|Let tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news. Have a question or comment for The Insider? Send me an email at Insider@tampabaylightning.com
Six in a row on the road! Nice work by the Lightning last night, going up against a confident team that wins with defense and beating them at their own game. The Lightning struggled to create opportunities in the first period, carried the play in the second period and held strong in the third period as Nashville picked up its offense. Johan Holmqvist continues to play with confidence on the road, which bodes well for the Bolts down the stretch.
Tampa Bay now sits within six points of the top of the Southeast Division in what continues to be a perplexing season. Lose seven in a row on the road to start, then win six in a row on the road after New Year’s? Look unbeatable at home early on, then go on a 3-9 stretch at the St. Pete Times Forum in December and January? Right now the team needs to just put the negatives in the past and realize that, despite all the craziness, this is a confident group that’s playing well and has a real shot to inject itself right back into the middle of the Southeast Division playoff chase.
Since Dan Boyle’s return to the lineup the entire team has seemed re-focused and 27 games is plenty of time to make something memorable happen. Wouldn’t it be even sweeter to make a successful playoff run after so many had counted the Lightning out? That said, every game is huge for the Bolts, and tomorrow night’s tilt in Atlanta should be electric. The Lightning have two games in hand on the Thrashers and trail them by five points. Atlanta has also scored fewer and allowed more goals this season, and both teams have 27 losses.
Everyone got to sleep in a bit today, as Lightning coach John Tortorella chose to cancel a scheduled practice. If the team had skated it would’ve meant changing into the gear at the Sommet Center and busing to a practice rink 45 minutes away, so everyone, including the trainers and equipment managers, is extremely appreciative of the day off. The team will bus to the airport at noon for the short hop to Atlanta.