Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Quick Analysis of J.T. Brown's Superb Effectiveness

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s start to the 2015-16 season has been underwhelming, to say the least.  Not only does the team look nothing like the squad that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season, but it is also in serious danger of missing the playoffs.  Yes, it’s only December, but the NHL’s playoff picture has this funny habit of sorting itself out earlier than the spring.  The bottom line is that most Lightning players have failed to live up to expectations set based on previous performance.

Emphasis on “most.”

Monday, 21 December 2015

An Analysis of Cooper's Simple Stamkos Math

Perhaps the most interesting Tampa Bay Lightning-related story this year has been the sluggish start to the season from Steven Stamkos.  Of course, only when talking about a world-class goal scorer like Stamkos is clicking along at a 30-plus goal pace considered "sluggish," but the fact remains that he hasn't been his usual dominant self for much of the year.

There might be an easy solution to that "problem."  One of the things my dad said to me as a kid has stuck with me to this day: "Don't bring me the problem.  Bring me the solution," he used to say.  Being the well-educated and intelligent man that he is, that's exactly what Lightning head coach Jon Cooper did after Sunday night's win over the Ottawa Senators:
A good chunk of it might just be that simple.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

POLL: Would you give Stamkos the Kopitar Contract?

The two big UFA-to-be forwards in this year's "Class of '16" are Anze Kopitar and Steven Stamkos.  The hockey world has been eagerly awaiting for at least one of those two shoes to drop, and it sounds like that might be happening in short order.  It may not be the news Tampa Bay Lightning fans were hoping to find under their Christmas tree this year, but Kopitar is reportedly close to signing a long-term extension with the Los Angeles Kings.

To be clear, Kopitar hasn't *officially* signed his extension with the Kings as of this moment.  He is expected to do so very soon, though.  From a few days ago:
So, how does this impact the Lightning?  All summer long people were pointing at the Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane deals as benchmarks for the Stamkos negotiations, so I think the Kopitar contract can serve the same purpose.  The Kopitar extension, according to that piece from The Score, is expected to be in the neighborhood of $9.75-million per season; Toews and Kane, for their part, signed identical deals that pay them an average of $10.5-million each per year.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Executing Order 91 is a Complicated Proposition

Star Wars is in the news right now, in case you hadn't heard.

Remember in the prequel trilogy when ol' Chancellor Palpatine decided that it was time to get rid of his little 'Jedi problem' so that he could have "peace" in the galaxy?  He executed Order 66, and just like that the Jedi were out of his way.  It was that simple.  Problem solved!

Back here in reality, I'm at the point now where I'm hoping that Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman will execute an 'order' and get rid of what is quickly becoming a Steven Stamkos circus.  I often catch myself daydreaming about Yzerman in a dark cloak, looking a little something like this:

As a disclaimer, I should mention that I'm not saying I want Yzerman to send some Clone Army to wipe Stamkos off the face of the planet.  I'm not suggesting that I think Yzerman is some evil mastermind like our friend the Emperor.  I'm not even suggesting that "executing Order 91" would be the worst thing in the world, as Order 66 clearly was.  That would all be just a *tad* silly.  

Rather, I'm suggesting that I believe "Executing Order 91" (i.e. trading Steven Stamkos) might be the best thing to do right now.  Because, really, Stammergeddon 2.0 isn't getting any better.  But, just because something might be the best thing to do doesn't mean that it's an easy thing to do.  As the title says, it's complicated.