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)

Scoring is nice, but Steve Downie just wants Tampa Bay Lightning wins

BRANDON — Over and over, Steve Downie insisted the goal he scored in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Penguins was no big deal.

"It's just a goal. That's the way I look at it," the Lightning right wing said Friday at the Ice Sports Forum. "We won the game. I'd rather win the game than score goals."

There is no reason to doubt that sentiment. But the reality is, Downie's tally, on the power play with a crisp wrist shot from the slot, is not easily dismissed.

It was Downie's first goal since opening night, ending a 16-game drought. And it came after Monday's loss to the Jets in which Downie missed three open nets.

"You could see his face," coach Guy Boucher said. "To relieve that pressure, you could see it in practice. He scored a lot more in practice (Friday), too."

This season has been a challenging one of transition for Downie, who has played a different role than the past two seasons and seen his offensive production dwindle.

Paired the past two seasons on a top line with center Steve Stamkos and Marty St. Louis, Downie had a combined 32 goals and 78 points, and was plus-22. This season, in more of a third-line checking role, Downie has two goals and four points in 18 games and is minus-12, one of the worst ratings in the league.

Even so, Downie, 24, is doing the right things, Boucher said. And center Dominic Moore said Downie "is one of those guys who will play the same way regardless of the role he's playing."

Downie is screening more and carrying the puck more to the net, Boucher said. "He's got more opportunities around the net. Funny thing is, he's getting less points. The reality is, stick with the process, results will come."

"You get frustrated, not so much about not scoring goals but the way you play the game," Downie said. "I'll score a goal and still not be happy with my game. It's always nice to score goals, but scoring a goal is not the whole game."

Downie is like his teammates, Boucher said, in that he must improve defensively. Still, he said Downie's minus-12 is not overly worrisome.

"The last two seasons he played with Stamkos and St. Louis," Boucher said. "I'll put anybody with Stamkos and St. Louis, and we'll see their plus-minus improve pretty good.

"He's one of the guys who has had to adjust the most on our team."

For example, Downie's 1:48 average power-play time is about 30 seconds less than last season.

His power-play time spiked in the four games left wing Ryan Malone was out with an upper-body injury. Malone is expected back tonight against the Devils at the St. Pete Times Forum, but Boucher said Downie will keep getting more power-play time.

Overall, though, Stamkos said, "(Downie is) not given as much of an opportunity to produce, and that's tough. He wants to be that guy. He's going to do anything for the team, but I know he wants to produce. That's human nature for a competitive guy like him."

"As long as we're winning," Downie said. "Winning is the bottom line in this business, no matter how many goals you score."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @LightningTimes.

Scoring is nice, but Steve Downie just wants Tampa Bay Lightning wins 11/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal

    College

    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  2. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  5. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399