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
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
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