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Ben Bishop has been good everywhere he goes. He needs the proper coaching to get to the next level of elite.
The assistant coaches for the Lightning were brought on with Guy Boucher. Boucher was fired, but the rest of the coaching staff remained intact. Frantz Jean has been the current goaltending coach since Sept. 7, 2010.
He has a long list of accomplishments, but NHL success isn’t one of them. In his first season, the Lightning finished tied for 21st in the league with 2.85 goals-against per game.
In his second season, the Bolts finished last with a 3.39 GAPG. This year, Tampa Bay has a 3.07 GAPG―good enough for 26th.
Blame for the Lightning’s goals against can be spread throughout the organization, but goaltending woes haven’t helped.
Mike Smith, a Lightning goaltender in Jean’s first season, posted a 2.89 GAA. The following year, he went to the Phoenix Coyotes and won 38 games with a 2.21 GAA.
Current Lightning goaltender, Mathieu Garon, came to the Bolts after a stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets. While the record doesn’t show it, Garon’s individual statistics in Columbus are better than they have been in Tampa Bay. In Columbus, Garon had a higher save percentage (.903) and lower goals-against average (2.81) than with the Lightning.
The Lightning need a change with two young goaltenders who are fighting for a No. 1 spot. Tampa Bay could―optimistically―have a situation like the New Jersey Devils have with Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, but that is only if they can bring in the right goaltending coach.