Lecavalier politely asks for more minutes
Captain Vinny Lecavalier didn't make a big deal out of it. He was speaking more matter of factly than anything else. But Lecavalier said he would like to play more than he has. Entering Tuesday's game Lecavalier was averaging 19:31 of ice time, though he played just 18:25 and 16:38 the past two games.
"it's definitely a change," Lecavalier said before the game with the Maple Leafs. "I would like to play more, and I like to play more. I want to get the 20 minutes in there, or 21 minutes. A lot of people say we played too much last year and I understand that. But 20, 21 minutes, I think, would be a good number."
Coach Barry Melrose has said he does not want Lecavalier or Marty St. Louis averaging the 25 minutes they did last season, the better to keep them fresh. But Lecavalier said, "The more you play, the more you're into the game. I'm so used to always being back out there and being in the game. When you play 16, 17 minutes it's a little tougher to do."
Lecavalier admitted his surgically repaired right shoulder still is sore and has not regained its full strength.