Bolts’ sloppy play continues in loss to Wings

by Gary Shelton on April 20, 2022

in general

Colton scored two goals for Bolts./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 3 a.m

Here's something that the Tampa Bay Lightning might want to consider about the upcoming NHL playoffs.

The teams they will face there are better than the Detroit Red Wings.

Also, the goalies they will face are better than Thomas Greiss.

The Bolts, a mediocre hockey team as of late, lost a 4-3 decision to Detroit on Tuesday night, continuing a recent slump. It was a game that was disappointing with the Bolts' lack of attention to defense.

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Vasilevskiy is on a losing streak./TIM WIRT

Jakub Vrana had two goals for Detroit.

Tampa Bay played a solid first period (though they didn't have the lead), but gave up three goals in the second period. After the Lightning tied the game at 3-3, they gave up a goal on a turnover and a breakaway. It was a typical sloppy play by the Bolts as of late.

"It’s the story that's stood the test of time for not winning," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "They didn’t stick with the process. They had the puck the whole first period, and it didn’t go in for them. There was no reason to change anything. We pressed.

"It was one of those game we clearly beat ourselves. It's becoming too much of our story. I thought after the first period, we had full control of the game. You saw what happened. Odd-mans, breakaways, turnovers. It’s perplexing why some of these players who have been with us for a while, especially in game 76, are continuing to do this."

Greiss, who had lost nine of his previous 10 games, had a 38-save night. He did give up two goals to Ross Colton, who now has 19 on the season. Steven Stamkos had three assists, which ties him with Martin St. Louis for the franchise record.

Goalie Andre Vasilevskiy lost his fifth straight game. However, Cooper defended him.

"If he wasn't in there, it would have been way worse," Cooper said.  "We can’t give up these chances. If you want to go far in the playoffs, you have to play defense. You have to stick your ego aside and not worry about how many points you're going to get or how much ice time you're going to get. You’ve got to worry about keeping the puck out of the net. Everything positive comes from that. We’ve not learned it on a consistent basis yet."

Said defenseman Ryan McDonagh: “We shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and forcing plays. Giving odd-mans and breakaways is never going give you a good chance to win. It’s unfortuante we leave our goalies out to dry on many occasions."

The Bolts will be at home again on Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

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