Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning notebook

Lecavalier struggling to score or to explain it

TAMPA — There are no injuries, no illnesses, nothing to indicate why Vinny Lecavalier is slumping so badly. Even the Lightning center is stumped as to the cause of a cruel stretch of 22 games that netted four goals.

"It's just been a struggle to produce right now," Lecavalier said.

He said he has watched video, made sure he and right wing Marty St. Louis are on the same page. He also is guarding against shooting the puck without picking his spot at the net.

The result: "You shoot it right into the goalie's pads."

It is a testament to how well Lecavalier was playing that he entered Friday third in the league with 78 points, including 32 goals. Since Jan.  8, Lecavalier has just 16 points, 12 on assists.

He entered Friday without a goal in seven games and had a potential winner carom off the left pipe on a breakaway with 4:35 left in regulation.

Asked if he has been distracted by the team's struggles or the trades of linemate Vinny Prospal and best friend Brad Richards, Lecavalier said, "Maybe subconsciously, but I don't like to use excuses.

"…I'm paid to play hard, and that's my priority, not to think about other things. There have been some distractions, but you have to battle through them."

By doing the basics.

"It's about bringing the puck to the net, maybe playing better with Marty, talking more on the ice; get aggressive on the puck, be hungry and bring it to the net."

TIME WARP: Defenseman Mike Lundin's playing time has plummeted since Dan Boyle's return. Averaging 13:52 for the season, the rookie averaged 9:36 entering Friday in Boyle's 14 games.

"It's been a learning experience, definitely, learning how to stay focused and keep your legs as warm as you can even though you have a long period when you're not getting a shift," Lundin said. "… But you realize it's probably best for the team those other guys are getting more minutes."

ODDS AND ENDS: Newly acquired center Jeff Halpern led the team with four hits and won nine of 12 faceoffs in 16:28. … Coach John Tortorella said he wants the team to re-sign center Chris Gratton, whose season likely will end after next week's surgery on a torn left hip labrum. … Left wing Andre Roy and wife Karine on Thursday had their second daughter, Eloise. … Defenseman Filip Kuba (knee) was scratched. … Center Junior Lessard made his team debut.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Lecavalier struggling to score or to explain it 02/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.