A new season
If you watched a Lightning game last season you no doubt were outraged, PO'd, and whatever other emotion you could muster, at some point by something an opponent did to a Tampa Bay player without, it seemed, any retaliation. Against Dallas in the final preseason game, Eric Lindros knocked into Johan Holmqvist, Eric Perrin was cross-checked and ... nothing.
That's why I thought what Torts said in an article the other day on team toughness was so interesting.
"Part of being tough is taking a hit and not retaliating and sitting in the penalty box. I know the fans and media get upset when they think you should retaliate. But some of the mental toughness you have to take in a team is to take that and maybe take a penalty and score on a power play. Do I want our players to stick up for each other? Absolutely. But there are so many things going on with penalties, you have to be careful. Sometimes being tough is sucking it up and scoring on a power play.''
What do you think of that? Is the Lightning as tough as it needs to be, or would you rather have seen Mitch Fritz take Rob DiMaio's spot and crack a few heads? Give Doug Janik credit. He tried after Guillaume Latendresse cheap-shotted DiMaio, but at 7 feet tall on skates, Fritz might have made people think twice before even trying. It's a tough call, I think for a team trying to remake itself.
By the way, any questions, leave them here. I'll try to answer as many as I can.