When Louis Domingue was claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, I was taken aback because I recalled seeing the goaltender draw attention to himself by way of performances for the Arizona Coyotes. At the time, I thought he was due to become the eventual replacement for ‘Yotes goaltender (and former Bolt) Mike Smith while also stepping into a slot of elitism that former Coyote (and Lightning alumnus) Nikolai Khabibulin once held.
What the hell put Domingue on waivers to begin with is a story I didn’t know. It’s a story I’m not getting into here. I’m getting into the now .…
With the injury to Andrei Vasilevskiy, Dommer has become the Bolts starting netminder. I can’t say everything has been perfect for him in net… in fact, I’ve seen a lot of fan criticism toward him. Comparisons to Marc Denis(who served in net during Lightning 2006-07 and 2007-2008; 54 games total, a tenure-average GAA of 3.62 and a .871 save percentage). That criticism was born in October, well before Vasy’sinjury, with Domingue’s return start and flop against the Coyotes.
I was concerned going into the late minutes of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils. It was a concern grown out of the habit by way of the Bolts late regular season and continued into the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.
With a skimpy one-goal lead, I feared the dreaded 3rd period lapse.
The Lightning held on and won 3-1, it doesn’t change my concern going forward with the habit. It’s putrid how the Bolts have seemingly lain down and let things go to the favor of the opposition regularly during the second half of the NHL sseason in 2017-18. I mean, shit man, Tampa Bay gave the eventual worst team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres, a chance to tie the matchup at the Amalie on February 27th and then win in overtime. A 1-0 game, turned into a 2-1 loss by way of complacency and a who-cares? late-game arrogance. To have that expressed in play with regularity does not bode well.
Oh, the April meeting was another careless effort but Tampa Bay won the high-scoring affair so everything I just complained about is meaningless, right? Right?? Someone’s going to think it, but it’s not like the Sabres game I cited was the only time overtime was forced by an opponent. It was happening again and again in February and March; leads conceded in the 3rd that led to overtime and the shootout. Those lapses were too common for a club that was topping the NHL for most of the season and vying for the President’s Trophy.