Lightning to stay the course for now
“I think we’re doing a lot of things the right way to win games,” Yzerman said. “Our coverage in our own zone, we’re improving upon. The results aren’t showing up in wins and losses, but we’re hoping if we stick with the process, that will start to show up, and we hope sooner rather than later.”
That’s not to say Yzerman isn’t working the phones ahead of the April 3 trade deadline for help on the blue line, which is thin after the top four and shouldered the blame for the final goal in Saturday’s devastating 4-3 loss to the Canadiens.
“We want to make the playoffs,” he said.
So, the plan is to add to the roster rather than sell?
“I wouldn’t say add; I would say improve,” Yzerman said. “We’ll certainly explore that. It’s pretty early, but we’re not going to start trading draft picks and prospects and young players for (potential unrestricted free agents) to bolster our lineup. I’ll be looking more for real trades for players that can fit into our lineup and be with us for an extended period of time.”
NHL Network analyst and former Flames GM Craig Button said that is the correct approach and added that blaming Boucher when the team is weak defensively and in net is “low-hanging fruit.”
“Everybody is trying to help Steve right now, saying, ‘Here’s your life preserver,’ but it’s really an anchor,” Button said. “(Toronto defenseman) Mike Komisarek, I’m sure Steve could have him, or (Toronto defenseman) John-Michael Liles or players like that. But I can’t imagine Steve Yzerman is interested in those players.
“Sometimes you know where you want to get, but sometimes you incrementally get better. It’s still a work in progress. That’s the biggest thing people have to keep in mind.”