CANES @ BOLTS
When last we met, we saw a historic start come to an abrupt end at the hands of an early Stanley Cup favorite Jets squad. The Canes finish up a brutal three-game fair road-trip stretch inside Amalie Arena, where they look to bounce back against the Bolts and come away with 4 of a possible 6 road points.
A start predicted by few, but adored by many, has seen the Canes come out of the gates, efforting their way to a 4-1-1 record through six games. Despite the success, there are a few areas of concern thus far.
The Canes are currently second in the league in goals scored, but the powerplay is operating at a measly 9.5%, good for 25th in the league. The percentage will undoubtedly rise over the course of the season, but the power play needs to be effective if the Canes want to break into the post season.
Additionally, the PK has also been bad. 28th in the league, 66.7% bad. Special teams as a whole must improve.
Petr Mrazek played a helluva game Sunday night in Winnipeg and gave us ample opportunities to win, including a point blank save on a 2-on-0. Meanwhile, McBackup was serviceable in Minnesota, but looked a little shaky at times. Who gets the nod in Tampa?
Third line woes
This is much less of a problem to me if the other three lines continue to be dangerous and produce. At some point, Necas will need some help on his wing if he wants to live up to the pre-season hype that was bestowed on him early. Tampa will be the home squad with the ability to create the matchups they want, so it'd be a great time for the third line to break through and get us another road win.
Looks like we're rolling the same lineup as the Jets game. Mrazek in net.