The Bolts came back to get a hard earned point against the Canucks. Lots of chatter about how it shows the character of the team, how it's a positive, blah blah blah. Horse dookey. This team should be pissed off because this is a game that the Bolts should have won. This team has to recognize that the goaltending available will not bail them out of idiotic mistakes. And quite honestly, Roli (for once) is not to blame last night. 1st goal against...can't do much about. 3rd goal against, you can say was bad D by Brewer, but Brewer was in good position, you have to give Malhotra some credit on that play. 2nd goal against (the short handed goal), should NEVER happen. Clark makes a weak pass to Vinny, Vinny makes a weaker backwards pass to Marty. Marty mishandles it and loses the puck battle to the forechecker, there are 4 Bolts players back and nobody picks up Hansen who's wide open to put home the rebound. A collective brain fart of epic proportions.
However, despite this (and despite a PP that gives up more goals than it gets), the bolts get back within one, scoring in the last minute of the 2nd. With less that a minute left, do you try to tie the game going into the third, or do you realize you should be quite happy going into the third, down only 1 and make sure you close out the period being down only by 1?
The second the puck dropped after Vinny's goal, I already knew the decision the Bolts made. They were playing *way* to aggressive given the situation and I knew they would give up a good scoring chance to close out the period. Unfortunately that good scoring chance turned into a goal against and the Bolts enter the third down by 2 again.
After putting some pressure, the Lightning dump the puck deep in the Cancucks zone and circle the blue line to get back onsides. There is freaking 16 seconds left. Drop back to your 1-3-1, defend the neutral zone, end the period and pat yourself on the back for making this a 1 goal game going into the third.
Instead, Stamkos rushes in and almost gets injured on the play. Marty can back off and support the puck but instead chases the puck, and Vinny rather than staying high moves into the slot to try to get into scoring position. Ok....14 seconds left, puck is in Canucks' end, they are scrambling a bit.... put a little pressure on, no problem. It's not the safest thing to do, but safe is death right? Not too big of a risk, right?
Marty gets to the puck first and with 12 seconds left, he has a few options. I would have liked Marty to either a) eat the puck in the corner and let time run out or b) throw the puck behind the net (blue arrow) and let time run out. Instead he chooses c) make a backwards pass to Vinny through 3 defenders. Remember when I said Marty and Vinny could have peeled back a bit to be safe? As you all know, the difference of 4 ft of ice can be the difference between a goal or a great defensive play.
So Marty turns the puck over, the Canucks take off, we have 2 defensemen back and there's only 8 seconds left. All is good. Defensemen lay back, defend the rush, and let the clock die. Except Clark idiotically pinches at the red line and loses the battle (green circle). Leaving Gilroy the lone man back. Gilroy will have to pick up the puck carrier. Clark, when he gets up will have to pick up the guy circled in blue (he does, but will be 4 ft behind) and Vinny has to back check to cover the other forward (circled in yellow).
Vinny will remain 4 ft behind the eventual goal scorer. Gilroy will let the pass go through (a no-no on 2 on 1's, but of course, that is way easier said than done) and the Bolts will have to enter the third down 2.
Watch it in real time. As outlined above, within about 8 seconds of time, the Bolts had 4 opportunities to recognize the situation and determine that playing it safe would be the best option. Instead, they make bad decisions at all 4 frames outlined above and end up with a horrible goal against.
This goal should never happen. All the credit in the world to the boys for not hanging it up and battling back to get the point. I don't want to take anything away from that. But the fact of the matter is, the Lightning should of made it their number one goal to keep it 3-2 going into the third. Instead, they press at the end of the 2nd like it was the end of the game and it costs them.
And don't even get me started on the SHG against. Marty says it was a bad bounce. I say it was laziness all around the power play. And if anything, the power play is extremely lazy, which is probably why it's so bad this year. Particularly in the defensive and neutral zone.