Thursday, October 11, 2007

Goaltending Much Improved

The Lightning have given up the same number of goals, four, through 3 games as they did last year. While they have given up the same number of goals, Holmqvist's save percentage is .945 and Denis' was .925. The number of goal may be the same, but the goal tending has been much better so far.

Holmqvist has made better and more saves than he or Denis did at anytime last season. He has stopped shots that were goals last year and cost the lightning games. Even the lightning opponents are noticing the difference. The Panthers remarked that shots they made last night would have gone in last season, and that Holmqvist is playing the best he has since being in the league. With the way that Holmqvist is playing, don't expect Denis to get much time between the pipes.

Denis was signed to a big deal last year and was supposed to be the savior at goalie for the offensive power house lightning, but struggled all year long. Holmqvist looked much better than Denis during the whole, year and eventually overtook him and started every playoff game for the lightning. This is not new territory for Holmqvist, who was the Swedish national goalie and has won many international games for the Swedish team.

The team has noticed a difference in the way they play with Holmqvist back in the net. Many have commented that they can play a different game knowing that they don't have to do as much on defense because Holmqvist will be there to make the stop. The more games he gets under his belt the better he seems to play. The Lightning seem to have found their savior at goalie, its just not the one they paid all the money to last season.


George said...

While I agree goaltending has improved, I also think the change in philosophy by the Bolts defensemen has also contributed to the improved numbers by the goalies.

No offense to Craig Ramsey, but I'm liking what I've seen so far from our blueliners. They aren't quite there yet, but I can honsetly expect the unit to get better as the season goes along.

TampaBaySportsFanatic said...

I agree that the play of the defensive lineman has definelty helped.

I am just happy that they are letting Johan get in there every game. He is much better than Denis.