Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let Five Goals In Three Minutes

Photo by: AP Photos. Used without permission.

Ok, so the Captain Tractor lyric used as the title isn't entirely accurate when it comes to the Lightning's loss to the Calgary Flames last night. Dan Ellis let in two goals on seven shots in the first period of the game. Pretty sure even the baseball people who read my blog can tell by simple comparison that that isn't good. I try to be supportive of my team at all times, which has been really difficult the last few seasons. OK Hockey, Brian Lawton, residing in the basement of the league, Alex Tanguay, etc. There is one thing that has me on the verge of really losing my patience this season. Goal tending. Or the lack thereof.

I had a fear going into this season that the Lightning were playing two goalies who only had the capability to be career back ups. Mike Smith and Dan Ellis aren't doing much to make me eat my words. Being a goalie is a very difficult job. I get it. I gained a lot of respect when I put on a mask and Dominic Moore shot foam pucks at me at Hockey and Heels a few weeks ago. I understand that it's impossible for one man to stop every single shot. I also understand that the defense isn't 100% innocent in some of these losses.

But their Goals Against Average is over 3.00. All the goal scoring forwards in the world won't help this team progress in the playoffs when it often takes a goalie literally standing on his head to make spectacular saves to ensure advancement. A GAA of 3 and higher does not win you a Stanley Cup.

It's extra frustrating as a fan because you know something needs to be done. But what? There were a few good free agent goalies available over the summer but none that would have worked with the Lightning's salary cap limitations. And I don't see those limitations going away anytime soon. If nothing else, money is going to be tighter when Stamkos is (hopefully) re-signed. Our goalies aren't the answer. Unless someone hypnotizes them to believe they are Patrick Roy or Terry Sawchuk.

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