Pitful Effort Dooms Bolts Against Sens as they Lose 2-1

By on March 12, 2011

Tampa, Fl. (RSEN)–The Tampa Bay Lightning is not afforded the opportunity to throw away two points before a game even starts. 

Well that’s what they did last night, as the team decided that they were going to not put forth the effort for the first 40 minutes of the contest.  It was a game that the Ottawa Senators (25-34-9), beat the Lightning (38-22-8) 2-1 on their home ice at the St Pete Times Forum.

Senators goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who was picked up off waivers from the Bolts when the team tried to sneak him through waivers so they could send him to Norfolk in the AHL, was the difference in the third period as he made a number of big saves to help stave off a big rally by the Bolts to tie the game.  McElhinney in all made 19 out of 20 saves in the third period and a total of 34 in the game to earn the win for his team.

The Senators received goals from Jason Spezza and Bobby Butler, as the Sens scored in each of the first two periods to put the Bolts in a hole.  Not even a furious Lightning comeback in the third period would be enough for the to overcome the Sens .

Coach Guy Boucher addressed the media after the game having a difficult time explaining his team’s effort.  Tampa Bay all but gave away the first 40 minutes of this game.   

 He explained, “The minute we waste minutes we are cooked, we cannot win with our skill and if we would have scored the tying goal, I am not sure we would have learned anything.”  He spoke about being “very disappointed, at this stage in the season it has to come from the room”. 

Steven Stamkos also talked after the game that his entire team needed to understand the urgency not playing down to teams in the standings.

Stamkos stated, “Everyone has to look in the mirror with their effort, me included.”

This is a similar quote that Marty St Louis echoed after the Montreal game when he questioned his teammate’s effort at the slow start in that game.  St Louis who made an attempt to help his team in defeat as he scored the only goal of the game,  his 26thin a losing effort.  Team captain Vinnie Lecavalier had an amazing 12 shots in the game as he tried to take his team on his back to bring them back in the game.

Now the team heads on the road for a crucial four game stretch with three of those teams that not currently in the playoff picture (Florida, Toronto and Ottawa)  Montreal is the only team in the top eight of the standings.  So if the Bolts have any thoughts of making an effort to win the division this is going to be a vital stretch in which they have to bring the urgency every shift and every game no matter where the opponent is in the standings.

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