Lightning continues to be on the lookout for defensive consistency

Lightning continues to be on the lookout for defensive consistency

TEMPA – The Lightning noticed why the Bruins staff had one of the best report within the league.

They skate rapidly, move precisely and possess synergy that enables them to know the place to seek out one another on the ice. They attacked from angles and in waves, and that uncovered Lightning’s defensive holes in Tampa Bay’s 5-3 loss on Monday night time at Amalie Area.

The Lightning had certainly one of their finest opening durations of the season and took an early lead solely to see the Bruins rating 5 objectives in a row. 4 of these objectives, together with two from energy play, have been scored straight in entrance of the web, a extremely harmful space that the Lightning needed to defend repeatedly all through the primary 19 video games.

“That is why they’re such an elite staff within the league,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper mentioned. “When it did not go their means, they stored it collectively and caught with it and when it did not go our means, we did not deal with it properly. Our sport plan was to guard the areas we would have liked to be, however we did not do it close to the place we must always have been given the urgency of issues.”

Lightning too usually conceded three or extra objectives (in 14 video games), which is a harmful system for Cooper.

“We all know and everybody is aware of, however you may’t… sustain with the three plus,” he mentioned. “It is two or much less, and issues like this occur to you. You’ll not win all of them. However you are giving your self a very good probability.

After taking part in eight video games in a row the place they conceded three or extra objectives, the Lightning drew their opponents by two objectives or much less in wins over Calgary and Nashville final week. In order that they’ve seen their defensive system work, a minimum of within the brief time period.

Their 3-2 win over the Predators on Saturday was harking back to their post-season blueprint. The Lightning had many good alternatives early on and had the best 18 photographs on aim of the season within the first interval, however solely scored one aim.

The Lightning’s Ross Colton (79) and the Predators’ Filip Forsberg (9) vie for additional time on Saturday. [ MARK HUMPHREY | AP ]

However they have been decided to play strong protection all through the 60 minutes, controlling the ball properly, limiting passing and limiting the Predators’ high-risk alternatives up entrance. They stored the Predators exterior and blocked within the center to forestall screens and diversions, which allowed goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy to see the ball because it got here to him.

“, simply higher defend the center of the ice, make a aware effort to be sturdy in our D zone,” mentioned Lightning Brayden Level heart. “And that’s one thing that I feel is enhancing. What nonetheless must be performed is that we’ve not flipped the ball that a lot and once we do, we’re going again and attempting to restrict the quirks’ dashes.

Follow all the actions on and off the ice

Observe all of the actions on and off the ice

Join our free Lightning Strike publication

We’ll ship you Bolts information, evaluation and commentary weekly all through the season.

All of you signed up!

Need extra of our free weekly publication in your inbox? Begin.

Discover all of your choices

“So I feel, if something, it is simply defending the center of the ice and attempting to restrict the probabilities of the oddballs.”

The Bruins may very well be the Lightning’s largest take a look at so far on this fledgling season. They lead the league when it comes to objectives, averaging 4.16 a sport, in order that they’ve netted fairly a number of opponents. However Monday’s loss was a reminder that the Lightning shouldn’t be the place they have to be on the defensive. It did not assist that the punishments continued to hit them, leaving Boston with 4 energy video games of the night time.

Lightning left Nick Foligno alone in entrance of the web in energy play, permitting him to drag off a rebound to offer the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Charlie Coyle took an inside spot alongside the again put up to clear the best way for Boston’s third aim.

However the Bolts’ largest breakdown was on the Bruins’ fourth aim from Brad Marchand, the place a ball was deflected into the air and three Boston skaters surrounded the goalless aim. Marchand takes the ball from the air and takes a shot from the entrance of Vasilevskiy.

“That may very well be the main focus,” Level added. “However I assume it is principally simply being chargeable for it after which hockey is a quick sport. If you happen to make a mistake, the groups can have an opportunity and there might be a crash. However I feel it is simply the way you get well, how your plan is recovering. And…we did higher than that plan.”

• • •

Join Lightning Strikes, a weekly publication from the author of beating the Bolts, Eduardo A. Encina, that brings you nearer to the ice.

By no means miss the newest on school sports activities Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida, and so forth. Observe our Tampa Bay Instances sports activities staff on Twitter and Fb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *