Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Lightning did what?!

It was all fun & games until defensemen were asked to waive their no-trade clauses. Then reality hit us all up-side the head and we came back down to earth. But it’s good to know before the season starts as to how this ownership group deals with things, right? Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.

I also now see what their game plan is. Apparently this ownership is a group of people who feel that defensemen aren’t important. As long as you’ve got high-powered scoring up front, and decent goaltending at the back, then they should do great, I think is their philosophy. Defensemen are extraneous players who just take up space.

I think I’d like to withdraw my earlier comment of this team going deep into playoffs at this time, and just take a wait & see approach.

How can they even think that this is okay? Even with run-&-gun teams, the defense typically runs-&-guns with the offense. And especially when they hired a head coach who used to be a defenseman himself? I started to get suspicious when all they were bringing in were forwards, and now my suspicions have been confirmed with them shipping out two key defensemen. What the heck are they thinking?

(In the effort for full disclosure, yes, I used to be a defenseman.)

For all of you Lightning forwards out there, be prepared to have a very scary +/- that’s more than likely leaning towards the heavily minus side this season. While the defense is adequate as it stands, you’ll either be asked to contribute more to the overall defense and/or you’ll be asked to just outscore your opponents. Either way, your +/- probably isn’t going to be very pretty.

So, that’s the deal. The plan is for the Lightning forwards to just outscore everybody. Gee, no pressure or anything, guys. If you win, it’ll be a team effort. If you lose, it’ll be because you didn’t score enough. (I guess you’ll now know how the goalies feel, huh?) Never mind that the defense is still a little young, the goaltending may or may not be better, and the coach unproven.

You’ll probably be safe from being traded at a whim since you’re forwards. But then, Boyle thought he was pretty safe, too. You might want to watch your backs, just in case, since I don’t think anybody on this team really is safe – and yes, I’m talking to you, too, Lecavalier. Especially since ownership is running the team, not the GM or coach. I get the impression, even from afar, that you shouldn’t trust these guys – particularly when they’re smiling.

I wonder if Melrose will be able to make his own decisions, or if he’s going to turn into an ownership puppet like Feaster has….

New active ownership? New coach? New players? Yeah, I think that this is a case of “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Best of luck to Boyle & Lukowich. It could turn out that you were the lucky ones after all.

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Anonymous said...

I too am sad about losing Boyle but what about Matt Carle and Ty Wishart and Janne Niskala and the other defenseman. I think Lundin, O'Brien and Picard did a fine job last season.

I am excited about the new additions, although a little worried about the new owners replacing nearly half the team!

Do you know what happened to Andre Roy?

Cassie said...

For me, Carle is an unknown. I have no idea what to expect from this guy, although I hear he played well for SJ during playoffs. Wishart & Niskala I'm pretty sure are slated to go to the minors, unless they have good training camps, anyways.

It's just that the defense hasn't improved at all from last season, while the forward corps have. It makes me nervous. And replacing half the team was a little much, I think. Chemistry could end up being a problem, but we'll see how that goes.

The rest of the defensemen, as a group, did do alright without Boyle & Lukowich for most of the season when they were out with injuries, but they were also so much better when those two were in the lineup.

I have no idea what happened to Roy - or to Gratton, for that matter. I've been wondering that myself. It's as if they've fallen off the face of the earth. I'll keep an eye out on that, but if anyone else happens to know, feel free to share.

JOEY KEMPF said...

well ive been a long time lightning fan and i dont like what the lightning have done to the team.. they didnt sign GRATTON, ROY, and many others and they will not bring them back.. instead they brought in old timers such as GARY ROBERTS and MARK RECCHI.. they are building them to win the cup this year but what about the future. im very disgusted about what the new owners are doing to the team and LIGHTNING FANS be prepared for one of those years again.