Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging for NHL.com periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, he reflects on a 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5.
TAMPA -- Well, Game 6 on Monday is a must-win. It's about as simple as that.
It's obviously been close games every game, one-goal games, you can be on either side of it, but this is a tough one to lose tonight and definitely a tough one to put behind you. But we've got to be able to do that, to try to move forward as best as we can, and really just focus on the next one.
The next one is a must-win.
People wonder all the time how we feel after we lose a game, if we feel the next one is a must-win. It never really is until it is. Now it is, it most definitely is.
I mentioned how we've got to be able to do it. Let's be honest, it's tough to do. There's no real answer for how to do it, we've just got to do it.
We can't think about it too much. We have to think about the positives. It's tough to move on. It's tough not to think about it. But you've got to do your best to keep your mind going somewhere else, try to find something else to think about for the time being until Monday comes around.
It can hurt and it can also help that we've been so close in all these games. I think you can look at it as a positive because each game is close, so it's a matter of one shot, one break, one lucky bounce. That can go our way in Game 6. It's not impossible to think that it can.
But we can't wait for it either. We have to defend, keep them out as much as we can, but we have to try to get more. You can win with one goal as we've scored the past two games, but your chances of doing so are obviously very slim.
As for the game tonight, the first period wasn't our best in terms of sustaining pressure. They got on their forecheck, kept pucks in, made us defend, and it's hard to play that way. We weren't too worried about it, but we knew we needed a better effort.
The second period was better. We can take that away as a positive moving forward.
We have to be the aggressor. We can't sit back and let them dictate. I think we did that in the first at times, but we have to have more poise with the puck, break it out a little bit easier, and not let them hold the forecheck on us. Once we were able to do that, we were able to get it on the offensive end.
It's still only one goal though. We have to put more pucks to the net early on and pretty much just do everything we can in Game 6.
No regrets. It's must-win time now.