Roy benched for disciplinary reasons
Left wing Andre Roy has gotten lots of praise for not only his play this season but for being able to hold onto his emotions during a game and not take bad penalties. His minutes have gone up because of it, and even Roy said of coach John Tortorella, "I'm more confident. I feel good out there and it's all because of Torts. He's given me a lot of opportunities to play.''
Still, Tortorella benched Roy for tonight's game against the Blues because of an incident Saturday during the Panthers game in which the two had words.
"We just had a little disagreement,'' Roy said after Tuesday's morning skate. "I went a little too far.''
The incident apparently occurred during the second period against the Panthers. Roy had fought Branislav Mezei, yapped with the Panthers defenseman and continued during a time out, leaning over the boards at the Lightning bench to direct some invective at Mezei.
That is when, apparently, he and Torts got into it as well as the coach wanted Roy focusing on the game. Roy said he reacted badly to the reprimand. The conversation apparently got a bit heated.
"It was just an incident where I didn't agree with him, and it wasn't right by me,'' Roy saida. "I think I might have overreacted with the stuff I said. I said a little bit too much which was not right because he's been fair by me.''
Roy has gotten regular third- and fourth-line shifts recently and has built up his average time on ice to 5:43. His four goals and seven points are his most since he had 10 and 17 in 2002-03 for Tampa Bay. But Roy's time on ice always has been predicated on him keeping hold of his sometimes volatile on-ice emotions.
"Against Vancouver (Thursday), he was rock-solid as far as far as playing with emotion and not going overboard where it affects other things,'' Tortorella said. "We're still in a process of trying to get through that and take another step here. He's given us some good minutes, though.''
Roy said the two spoke and cleared the air.
"Torts has been great,'' Roy said. "For once in my career, I'm having this opportunity to play some minutes, and ever since then my confidence has been building. ... Now I just shut up and take this and be ready for the next time he puts me in the lineup.''
It was unclear when that would be.
Quickies: Roy's absence shook up the third and fourth lines for tonight's game. Chris Gratton centers the third line with wins Nick Tarnasky and Craig MacDonald. Andreas Karlsson centers the fourth with wings Mathieu Darche and Jason Ward. ... Johan Holmqvist starts in net.