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Two sides to Alex Tanguay's Tampa Bay Lightning tenure

It seemed Alex Tanguay was using selective memory when he took a few shots at Rick Tocchet, who coached Tanguay last season with the Lightning.

While admitting he played poorly, Tanguay also said he did not agree with the way he was used on the ice and that how he was told he would be used when he signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal did not jibe with the ultimate reality.

Couple of things here:

Tanguay, a terrific passer who now is with the Flames, was brought in to play on a line with Vinny Lecavalier, and that was where he began the season as well as with a prominent role on the power play.

Problem was, Tanguay did not produce — at all. There didn't seem to be any on-ice chemistry with Lecavalier. Tanguay, who had career lows of 10 goals and 37 points, took only 91 shots. He also was weak with the puck and along the boards.

No surprise, then, his ice time went down and he lost significant power-play time.

Tanguay was down on the fourth line for a while and even was scratched for the first time in his career.

In that context, Tanguay's relationship with Tocchet might be more to the point.

Consider Tanguay said, "Things were said towards me and where things were headed and how it was going. … I was made out to be pretty much not being able to play in this league and not being able to line up on a consistent basis at the end of the year."

We certainly have seen with Lecavalier and John Tortorella how a player's relationship with his coach can affect on-ice performance. So perhaps Tanguay's issues with Tocchet developed a hump he could not get over.

Either way, the situation lit a fire under Tanguay, 31, who this season has eight goals and 23 points in 30 games and is averaging 19:16 of ice time.

"It certainly motivated me," he said. "I still feel I have something to prove."

As long as he realizes he was part of the problem.

Two sides to Alex Tanguay's Tampa Bay Lightning tenure 12/11/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 11, 2010 9:42pm]

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