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Yet another postseason opportunity for the Bolts

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Recently the Lightning and George Gwozdecky parted ways which opens up an opportunity to move in a better assistant coach for Jon Cooper. Gwoz focused primarily on the PP which was a struggle for the Bolts up until their little tear against the Rangers in the Conference Finals.

If the Lightning find the right man for the job and better utilize their weapons during 5 on 4 play next season may be even better than expected. I'm not counting any chickens but the Bolts may be bringing home more than one trophy if things work out. I'm genuinely excited

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As closely as I follow the Lightning, I can honestly say I don't really know what kind of impact (negative or positive) George Gwozdecky has actually had on the PP units, but simply judging by how it performed on the season as a whole and into the post season, it is CLEAR that something was amiss.


The PP did pretty well early on in the season, and I am guessing teams adjusted as the season wore on and once the Bolts got to the post season, the TB PP was basically an easy-to-read open book.


Adjustments that needed to be made weren't.....now whether Gwozdecky himself was more responsible for that, Jon Cooper, or the players themselves not executing is hard to say, but NO WAY should a team who was the highest scoring in the league, with the kinds of lines and players that Tampa Bay can roll out, struggle being up a man like this team did down the stretch and in the post season.


I can only hope Stevie Y and Bolts management were able to pinpoint what ailed the PP and get the right guy in there to remedy the situation.

Still though, bottom line is this:  No matter WHO is in charge of PP's, players on the ice simply need to execute.


Way too many times I saw sloppy, nonchalant passes during a PP....guys taking WAY too much time getting set up (almost as if some thought they had all the time in the world), and guys taking for granted that just because they were up a man, that the other team would automatically fall into 'defensive mode' and not attack the puck carrier.


Players would be wrong on all those counts....and well, tough to blame the coaches on that. Players at this level should know better.


At any rate, the PP is an area that needs shaping up, let's hope the combination of a new voice in charge of it mixed with HC Jon Cooper's lessons learned, mixed with player execution does the job.


Teams in the NHL should absolutely FEAR going a man down to this roster.....and quite frankly, I don't get the feeling anyone is the way the Bolt PP had performed in the playoffs.

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I have to agree that a big problem was player mentality. Seeing how most times they only get 2 minutes to take advantage of a PP, time is key. I'm hoping the management brings in someone that stresses that and puck control to the players and whips them into shape. With the weapons we have there should be no reason we don't lead the league in PP goals and make everyone's penalty kill percentages count for nothing.

Like my baseball coach stressed for the 13 years I played in the bay area, remember your fundamentals. Even professionals need a reminder sometimes and maybe, just maybe, that was something that Gwozdecky failed to do in the two years he spent with the Lightning.

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