After three games of a grueling 10-day road trip to start the season, its difficult to make any definitive assessment of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But a tweet from head coach Guy Boucher Tuesday afternoon probably said it best: We just played two of the top teams in the league. Now we know how far we have to go.
Lets take a closer look. In the season opener last Friday, the Bolts easily dispatched of the same Carolina team they knocked out of playoff contention on the final day of the 2010-11 campaign.
Their 5-1 win was powered by goals from the most familiar tandem of Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier, who wiped out an early 1-0 deficit, and followed with scores from Steve Downie, Nate Thompson and Ryan Malone. Toss in 32 saves from Dwayne Roloson and Tampa Bay couldnt have asked for a better way to raise the curtain on the new season.
That wouldnt be true, however, in the two games that followed against a pair of NHL powers, the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and South...