Is breakfast the cure for the Tampa Bay Lightning's road woes? It can't hurt, says Guy Boucher
With the Lightning 3-4-2 on the road and outscored 16-8 in first periods, coach Guy Boucher said he will return to the pregame routine the team used last season, when it won 21 road games.
Tampa Bay on Sunday before its game with the Panthers had a meeting at its hotel before it went to the rink as opposed to at the rink, which it has done this season. That way, players could not nap as late and could avoid what Boucher called “coma mode.”
“We wake up the mind before we get to the rink, so we don’t wake up in the middle of the second period,” he said.
There will be fewer morning skates and more body activations such as Sunday’s shirts-and-skins football game. The players did that a lot last season, not so much this season. Boucher said he also will insist players eat breakfast.
“A lot of our guys don’t eat breakfast,” Boucher said. “They have coffee and leave. It’s the most important meal of the day. If you miss the most important meal of the day, you’re not going to give yourself a chance to be at your best.”
Tampa Bay was not at its best in the first period against Florida. It was outscored 3-0 and outshot 16-9 before roaring back to take a 4-3 shootout victory. But Boucher said the new/old routine’s effects might be cumulative.
Center Dominic Moore said it’s worth a try.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to get your mind going early,” he said.
Center Steven Stamkos agreed, but added, “At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter what we do. We should be prepared. We have to find ways to come into games and start a lot better.”