Tampa Bay Lightning players join other teams growing mustaches for Movember movement
Add the Tampa Bay Lightning to the NHL teams taking part in the Movember movement, which, through the growing of mustaches, hopes to help bring awareness about prostate cancer and other men's diseases. The movement began about 11 years ago in Australia. According the the Dallas Stars web site, an informal survey showed 13 teams and 142 players taking part.
Lightning players, while extolling the "good cause," as it was called by wing Ryan Malone, are having fun with it as well. Malone said the mustache of Marty St. Louis already is a winner, even though it seems in its infancy, because it makes him look like a police lieutenant.
Wing Steve Downie's mustache looks like it's coming in well, but credited hair dye. My vote, though, goes to center Nate Thompson's Fu Manchu.
Other stuff from the morning skate: Nothing is official, but the best-case scenario for Simon Gagne's return to the team is Saturday against the Sabres. The more likely scenario is Monday against the Bruins or Wednesday against the Rangers. ... Dan Ellis gets the start in net tonight against the Islanders. Coach Guy Boucher said all things being equal, Mike Smith likely will start Thursday against the Flyers in Philadelphia. That could change, though, if Ellis plays a terrific game against the Islanders. ... Only one team, the Blue Jackets, have fewer goals from the blue line than the Lightning. Columbus has one. Tampa Bay is one of several teams with only three. Why the drought? A lot of times we're hesitating," defenseman Randy Jones said. "We're not just getting the puck and releasing it right away to the net." But another reason is the Lightning hasn't been as diligent the past few games screening opposing goaltenders. The emphasis was evident during the morning skate as players were planting themselves right in front of Smith during a drill. ... Good line from Boucher when asked what new Islanders coach Jack Capuano should expect making the jump from the AHL to the NHL. "I'll always say it's the food. There's too much food," Boucher said. Seriously, though, he said, the biggest challenge has been dealing with injuries. "It has a bigger impact than any league I've been in," Boucher said. "The American league, you lose somebody, somebody will step up or a few people will step up. In the NHL, when you lose somebody, when you're missing two or three, there's too much out there that you're missing, and you're going to have to reinvent the way you play to manage that. That's the biggest adjustment I'd say I found." ... Boucher is emphasizing the positive to his players. As he said, "We want to see through the clouds." So he posted the stats in the locker room: third in the league on the penalty kill, sixth in the league on the power play, first in the league at home on the power play, third in the league for shots, tied for third in shots and least shots against. "We got a whole bunch of numbers like that that show us we've been doing a lot of good things," Boucher said. ... Boucher's critique of Johan Harju, 24, who in his first two NHL games had two shots and is minus-2 while averaging 10:02 of ice time. "He's a strong guy. He's quick. He's got a great shot. And he's played pro (in Sweden). He's not that young. He knows how to lay with men and it showed the last two games. he has the speed to play with those guys." How can he improve? "He's a shooter, and to give himself more time to shoot, he has to find that open space. Right now, he's reactive to the game, which is normal because he's new. Right now, he's just trying to fit in."