Barberio hopes to learn from his mistake
At some point tonight in the Lightning's game with the Capitals, Tampa Bay defenseman Mark Barberio might find himself on the ice trying to defend against Washington star Alex Ovechkin.
A daunting task, to be sure, for the rookie with just 18 NHL games under his belt. But Barberio believes he is a bit wiser after his blunder during Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Jets led to the winning goal.
"I've talked about it with (assistant coach Rick Bowness) already and looked at it on video," Barberio said Tuesday. "It's a mistake. it was a mental mistake. When I've got a guy at the net, I can't let up for even a second because that's all the guys need in this league, one second, one chance to put it in. Hockey is a game of mistakes, and mistakes are going to happen. The key is to make sure you don't commit the same mistakes."
Barberio's mistake came 1:04 into the extra period when Winnipeg's Mark Sheifele went to the net with Barberio covering. Somehow, Barberio got turned around and didn't see Blake Wheeler's pass from the left wing until Sheifele was putting it past goaltender Anders Lindback.
"I take it as a lesson," Barberio said. "The key is to make sure that doesn't happen anymore, that I keep battling with a guy in front and make sure I can see the play at all times, don't get my back turned to the play. Hopefully, that makes me a better player."
"It stings," Barberio added. "It hurts because we battled hard, especially in the second half of the game to get back in it. I thought we had a lot of momentum. That's hockey. One mistake, boom, you're on the losing end of the game. You learn the hard way, but as long as I'm going to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Ben Bishop gets the start in net. ... Wing Richard Panik is back in after being scratched for two straight games. "I'm just going to try to play a simple game and shoot more and focus on defense," He said. "I'll try to do that and, hopefully, it will work out." ... Tampa Bay will play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen with right wing Dana Tyrell the scratch. ... Left wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie did not skate this morning because he was ill, coach Jon Cooper said. ... In an attempt to get right wing Teddy Purcell going, Cooper will put him on a line with center Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn. Purcell has just three goals and eight points in his past 23 games. That after getting four goals and eight points in his first six games. "It's always frustrating when you go into little slumps," Purcell said. "You can wait for your bounces. You have to go and create them. Personally, that's something I put a lot of pride in myself, yo go out and do that and be that go-to guy. Hopefully, this will be a good start tonight." ... Right wing Nikita Kucherov, who had been playing on Filppula's line, takes Purcell's spot with center Nate Thomspon and J.T. Brown. ... Good quote from Cooper on Kucherov, who has zero points in five games after scoring on his first NHL shot: "There's a good chance he's going to make a pretty good living in this league someday. Do we think it's ideal that he's in the NHL right now? We don't want to stunt his growth. He's actually played well for us, but the puck is not going in for him the way he expects it to. What we have to do is sometimes talk him off the ledge and tell him, 'Your scoring is going to come, but learn our defensive system and how to be on the right side of the puck and everything will look after itself." ... Interesting when you look at Tampa Bay's lines that, as Cooper said, each has "a little sandpaper to go with a little finish." Killorn provides that on Filppula's line. Ondrej Palat is the sandpaper for the line with Marty St. Louis and Tyler Johnson. Thompson is the sandpaper on the line with Brown (though there is sandpaper there, too) and Kucherov.