The Tampa Bay Lightning have often cast an opposite image from the Flyers. In their most successful years, the Lightning have been a fashionably offensive team of scary scorers. That’s no different this year, with Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and, until a recent injury, Vincent Lecavalier still lighting it up. But after a strong start, which included a 5-1 blowout of the Flyers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Jan. 27, the Lightning have undergone a bit of a change that revealed a lot of holes in need of repair on their lines. Heading into their game with the Flyers Monday night, the Lightning had lost 8 of their last 11 and 15 of 21. They also lost Lecavalier, out with knee and ankle ailments. Yet Stamkos had 20 goals, St. Louis 37 points and Teddy Purcell, the other member of the top line, had 23 points just by being there. The Lightning also have six rookies in their lineup, five that have made NHL debuts this season. “Sometimes I don’t know if we rely on those guys too much to try to carry the load,” former Flyer and Lightning defender Matt Carle said of Stamkos and St. Louis. “But we’re getting some secondary scoring. We’ve got a lot of young guys here now that have had a lot of success in the minor leagues, and they had a good game for us Saturday (in a win over Carolina). Hopefully we can build on that.” With a roster replete with rookies, the Lightning are in a similar position as the Flyers last year. But the similarities between two teams with diverse styles don’t end there.
Flyers Scoop: Two young teams filled with familiar woes
Delaware County Times | Mar 19