Tampa Bay Lightning look to rally
Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher held a 60-minute team meeting Thursday before the Lightning practiced at Consol Energy Center.
Revising strategy is common after the first game of a playoff series, but this meeting wasn't confined to Xs and Os. Consider it more of a wake-up call.
"(Game 1) was probably an eye-opener for some of our guys," Boucher said. "The compete level needs to be very high. Pittsburgh is a team that battles hard. (The Penguins) aren't going to give us freebies."
The bruised and battered Lightning took one on the chin Wednesday — right wing Martin St. Louis, for good measure, took Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek's stick to his teeth — and their ability to adjust could determine how the series will unfold.
Tampa Bay turned to its leaders for guidance before yesterday's practice.
"We're still in position to get the split," St. Louis said. "You're always OK with getting that split. It was only one game."
A loss tonight in Game 2 would force the Lightning to win four of five games to advance, a daunting task for a team on which "half of our players have never played in the playoffs," Boucher said.
This wasn't the first time Boucher surprised his team with a meeting. It has become common for the rookie coach to cancel practice and instead gather his team for a conversation. He relies on veterans St. Louis and center Vincent Lecavalier to settle his inexperienced squad.
"This is normal for us," winger Teddy Purcell said. "We stress feedback from a lot of guys. The older guys offered their advice and input. We're playing a great team, and we know it.
"The guys who have been here before said that you can't win a series in one game."
Lecavalier spoke at length about the meeting, and while specifics were not divulged, he stressed the theme was to avoid panicking. He recalled that the Lightning dropped Game 1 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final to Calgary before regrouping and winning the series in seven games.
"I'd say the meeting was both about strategy and (psychological)," Lecavalier said.
With seven Lightning players experiencing the playoffs for the first time, it was natural they would struggle to compose themselves in Game 1.
How it fares tonight could dictate how long Tampa Bay's postseason will last.
"I wouldn't say the coaches were disappointed in the guys," defenseman Eric Brewer said. "It's a seven-game series, and the first game didn't go how we wanted. So we talked about it. We don't feel like we have to make major adjustments. Teams that make major adjustments usually have real issues."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Medicare payments to tie doctor, hospital payments to quality rather than volume of care
- Business roundup: IBM “flatly denies” report of mass layoffs; more
- Major storm skips past
- Buildings concern board
- Fayette man allegedly exposed self to Charleroi children
- Connellsville looks for ways to raise money, cut expenses
- Baseball lover shared lifelong passion by coaching
- North Belle Vernon man accused of stalking girl, 13
- East Allegheny girls getting used to winning with underclassmen
- Discord drives Monessen meeting
- Campus Clippings: Alle-Kiski swimmers shine at Edinboro