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)

Tampa Bay Lightning seeks shootout solutions

The Lightning is straying into the embarrassing when it comes to shootouts, and no one seems to have an answer.

After Friday night's loss to the Avalanche in which Stephane Veilleux, Vinny Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay failed to score, shooters are 2-for-22 in the game-ending gimmick.

TWO-FOR-22. And the goals came in one game against the Wild, the only one of seven shootouts Tampa Bay has won. Needless to say, its 9.1 shooting percentage entered Saturday as the league's worst — by a lot. The next-worst was the 17.1 percent (6-for-35) of the Stars.

"I don't know what to say," Lecavalier said.

"It is," coach Rick Tocchet said, "mind-boggling."

Tocchet has tried just about everything. He has used his best shooters and mixed it up. Nine shooters have given it a go. Veilleux got his first shootout attempt against Colorado because, Tocchet said, "We had a little contest (Friday), and the past couple of days, and he didn't miss. You try to go with the hot hand."

Asked whether it would be better to designate three players as regulars to perhaps create an urgent mind-set, Tocchet shrugged. "If you've looked, Vinny (1-for-6) has probably taken almost every one. Marty (St. Louis, 0-for-2) has taken his fair share, and (so has) Alex (0-for-4) … so I don't know if that's the answer."

At Friday's postgame media gathering, we thought we had it figured out: use goaltender Mike Smith. We know he can shoot. And because the shootout has no resemblance to the real game, why not stir it up a bit more.

Alas, Mike Murphy, the NHL's head of hockey operations, dashed the plan, pointing out that before games, players are registered on lineup sheets as goaltenders or skaters, and those are the positions they must play.

On top of that, rule 28.7 prohibits goalies from playing the puck past the center red line.

Smith sounded disappointed. "It would be fun. It'd be something to see, wouldn't it? There would be a lot of pressure on the other goalie. What if I scored? The other goalie would say, 'A goalie just scored on me. I have to quit.' "

Tampa Bay Lightning seeks shootout solutions 12/12/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Blue Jays

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Browns to start rookie QB DeShone Kizer vs. Bucs

    Bucs

    BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer will be next through the Browns' quarterback turnstile.

    He doesn't want it to spin again soon.

    Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer, left, will start vs. the Bucs on Saturday. He will be Cleveland’s 27th starter since 1999.
  3. Florida Gators' QB situation remains up in the air

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With 10 days remaining until Florida's season opener against Michigan, Gators coach Jim McElwain still hasn't named a starting quarterback.

    Does it bother him?

    "Not at all," he said Wednesday.

  4. Bucs journal: Three key players miss practice as precaution

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Three days before the most important game of the preseason, the Bucs held three key players — WR Mike Evans, LB Kwon Alexander and G J.R. Sweezy — from Wednesday's practice as a precaution.

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during practice Saturday ( Aug. 19, 2017), sits out Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. .
  5. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.