Now is not the time to psychoanalyze.
To pick at emotional scars or look at deep-seated fears. It is having to be Lord Stanley’s hour, and the Lightning’s concentration ought to be amongst the nets and not amongst their ears.
But tell me, if you were their therapist, would you simply call the Lightning remedied?
They are two video games into this oddest of postseasons, and the Lightning have demonstrated outstanding resilience. They have revealed delight, patience, humility and intelligence. They have shown all the characteristics they lacked in past year’s quick playoff visual appeal.
We currently understood they had physical skill. This week, we’ve witnessed their mental power.
“I like the way we performed,” Tampa Bay mentor Jon Cooper explained. “You know what? If we’re likely to keep the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins to two or fewer goals in a game, I consider it’s not a undesirable effort and hard work.”
Indeed, the Lightning gained another round-robin recreation Wednesday. They defeat the Bruins 3-2, just as they defeat the Caps 3-2 in a shootout on Monday. And if you want to be picky, you can complain about the way they blew 2- sales opportunities in both online games.
But here’s another way of hunting at it:
Washington and Boston were leading their divisions when the regular year was halted in March. They were being the very last two Japanese Convention champions. They are the teams that most likely will stand in Tampa Bay’s way by the time September rolls around.
To choose it a step farther, the Lightning are now 7-3-1 this season against the Bruins, Caps and Flyers — the a few other convention teams that got byes into future week’s opening spherical — with a single game to go from Philadelphia on Saturday.
Is it achievable that almost everything the Lightning has done the previous 17 months has established a crew completely ready to peak ideal now?
“We’re nonetheless, if were getting truthful with ourselves, trying to set alongside one another that 60-minute comprehensive game,” reported defenseman Ryan McDonagh. “That’s two very good teams out there above the past two game titles. They’re heading to counter punch and attempt to make some things happen.
“You stay persistent, you really do not alter your video game. We didn’t get far too frustrated and in the conclude our structure and our simplicity paid off.”
In some strategies, the journeys have been more amazing than the outcomes this 7 days.
The Lightning did not appear as excellent offensively versus the Bruins as they had towards the Caps, but they were being extra opportunistic. A few aims on Wednesday, and not a highlight shot among the them. Each and every time, it was a rebound or a deflection that ended up going into the internet. And which is the sign of a group which is ready to stand in entrance of a goaltender and choose the punishment a protection dishes out.
And whilst they have shed two-objective prospects in consecutive online games, it has not been mainly because they have gotten also careless or much too conservative on offense. It’s simply just the grind of striving to safeguard a guide for 35 minutes or a lot more towards a incredibly superior opponent.
Certain, there are however some problems. Andrei Vasilevskiy has played effectively at moments, but has allowed a maddening selection of shots to trickle past him right after making the initial help you save. The Capitals scored two aims that way, and the Bruins experienced an additional. If not for a final-2nd McDonagh save, there would have been one more on Wednesday.
The Lightning are also providing up far too many penalties, while it’s really worth elevating an eyebrow when your opponents have been granted 8 electricity plays and you only have two.
Still, the base line is Tampa Bay has received its initially two round-robin video games and is in position to claim the conference’s No. 1 seed. Which is definitely not as vital as most seasons, looking at all the online games are being performed in a neutral spot.
But, if practically nothing else, it is a assertion that the Lightning are all set to engage in.
A statement that should really suggest extra to the Lightning themselves than any one else.