The Winnipeg Jets are desperate to secure their first win of this recent three game road trip as they close their Sunbelt back-to-back against the Tampa Bay Lightning later this evening.
As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Tampa Bay Lightning before we reach opening puck drop. With that, here's John Fontana and Clare Austin of Raw Charge in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1. It's still early, but Anders Lindback looks like a deft acquisition for the Lightning. Is there any concern that he may need to have his starts monitored to remain effective as the season develops?
The number of starts isn't currently a concern for Lindback, I wouldn't think. It can become one as the season wears on, especially given that he hasn't been a starter since he was in the SEL in 2009-10. He's going to tell the coach he wants to be in, even when he's tired and losing focus, so, yeah; they'll have to monitor that. So far the Lightning haven’t had many back-to-back games, which has allowed Lindy time between games. That's going to change soon, so Mathieu Garon will be getting some time in the near future.
In general, I expect Lindback to get around 30 starts. Could be more depending on a number of factors, but it shouldn't be much more.
2. Recently, TSN crowned Sidney Crosby atop their player rankings. As someone who follows Steven Stamkos, make your case as to why he should be number one.
Unlike Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos has not missed the majority of two NHL seasons with post-concussion symptoms. If you’re crediting a player for what he’s doing and not what he’s done in the past, Crosby shouldn’t be in the conversation about right now. You miss playing time, someone takes your spot, and it’s that simple. Crosby should have to prove his dominance again, not have it handed to him because of past feats and how much he’s beloved by TSN. At least, that’s how it should be.
Steven Stamkos’ 252 games played, 160 goals and 134 assists since the beginning of the 2009-10 season isn’t good enough compared to the Golden Roar’s accomplishments of 150 games played, 94 goals and 124 assists, is it? Why opt for the top goal scorer over the guy with injury issues?
I’m biased, and I think TSN’s biased, too.Their readers sure as hell are, as Taylor Hall was voted a better player than Stamkos last summer during a “Who’s Better?” fan voting tournament.
3. After a subpar 2011-12, the Lightning power play seems to be operating at their full potential again. Is there any one player that this unit's success can be attributed to or does it really evoke a team concept?
Team concept and coaching is bigger in the Lightning power play success early on. Last season, the power play seemed too rigid in what positioning was employed. There was little movement and exploitable holes that were too easily found by opposing penalty killers. This season, so far, there seems to be more room for player movement and creativity from a talented roster. I’m unaware just how much head coach Guy Boucher revamped the design of the system (which he himself is in charge of) but so far, for whatever changes were made, success has been found.
Everyone who participates is a threat to score, and it really comes down to execution.
Ed. Note: We thank John and Clare for giving us their time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. If you want to read the Q&A we did with them in collaboration for tonight's game, it can be found HERE. Look for our next edition Tuesday with our pals at Litter Box Cats (again!).