Tale of the tape
Lightning coach John Tortorella is a great believer in using video to get his points across about the good and bad of a particular game. On Friday he had tons of good to show after Thursday's 4-3 victory over the Canucks. He said he showed the fights, obviously, but more important were the hard checks and the battles for pucks Tampa Bay kept winning because it outmanned the opposition.
Speaking this morning after the team's skate in preparation for the game against the Panthers, Torts said he had a short message for his players:
"I didn't have anything to say,'' he said he told them. "You saw it yesterday. Do it again.''
Of course, we have been down this road before. The team looks good, people think a corner somehow has been turned and then the Lightning falls flat on its face again. Remember the Colorado game? Tortorella does.
"The key is our consistency,'' he said. "We have the people who can play that style. It's the style we want to play. It's not always going to be at that level, I understand that, but it has to be part of our identity, the beginning of creating our identity through these 30 games and how we have to play. They want to do it again. I just don't know what happens sometimes with the electrodes up there. It just doesn't click in. That's what we're striving to do.''
That quote doesn't do justice to the scene in which Torts, when he was talking about electrodes started moving his hands all around his head. Take my word for it, it was pretty funny.
As much as the players enjoyed the good stuff shown in Friday's video session, Tortorella said the team was business-like.
"I think,'' he said, "it's the beginning of re-creating our identity here.''
Just some other quickie things:
Wing Jason Ward, who had such a tough time against the Canucks, and who's bad defensive play, when a puck jumped right over his stick, led to a Vancouver goal, will be scratched. That gives Mathieu Darche a chance to show what he can do. ... No surprise Karri Ramo is in net. ... And an interesting little tidbit from Marty St. Louis, who talked about the way he has divided the rest of the season up into five-game segments with the goal of winning each segment. He said he posts the results in the locker room. He said he, Lecavalier and Richards came up with the idea to keep the focus narrow. "If you look at the big picture, it can be like a mountain,'' St. Louis said. "Take it in small games like that, it's an inch at a time and you're going to get there.''