Lightning Scapegoat Melrose
November 14, 2008 by Big Tony
On Friday (11/14) the Tampa Bay Lightning fired head coach Barry Melrose after only 16 games with the team. Granted, the Lightning posted a less than stellar 5-7-4 record leaving them with 14 points and in 4th place in the Southeast Division. Although the record is not great it is still very early in the season and the newly hired Melrose was not given much of a chance to make any great strides with the team. Tampa Bay is not out of the playoff hunt by any stretch of the imagination after only 16 games and I am not sure that any problems the team may have had are solved by firing the coach. I wrote before about NHL GMs having too quick a trigger and the trend continues. Not every team can win every game and be in first place all at the same time. It is a long season that consists of many good times and bad but the key is to be persistent and to have patience. Tampa Bay spent a lot of money in the off-season putting essentially an entirely new roster together that needs some time to gel as guys get used to playing with one another. No offense to Rick Tocchet but I do not think there is anything he can do that will put the Lightning in a position that is any better than where they already were. Anything short of Tampa Bay winning every game the remainder of the year makes this a boneheaded, not to mention unfair, move on the part of the Lightning management. And this is why Tampa Bay has had little playoff success since winning the Stanley Cup in 2004.