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Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher says extra February practices were a 'little mistake'

Boucher: I overpracticed players in February

TAMPA — If there was a point when Lightning players lost a bit of steam this season, it was during their 12-game February homestand, said coach Guy Boucher, who admitted he made a "little mistake" pushing extra practice time.

Boucher said he wanted to make up for practice time lost during a travel-heavy first half of the season.

"That was probably a little mistake we made in February," he said Tuesday, a day after wing Marty St. Louis said the team "hit a wall" during its 3-6-4 skid.

"The entire year we gave a lot of rest to the players because we're a hard-grinding team and all the games we push so hard. But we missed so many practices, we wanted to catch up. That kind of threw us off a little bit in terms of rest. We caught up enough in practices, but catching up in practices doesn't necessarily mean wins. We've gone back to resting some guys."

And giving the team more days off ahead of the playoffs, Boucher said.

"Sometimes you just need a break from going on the ice," said center Steven Stamkos, off three of the past seven days. "Sometimes rest is a weapon."

"And," Boucher said, "we haven't taken enough of that weapon lately."

Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher says extra February practices were a 'little mistake' 03/29/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:57pm]
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