Melrose Bitter; Lightning Struggles Continue
December 10, 2008 by Big Tony
As it turns out the problems in Tampa Bay extend beyond Barry Melrose, what a surprise (sense my sarcasm). In the 16 games Melrose spent as coach the Lightning were 5-7-4 which is not good but was not a terrible start for a team with a new make up on ice and behind the bench. Since Melrose was fired, interim coach Rick Tocchet has lead the Lightning to a record of 1-6-4 resulting in only six points out of a possible 22. Recently on talk radio in Toronto, Melrose continued to voice his bitterness toward being fired by saying he was glad the team has struggled so much since he left and that he hopes they go winless the rest of the year; quite frankly who can blame him? Tamp Bay is in last place in a very poor Southeast Division leaving them in last place in the Eastern Conference and in prime position to duplicate last year’s 15th place conference finish. John Tortorella was fired last year after bringing the franchise a Stanley Cup but perhaps he had overstayed his welcome and it was time to move on. To follow Tortorella they brought in Melrose who had not coached since 1993 but had a reputation for being more of a players’ coach which Tortorella certainly was not. And after only 16 games the team turned on him and now Tampa is on their third coach in less than a full season’s worth of games and they continue to struggle. Even Tocchet has already questioned the players’ work ethic and willingness to work hard every game. It sounds like the problem lies not within Tortorella, Melrose, or Tocchet but the players and the rest of the organization itself.