Bolts stumble again as skid continues

by Gary Shelton on January 3, 2022

in general

The scoreboard isn't kind to Cooper./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 3 a.m.

Suddenly, the Tampa Bay Lightning do not look like anyone's champions.

Suddenly, they look like Art Williams or Oren Koules have returned, like Marc Denis is in goal. They are in their worst slump of the season; the signs are not encouraging.

The Lightning lost their third straight game Sunday afternoon, falling 4-0 to the New York Rangers. They have now given up 17 goals in their last three games. They've even lost their "it doesn't matter who is in the lineup" motto.

“It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know what my feeling after the game is," Lighting coach Jon Cooper said. "We lost 4-zip. We didn’t score a goal. This is going to happen. We’ve got a lot of turnover in our lineup. Guys come in the lineup and they say ‘'we’ve got each other’s back,” but they’re not the same players. Their stamina's not there. Their hands aren’t there. Their reading the play isn’t there. They’re a little bit slow. We’re just going to have to weather through this.

"It’s not like the guys weren’t trying. We just didn’t generate anything. We were off. Give credit to the Rangers. They did a hell of a job."

In particular, Mika Zibanejab did well. He had a hat trick. Igor Shesterkin had a 38-save shutout.

 The Bolts return to the ice Tuesday night at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The game starts at 7 p.m.

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