Make us your home page

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's Ryan Malone picks up scoring after listening to advice from coach

Ryan Malone, trying to punch one past the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, has five goals and 14 points in his past 13 games.

Associated Press

Ryan Malone, trying to punch one past the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, has five goals and 14 points in his past 13 games.

TAMPA — Lightning wing Ryan Malone is known for doing the dirty work in front of the net, looking to screen, looking to battle.

But coach Guy Boucher pointed out several weeks ago that Malone wasn't looking enough to score.

Boucher showed Malone video of when his stick was in the air and he missed opportunities for rebounds and deflections. "I was like, 'Geez, maybe that's why I'm not scoring,' " Malone said.

Malone worked at it and made adjustments with his positioning. It has paid off, as he has racked up five goals and 14 points in his past 13 games, stepping in nicely on the top line for injured Steve Downie and ranking third on the team in points (behind Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis).

The Lightning (21-10-5) will certainly need Malone's presence in front the net tonight against the Bruins, who boast the league's top goaltender in Tim Thomas.

Boucher said though he gave Malone some tips, the 6-foot-4, 219-pound forward deserves all the credit for the scoring surge.

"The thing he was doing before, he was fighting bodies," Boucher said. "He wasn't fighting to get the puck. I told him, 'You've got to have the puck. Stop trying to bang everybody and go to the net to fight with other bodies with sticks in the air. You're there to score goals. You're going to screen, but you're going to screen with your stick on the ice.'

"He worked really hard in practice. We looked at video. He never had his stick on the ice. He never was around the net to score. Now he's going there to score. Plus, he's using his speed a lot more to be first on puck rather than to hit."

Malone has always had it in him, having boasted five 20-goal seasons in his career. But Boucher said that many times, he has seen players lose sight of their primary objective in front of the crease, which is to "battle to score."

Boucher said Malone also had his knees more straight instead of bent, making it more difficult to quickly pounce on rebounds.

"I obviously didn't realize I was doing it until he told me," Malone said. "That definitely helped."

Though Malone and the Lightning enter tonight's game at the St. Pete Times Forum on a 6-0-2 stretch, Boucher made sure to remind them how they fared the last time in Boston, losing 8-1.

"We were put to shame that game," Boucher said. "It was tough; we were missing a lot of players, but still. We need to do better (tonight)."

And it continues a tough five-game stretch for the Lightning, which plays five of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference over two weeks, including matchups on the road next week against the Capitals and Penguins.

"Those games mean a lot because they're top teams, fighting for first place," Boucher said. "For us, it's a good measuring stick right now, and we want to make sure that we measure ourselves with the best of our abilities and see where we are."

NOTES: Goalie Dan Ellis will start for the Lightning. … Defenseman Randy Jones (upper body) is questionable with an injury suffered Sunday.

Joe Smith can be reached at



vs. Bruins

When/where: 7:30; St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa

TV/radio: Versus; 620-AM

Key stats: Dan Ellis, in goal for Tampa Bay tonight, has won three of his past four starts. … Bruins G Tim Thomas entered Monday ranked first in the NHL in goals against average (1.67) and save percentage (.949). … The Lightning is 6-0-1 in its past seven home games. Tampa Bay boasts the third-ranked power-play unit (23.9 percent), with Boston entering Monday ranked third in penalty kill (86.8 percent).

Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Malone picks up scoring after listening to advice from coach 12/27/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs do their best to stiff-arm the expectations


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team giving the Heisman trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    As always, the key to the Bucs success will be Jameis Winston. He still is only 23, but a charismatic leader that this team and this town believes deeply in. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations


    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.


    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Get the latest Tampa Bay Buccaneers news delivered daily to your email inbox


    They narrowly missed the playoffs by this much.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after they connected for a touchdown during a win over the Seattle Seahawks in November in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. For starters: Rays at Yankees, in a pretty big series


    The Rays open a challenging road trip tonight in New York, the first of four games against the wild-card leading Yankees.

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  5. Bucs' O.J. Howard says in NFL, 'it's an SEC game every day'


    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard hasn't played in an NFL game yet, but he already appreciates the grind of an NFL season -- every week can be a loss, perhaps more so than in college football, where Alabama went 12-0 in nonconference, non-bowl games in his three years there.

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard, shown playing for Alabama in the national championship game in Tampa in January, says every game in the NFL is an SEC game, with no letdowns.