Tampa is clearly the best team in the league, by quite a margin. You have to give GM Yzerman and the Owner (Vinik) full credit for building such a strong team.
While the CBJ lost, and the Lightning proved that we are not yet ready for prime time, I didn't feel that bad about the team's performance. Our boys are a good team, but at this point they are not top three or even top five.
In part, the Tampa goalie did to us what "young Bob" did for so many years to CBJ opponents. Coach Torts said that the first period was a very solid effort at the post game presser (best of the year) and the national TV crew also agreed that the CBJ captured the momentum for large parts of the second period. I was also pleased that the young guys kept pushing and playing hard right up until the end of the game.
IMO, the entire game flipped on the last minute of the second period and the first two minutes of the third, and that all went back to the penalty on Josh. I won't criticize an official for protecting the goalie, but that was a very close call on an aggressive play and again, the national TV crew thought could have gone either way. I agree.
I am really looking forward to seeing how the team responds tonight on the road in a tough building. Finally, I hope Murray isn't injured for the long haul, as he has really become an important piece of our young core.