs as hockey players. Ramo shouldn’t have had to attempt roughly one million saves during that 3rd period. The Lightning were simply unable to keep the puck at the other end of the ice, or to even feebly get it anywhere near their goal. They were absolutely and shamefully useless.
Just moments before, during the 2nd period when the Lightning were still actually playing, Gary and I talked to the kids on the phone, and Bear and I did the hockey dance and laughed about my team finally winning. Bear always cheers for the opposing team anyway, so he will be thrilled my team fell down and couldn’t get back up.
I’m still licking my wounds and stinging. And seething. These men rake in salaries in the millions, and that is the best they can give their fans?
I have to hand it to Tortorella; no matter what is happening on the ice, no matter what that team is doing to provoke and anger him, he has excellent control of his emotions in front of the cameras. The most he’ll betray is a tight, forced grimace of a smile. Me? I’d be leaping over the boards to take a player by the neck after playing as terribly as they did last night.
During the game, they kept advertising the Lighting Fan Appreciation events coming up soon. After this season, and especially after last night, I am left wondering: exactly how many fans do the Lightning have left?