Last night I was sitting in front a man who kept saying over and over again during the overtime “Come on guys send us home happy send us home happy!”. Well he like the rest of the Bolts fans didn’t go home happy after the game with the 5-4 OT loss to the Canadiens. It was an exciting sloppy game that had all the fans in the building on the edge of the seats while biting their nails at the same time.
Here are a few random thoughts on the game.
Lindback was very good and very bad at the same time. Anytime you give up 5 goals people are going to wag their tongues that you were awful. But as John Cooper pointed out that the Tampa Bay defense last night was not very good and didn’t help him very much. The Habs out shot the Bolts 44 to 25 but it wasn’t that close to begin the game as far a shots on goal.
The Bolts are a young team still wet behind the ears when it comes to playoff minutes, the Habs are a battle tested team with lots play off experience. That showed through in the first two periods. The Bolts looked lost at time and on defense just seemed like they played in their zone all night. In the third period they got their sea legs and looked more like the young athletic Bolts. One of my keys was that Tampa Bay was better at 5 on 5 skating which they should be. You saw that in the 3rd and OT. My concern is that the first game in Montreal how will the young Bolts respond in the most hostile barn in the NHL.
Stamkos is the REAL TAMPA BAY Captain. Yesterday you saw the Habs try to get rough the Bolts trying to test the mettle. At one point Gudas was slammed near the boards and Stamer came out of no where and stood up for his teammate. He slammed the Habs player to the glass and started a huge scrum. After the game Cooper lauded his Captain and said he sets the tone for the team. If anyone had any questions who is the leader of the group Stamkos answered it last night.
One thing i don’t like about the Bolts this season is when they give goal right back after taking a lead or tying up a game. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like they give up way to many in the moments we are still cheering waiting for Paul Porter to announce who scored for the Bolts.
I have been to many many games. But last night I was really drawn into the excitement of playoff hockey. I one point I found myself jumping up and down like Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh book as if my bouncing could help Lindback stop shot and after shot. I was fist bumping with everyone in sight after each goal and felt like someone stole my lunch after every Habs score. Wow was it a great time at the game last night.
If you ever get to go to the Chase Club at the Bolts game do it. Wow I have been to lots of stadium clubs but WOW the Lightning does it right with the food, the drinks snacks and deserts. Someone stopped me as I was walking in and said they had an extra ticket and invited to join them.
Here is what I had to eat, beef sirloin sandwich, bbq pulled pork, ribs, bbq brisket, beef pot pie, chips cookies, nachos, shrimp, crab claws, meatballs, Mac and Cheese, and one of every sweet desert, and then they started the second period.
No one should be crest fallen after last nights OT loss. The Bolts and the Habs are evenly matched and everyone thinks it will go seven games. That means get ready for the roller coaster of NHL playoff hockey everyone and BOLT your self in for the long haul.