Last week, we added a great player in Brad Richards to the team on Trade Deadline Day. While I admit that it’s probably going to be a good thing, and Brad is a great player and could be what puts us over the top and all that, I am really upset about the other side of the trade. My heart just breaks for the boys that went the other way. After all that hard work to help build a winning team, it’s all yanked away from them.
Mike Smith has started every game for Tampa Bay since he got there, and he’s 1-3 so far. I am, sadly, not surprised. I knew that they were a terrible team, especially defensively, but it’s possible that the fact that goalies suffer there might be a trend.
Tampa Bay has crushed many a goalie since Nikolai Khabibulin left town. I just hate to see it happen to Smitty. Tonight he took a shutout to just a minute short of the end of regulation. Unfortunately, his teammates didn’t get one past the other goalie. The broadcasters, in the post-game show, just raved about Smitty’s goaltending, but being spectacular and still losing all the time can really wear on a guy.
Jussi Jokinen is playing on the left wing of Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis, which, on paper, would be a dream come true. But Vinny hasn’t had a goal in ten games and Marty hasn’t had a point in seven games. Jussi did get an assist in his second game there. It’s just going to be a bad end to what was almost a great season for him.
Jeff Halpern has actually been scoring at a better clip than usual as the second-line center. But his intermission interview during his first game with them kind of showed that he hadn’t quite worked up the brave face yet. He did say he was just a little winded from all the skating in their system, so maybe that’s all it was. Still, I wish it didn’t have to be like that.
I’m going to root for Tampa now. And the first thing I want them to do is can that Tortorella guy and get somebody that can take advantage of the great goalie they have instead of just breaking him so that he either bails the first chance he gets, or he is never the same again. Maybe we can do with Smitty and Halpie and Juicy what we did with Stéphane Robidas, which is sign them back the minute they become free agents. If they’re not too mad at us.