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Tampa Bay Lightning Nuts and Bolts

Family ties

It might be that night, it might be the next day, but after every game, LW Alex Tanguay, below, will get on the phone will his father, Gervais, and discuss it. Rather, Tanguay will listen. His father will tell him how he played. "It's big," Tanguay said. "Sometimes he tells me things I need to hear, and sometimes he tells me things that I don't need to hear. So it's nice. He'll always tell me what he thought and what I could have done differently, just discussing hockey. He's passionate about hockey." Tanguay said Gervais and mom Sylvie always preached family first. It has been a welcome refuge during a difficult season in which Tanguay has just four goals and Tuesday, for the first time in his 10-year career, was benched. "He said just keep working," Tanguay said of Gervais. "He always tells me cream always rises to the top. I know I'm not the best cream in the NHL. I'm never going to be Sidney Crosby or (Evgeni) Malkin. But I've been, I think, a decent player for a number of years, and I'm going to strive to be that player."

Quote to note

"They have an advantage because of their jersey. For Detroit, it's intimidation by their team structure and leadership and players they've had. They might have an off night but still win the game. They've established that over the years."

Lightning coach Rick Tocchet, on the Red Wings

5 questions C Blair Jones

What is the longest bus ride you've taken in the minors?

About 15 hours (from Norfolk, Va., to Portland, Maine).

How did you handle that?

You play cards and watch movies.

What's the bus like?

We have a good bus. It has sleeper bunks and a big screen in the back.

Is there something you watch every trip? We watch a lot of Family Guy.

Anything else good about bus rides?

It's great for bonding with the guys.

Go West? How about North?

Ice Edge, the group that signed a letter of intent to buy the Coyotes, said it will keep the team in Glendale, Ariz., (in the short term, anyway) but wants to play five home games in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Fortunately, we have available a Saskatoon expert in LW James Wright, who grew up in the city of 218,000, which hosts next year's world junior championship. "I know they'd be ecstatic," Wright said of the city getting Coyotes games. "Hockey there is huge." But the Coyotes? Wright said the Flames and Oilers from next-door province Alberta have the biggest followings. The Maple Leafs also have a big following, though Wright said Oilers and Flames fans often gang up on Leafs fans. "It was kind of that west-east thing," he said.

Tampa Bay Lightning Nuts and Bolts 12/19/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 19, 2009 8:18pm]
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