Tampa Bay Lightning wing Alex Tanguay gets a chance to play on Steven Stamkos' line
With Vinny Lecavalier's game starting to come around, the next step for the Tampa Bay Lightning is to get Alex Tanguay going. Toward that end, coach Rick Tocchet during the week moved Tanguay from Jeff Halpern's line to Steven Stamkos' line, and it is expected Tanguay will play there tonight against the Senators.
Couple things at work here. Stamkos and left wing Ryan Malone are hot right now, and Tanguay played pretty well with Halpern and is looking a bit more comfortable. It also would be good to get Tanguay back on an offensive-minded line, and perhaps keep him there for a while to see how he does.
"Alex, I need to get him stabilized," Tocchet said.
Tanguay has two assists and is minus-3 in nine games, averaging 15:56 of ice time, but with only seven shots.
"Like I said before, he was out of whack," Tocchet said. "I thought the last game (Saturday against the Sabres), he had some really good shifts, and I was trying to build on that momentum. Stammer is hot and Bugsy plays the way he usually plays, consistent. If Tangs can find his game here, and he's had two or three good days of practice with those guys, I think it could be a successful line for us."
Tanguay is a notoriously slow starter. In the 2002-03 season, he had just four goals by Christmas, only to end the season with 26.
Other stuff from the morning skate: D Matt Smaby and Lukas Krajicek will be the scratches. ... More of why we like James Wright, who is expected to playing his 10th NHL game tonight, which would make his contract count toward calculating when he will become a free agent, even if he ultimately is sent back to juniors this season. "If I do end up going back to juniors, I would take that confidence with me and know in the back of my mind, 'I can play with these guys.' ... I would have higher expectations of myself. This has been instrumental in helping me along the way that I believe in myself." ... Tocchet on the Senators: "They're a very confident team. When you have a confident team, you have to really stick with your system. We can't play as individuals tonight. We play as five, we protect the house, and all the other stuff will come. Their transition game is very good. Their defense has played well. Their penalty kill is the best in the league and they've been getting great goaltending. The recipe is there for them." ... Tocchet on reacting to Tampa bay's 7-1 loss to Ottawa on Oct. 15: "I don't like the word revenge, but memory can serve you well for motivation as an individual. Then as a team, collectively, we didn't play well. It's a good motivational tool to get your engines revved tonight." ... Tocchet on whether talk of the in-flux ownership story has affected the players: "I don't hear it in the dressing room, and that's all I care about. It hasn't even been a discussion with the coaching staff."