Monday, January 21, 2008

Could this be the turning point? 19-24-05

This week looks like it could be the turning point for the Bolts, we have been waiting for the turn around since mid-December but it never came so what makes me think this week will be any different?

After the two constitutive shutouts posted by Holmqvist and recent weeks of being backup to Ramo, Johan has the opportunity to regain the starting seed and make a playoff push by winning the title of Southeast Division because the way things are looking there will only be room in the playoffs for one Southeast team and with the bolts being seven points shy of first place they have very good chance of climbing from last place to first in the coming weeks.

Ramo will now serve as backup and will probably not be sent back down to the minors rather than work with goaltending coach on getting back to the basics and doing the little things it takes to be great in the NHL because while Kari's had some solid moments in net he really hasn't played above average and at the level everyone expects him to play at consistently. It may seem silly to think Holmqvist will be able to go on a tear and give the Lightning a chance to claim first place when hes had the chance all season to put together a performance that would erase any doubt of what Tampa should do about the goaltending issue but he hasn't and I can't see him getting another chance in Tampa if he blows this opportunity so he better run with it while he can. The last two games he has matched his NHL shutout total with two back-to-back shutouts and will get the start tomorrow trying to match his last two error free efforts. While Ramo was testing the waters the past few weeks Johan focused on getting back to the basics with goaltending coach Jeff Reese and so far it seems to have paid off because Homer has not had to make very many great saves minus a handful throughout the two games making only about 23 saves each game and helping himself out by not leaving any rebounds or follow-up shots, finding the puck in traffic and staying square with the shooter and not being out of place. The defense has played better too and its rumored Dan Boyle will be a game time decision Thursday when the Sens head south for our last game before Vinny & Marty head to ATL for the All-Star game & they get to take the rookie Lundin with them to play in the youngstars game which will help his confidence I hope. It shouldnt be long before Michel Ouellet is off IR and back in the line-up ready to produce and help out by scoring goals taking some of the pressure off everyone else.

6million and change under the cap should let us pick up someone to help out on defense as long as the sale of the team doesn't cause any problems which I don't see happening but I with this crazy year I really am not looking past it. After being in last in the league for so long and so much negative shit happening night after night I really don't know how to feel being seven points out from the Southeast lead and have 3 games at hand over Carolina.

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