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It’s not getting better in Tampa Bay

Dec 22, 2011, 8:41 AM EDT

Dwayne Roloson, Brett Clark AP

After taking a 7-2 beat down from the Sharks in San Jose, one that saw the Lightning give up five goals in the first period, pressure is increasing daily for Guy Boucher and Steve Yzerman to get things turned around and fast.

For the Lightning, the problems are what they have been all season long: Bad goaltending and bad defense. Without Mattias Ohlund, the Tampa defense has been getting run over with or without the 1-3-1 trap. Ohlund isn’t good enough to be a fix-all for them, however. The rest of the Lightning defense has been miserable and without a true top four blue liner to help solidify things, it’s not going to get better.

Even with another top four guy in the fold that might not do much to save them from the miserable play of Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon. The Lightning don’t have much of a solution to work with in the minor leagues as Dustin Tokarski might still be too young to be their savior. That means Yzerman will have to work his magic once the holiday trade freeze is lifted on December 27.

Last year, Yzerman saved the Lightning’s season by acquiring Roloson from the Islanders. This time around, getting goalie help won’t be easy as they’re in need of more of a long-term solution. That means taking a shot at Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier, neither of whom may even be available without having to give up a lot.

Time is ticking for the Lightning season to be pulled out of the mire and it’s Steve Yzerman’s time to shine.

  1. vinstamarty - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Can someone fill me in on why Cedrick Desjardins is not in our organization anymore (boy could we use him now!!)? I know there were injuries, but he was in with Boucher in Hamilton and looked fantastic in his two games on the call up. Ironically, I’m reading yesterday he’s top dog in the AHL now…only to watch my Lightning get embarrassed last night out west. Even though our defense is in trouble I believe we aren’t going anywhere with our current goaltending situation. Can Stevie Y pull something out of his hat after Dec 27th and who’s out there besides names above??? FRUSTRATED!!

  2. paulsdamnblog - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Jonas Hiller and Francois Beauchemin will probably be available soon since the Ducks are going nowhere fast. Both would be upgrades and Anaheim looks like its ready to throw in the towel and start rebuilding, so they won’t come cheaply.

    • elvispocomo - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      Who would they send back to Anaheim though? Anaheim will still need a goalie, even if they’re rebuilding, and they don’t want Rolo. Both teams are within $3-4M of the cap and if you’re suggesting Tampa is going to pick up $8.3M in salary from Anaheim, they’ll have to move at least $5M out (although LTI for Ohlund may help in that regard). Anaheim won’t jump at taking back Lecavalier or anything like that.

      Anaheim on the other hand would love a shot at offensive players in Tampa’s system like Connelly, Panik, Ashton and Namestnikov if they’re rebuilding, but that hardly helps the cap situation, so I just don’t see how they could make a deal.

      Most likely at this point is LA. They’re struggling as well, and if they don’t show signs of life in the next week or two, they might be convinced to move Bernier to get some of that young offensive talent I mentioned above.

      • paulsdamnblog - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Good point about the $$$, I just looked at capgeek, and didn’t realize how close the Lightning really were. That Lecavalier contract really hurts, considering the lack of production they’ve gotten from him in the last few years.

  3. bcisleman - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Brewer, Hedman, and Kubina are not considered true top fours?

  4. rainyday56 - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Suck it up. Stevie is having a remedial lesson on learning how to hate to lose.

  5. mgp1219 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Last season was a fluke. They simply are not good enough or tough enough. Period.

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