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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (foot) a game-time decision



Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman tried to skate this morning at Joe Louis Arena but was unable because of a bruised left foot sustained Wednesday when hit in practice by a shot from teammate Kurtis Foster.

Hedman said he will try to skate during warm-ups before tonight's game with the Red Wings and then decide if he can play.

"It's very close," Hedman said. "But it's also uncomfortable. If I don't feel 100 percent I shouldn't play. We need guys to be at 100 percent. But we need these two points. I want to be on the ice and help to get those."

"I don't know if he's going to play tonight or not," coach Rick Tocchet said. "We'll ice it today and see if he can put his boot on."

Tocchet said the issue is more pain tolerance than anything else.

"You leave it up to the player," he said. "Pain tolerance and ice. I don't know anything else."

Other stuff from the morning skate: Mike Smith gets the start in goal. ... Tocchet said Alex Tanguay is in the lineup tonight against Detroit. There was some uncertainty as Tanguay stayed on the ice long after the other non-scratched players came off. Tanguay, who has just four goals, was scratched for Tuesday's game with the Predators and on Wednesday wondered why he was the fall guy for the team's poor record. But Tanguay said he stayed on the ice purposefully  to get in some extra work. "I have to rebuild my confidence, and that's not going to come from anybody else," Tanguay said. "I'm doing the work I have to do." Asked if that resonated with him, Tocchet said, "Guys get into situations where they are at the crossroads in their career, and Alex is 30 now and been on a few teams. So, it’s not about, 'Other guys are making mistakes, so why is it me (being scratched)?' To me, it’s worry about yourself, worry about your piece of the carpet. Do the things we ask, work hard and the coaching staff will have no problem with you."... Forward Jeff Halpern, the scratched Tuesday for what Tocchet called "kind of" disciplinary reasons, is expected to play. ... Left wing Ryan Malone has one goal in his past 11 games. Quite a comedown from the 15 he scored in his first 22. "Obviously, the team is struggling and you want to produce more. I haven't had those chances around the net much. I have to continue to get in those areas and get shots on net and keep it simple." Malone has only 11 shots in his past eight games. "His play has dropped off," Tocchet said. "When he gets in trouble is when he doesn't move his feet. But he still does the little things and other stuff and he does a good job penalty killing for us too. " ... Nice tutorial by Tocchet on a drill the team did at practice in which he wanted the offensive players to establish position in front of the net before the defender. "Sometimes with our forwards, a little teaching point is to get position before the D does because that’s huge in this game," Tocchet said. "In their end, we want to establish that ice first. I know the guys get frustrated because I’m always saying it, but that’s so huge. You've got to get position on other players. That’s how you get penalties. When you take it for granted, you’re going to be behind the defenseman and you’re going to be hooking and holding and not going to get a rebound. You just have to get position and that’s hard work. I’m not saying guys don’t want to work, but it’s hard work." As an example, he explained, "Puck goes to the point. It’s not 'Where’s the puck?' and go. I have to establish position and then I can go (looking for the puck). If that guy is behind me, he’s going to have to hook me, cross-check me or there’s going to be a shot. Some guys are getting better at it, the young guys. But even if you’re a veteran, you can learn that stuff."

[Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:15am]


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