The Tampa Bay Lightning started the season on a 5 game road trip that finished with a dismal 1-4 record. The defending Stanley Cup finalists are now back in the sunshine state for their home opener on Saturday evening against state rivals, the Florida Panthers.
The vaunted Lightning offense managed only 9 goals in 5 games, with perennial 40-goal scorer Ilya Kovalchuk registering 1 measly assist. Prized free agent signing Carey Price has struggled between the pipes, with a saves percentage of only 85.96 and a 4.01 GAA. Captain Sidney Crosby addressed the media: "It's been a tough start to the season, especially with Covid and all, but that's no excuse for our performance".
GM Geoff Smith was quoted saying "it's early in the season, but if the level of play doesn't improve, heads are going to roll". Rumours abound that Smith is looking at moving Ilya Kovalchuk's $9M contract, as the veteran is going to be a free agent next summer.
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