Category: NHL Eastern Conference Finals

Tampa Bay Lightning Fires Assistant Coaching Staff after Elimination

The Tampa Bay Lighning have parted ways with their assistant coaching staff, including defensive assistant Rick Bowness, who has been with the team for the last several seasons. This comes just days after the team faced elimination in game seven against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference NHL Playoffs. The general manger of the Lightning, Steve Yzerman, suggested that the firing was not due to the coaches efforts in assisting the team, but rather to the fact that they have pressed deep into the playoffs only to lose right at or before the Stanley Cup finals.

 

The shakeup to the coaching staff will likely not be felt until training camp in September, however with the bigger picture in mind, the Lightning will have to hope that a new team of assistant coaches could potentially change the way the Lightning perform in deep playoff battles. The Lightning wants to specifically focus on defensive tactics that were apparently missing during the later games of this previous seasons playoffs. Tampa seems to have faded from this defensive mindset that it overwhelmingly had in its 2015 playoff run to the finals, only to eventually lose in six games to Chicago.

 

The Lightning are expected to keep the core roster together for the next season, however some things could unravel during the off-season and free agency, and it is not impossible for things to change unexpectedly. It is becoming apparent that the hockey club in Tampa is getting sick of getting so far into the playoffs only to be eliminated in the final games before the Stanley Cup finals. A significant change in mindset will likely have to take place for this to change, and with every passing season, the average age of this hockey team ticks higher, sparking fears that superstars like Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos could eventually retire without a Stanley Cup.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning – Down 2-0 in NHL Eastern Conference Finals

The NHL Stanley Cup Finals are down to just four hockey clubs, two from the NHL’s Western Conference and two from the NHL’s Eastern Conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning have earned a berth into this playoff round in just ten games, with an impressive 10 wins and just 2 losses.

However when they kicked off their first two home games in Amalie Arena, they found themselves getting outplayed in both opening games and lost both to the Washington Capitals. They are now down 2-0 in a best of seven series, the first team to achieve four victories in this round will face off against the winning team in the western conference finals.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky had a less than impressive save percentage in the opening two games, and is poised to improve his statistics and performance in game three of this series. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been outscored 10-4 in terms of goals in the opening two games. Defense will become a priority in the remaining games if the Lightning are to have any chance at digging themselves out of this hole.

Captain of the Lightning Steven Stamkos expressed his optimism and expects one of their best games of the season in game three, when it takes place in Washington at the Capital One Arena. Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Lightning echoed his thoughts, and told his team to look at this deficit as a challenge rather than a threat. He also bragged about his team’s experience over the last several years when they have been in similar positions as they are now.

Fans are going to have to wait and see if their Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team can recover from their first two losses. Game three of this exciting series will take place in Capital One Arena on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time.