Melrose, Lightning search for answers against Maple Leafs

Publish date:

Tampa Bay (1-3-3) at Toronto (3-2-3), 7:30 pm EDT

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Returning from a long hiatus as a coach,

Barry Melrose's return to the bench has been rather frustrating.

The first-year Tampa Bay Lightning coach hopes his team can

solve its early season struggles against the Toronto Maple Leafs

on Tuesday.

Thanks to last Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win against the Atlanta

Thrashers, Melrose got his first NHL win since April 6, 1995.

He had been 0-8-3 as a head coach since that victory.

Under Melrose, the Lightning have struggled on offense, posting

a league-low 11 goals in seven games this season. Their slump

was evident in a 3-0 shutout loss to the San Jose Sharks on

Saturday as well.

Notable newcomers Vaclav Prospal, Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts

have combined for five points, while Steven Stamkos - the No. 1

overall pick in June's draft - has yet to record a point in

seven games.

Meanwhile, Toronto has been rather successful despite entering

the season with much lighter expectations than Tampa Bay. They

are coming off a week in which they earned five out of a

possible six points to move into a three-way tie for seventh

place in the Eastern Conference.

Winners of two straight, the Maple Leafs have gotten a spark

from center Nik Antropov, who has recorded four goals and three




Five small-sample-size stats that already matter in 2020-21

Less than a week into the season, most stats don't carry much weight yet. But a few exceptions carry instantly important implications.

Sheldon Keefe am Jan. 18/21

Lehtonen to make NHL Debut, Maple Leafs Lose Dell to waivers, Robertson Timeline

Mikko Lehtonen will make his NHL debut tonight when the Toronto Maple Leafs host Winnipeg Jets. Nick Robertson is out four weeks and team loses Aaron Dell to waivers.


Whether It's Keith Yandle or Jason Spezza, It's Never Personal

Coaches like winning hockey games more than anything. And that was the only thing Joel Quenneville had in mind when he considered scratching reigning NHL ironman Yandle.