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Lightning Without Thunder: Tampa Bay in a Slump

Steven Stamkos

The Bolts were handed a 6-0 loss to the Canes over the weekend.

It’s plain to see that the Tampa Bay Lightning are down on their luck. It’s an awkward position for what seems to be a very well-run and profitable company. The coaching staff under John Cooper has tried a variety of strategies in an effort to halt Tampa’s current losing run of five games.

“Cooper: “We’re in a rut right now. At some point, you just have to work your way out of it. You show some signs of yourselves getting out of it. Then, all of a sudden, you take 1 step forward, 2 steps back. At some point here, we’ve got to take 1 step back, 2 steps forward.” – Chris Krenn

The Hurricanes cruised to a comfortable victory. In order to maintain possession for long periods of time, they employ a high-pressure style of play. They had a commanding possession advantage. The Hurricanes’ power play was also highly effective. In man-up situations, they were perfect, scoring four times out of five.

The Lightning are, without a doubt, experiencing their longest losing streak in quite some time. They haven’t lost five straight games since March of 2014. Their lack of self-assurance has manifested itself in their tentative performance. In a matchup against an aggressive squad like Carolina, playing tentatively can only lead to disaster. Especially in the opening two periods, the Lightning just couldn’t seem to get their hands on the puck. They only had four shots on goal and 17 overall in the first half.

The loss of Victor Hedman early in the second period just added insult to injury, as they played the rest of the game with only five defensemen. After blocking a shot in the third period, Mikhail Sergachev also went to the penalty box for a while. He stayed on the bench, though, and eventually made it back into the game.

The Lightning have to get their confidence and swagger back. To help them get back on track, four of their next five games will be played at home.

Photo Credit: nhl.com/lightning

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