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 Vinny Lecavalier says picking All-Star squads will be difficult

While saying, generally, that having All-Star captains pick their teams is "a pretty cool idea," Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier, who was the captain of the 2008 East All-Star team, said making those picks won't be that easy.

"It will be hard as a captain to pick guys," Lecavalier said. "There are guys that you know and guys that you want to pick ahead of guys that you know, so it's going to be a tough situation. Hopefully, everybody takes it in good spirits."

For those of you who missed it, the NHL is revamping the way it picks its All-Star teams. There no longer will be an East vs. West matchup. Fan voting will pick six players (three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie), but the NHL's hockey operations department will pick the next 36 players. The team captains chosen by the 42 players will then draft players onto their teams in what is basically a fantasy draft or the way kids pick teams in pickup games.

And speaking of pickup games, Lecavalier said he never liked being the person picking a team. As for doing it for an NHL All-Star game, he said, "It puts the captains on the spot a little bit, but it's all for fun. Everybody is happy just to be in an All-Star game. They should take it in good spirits. I'm sure it will be okay."

Other stuff from the morning meetings: Because the team practiced on Wednesday, there was no morning skate Thursday. That has been coach Guy Boucher's pattern. If there is a practice the day before a game, no morning skate. If there is no practice or game, then he holds a morning skate. The coach said he doesn't want the players wasting energy. ... Dan Ellis, with two shutouts in his past three starts, is expected to get the call in net. ... Not much new on left wing Simon Gagne, who continues to undergo tests in Tampa, though coach Guy Boucher tried to describe Gagne's symptoms: his vision apparently becomes unsteady when he moves his head quickly from side to side. Boucher stressed that Gagne is not dizzy, is continuing to work out ("He feels pretty good energy-wise," Boucher said) and not showing concussion-like symptoms and that the tests are trying to pinpoint the cause of the unsteady vision. ... Right wing Steve Downie is feeling better Boucher said. Downie is being monitored back in Tampa to see whether some neck pain caused when he was hit from behind on Nov. 4 by the Kings' Drew Doughty is just an exacerbation of his back problems or a possible concussion. ... Whatever the diagnosis, Boucher said, "It's huge. We're missing two guys on the top two lines. You don't have the same team, let's not kid ourselves." ... With Downie out, Adam Hall has taken his place on a line with center Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. Boucher praised Hall for work in Tuesday's 4-0 win over the Maple Leafs. "He's basically the guy who originated the two two-on-ones they had," Boucher said. "He was there, backing them up in the defensive zone and crashing the net, so I think Hall is the type of player who I think is going to give that line part of what Downie was giving." ... As for the other lines, a rotation fills the gaps, and the team will again play with 11 forwards tonight against the Capitals. ... Tampa Bay also will make a call-up from AHL Norfolk. No name was given but whoever it is will not play against Washington. ... Give it up for the Lightning's penalty kill, which is third in the league at 90.6 percent and has killed 27 of 29 shorthanded situations in its past seven games. Defenseman Mike Lundin said the team's five-on-five game just translates so well to the PK. "Five-on-five our focus is quick, get in their face, sticks on pucks, and that's perfect for the penalty kill," he said. "I think we're just really good at taking away the other team's time and space. Even though, we're down a guy we're on the puck quick and not allowing them to make a lot of players." Additionally, Boucher said, "We have players dedicated to blocking shots. If you don't have that, I don't care who you are or how fast you are, you are not a good penalty killing team." ... Tampa Bay will need it against the Capitals. "I think our best penalty kill today is to stay out of the box," Boucher said. "we have to trim it down to max, max, max three power plays today." ... Lundin, who did so well last season shadowing Alex Ovechkin likely will get a chance to face him tonight, but perhaps not on a regular basis. "It's a relay, basically," Boucher said, adding that the pairing of Randy Jones and Mattias Ohlund will get first crack at facing Ovechkin and his line.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier says picking All-Star squads will be difficult 11/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 2:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.