I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that he's not on arguably the best player in hockey's line anymore?
Lecavalier, St. Louis, Vrbata and Prospal are no scrubs. If you can't score on a line with Lecavalier and St. Louis, that's saying something to me.
Loved Malone last year. Loved him around the net and on the PK. But it seemed like he turned it on for his contract year, which I don't like. Good for him for getting paid, but he was wasn't worth what he got.
I couldn't agree more. Tampa Bay witnessed one season of Ryan Malone during a contract year. They didn't look at his inconsistent and lackluster play before last season.
And who didn't see this coming. Yeah TB looks great on paper, and they are loaded with offense. But they traded away what little D they had and their goaltending is suspect (although Smith has been better this year that I expected).
They are last in the league when it comes to scoring goals. That's coming from a team that went out and grabbed Malone, Vrbata and Prospal during the offseason, drafted Stamkos and already had Lecavalier and St. Louis.
Something is definately wrong down there and I'm not exactly sure it's all Melrose. The guy was out of coaching for the last 13 years. He comes back, get's a job with a team who totally revamped it's whole team in the offseason and they fire him after 16 games. In my opinion, they should have given him more time. Normally after a HC firing, things are only going to get worse from here on out for TB.
IMO, it has more to with Koules, Barrie and mostly Lawton. These guys were hell bent on making that team better by any means necessary during this offseason after winning only eleven games on the road last season. They promised the fans they would be better. They went into panic mode for a full offseason and signed as many guys as possible, no matter the cost and not taking into consideration what the chemistry would like when all was said and done.
Now they are in this situation. Just my opinion.