Guy Boucher likes “Standard Game”

By on October 20, 2011

Tampa, Fla. – Tampa Bay was the first team to mark the scoreboard tonight when Ryan Malone picked up a rebound off a Marc-Andre Bergeron one-timer, patiently waited and drove it past New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya.  It was Malone’s second of the season, a power play goal at 16:32 of the first period.  The home team’s captain Vinny Lecavalier picked up the secondary helper.  It was only the second time this season that the Lightning scored first. 

Malone said after the game, “It always nice obviously we’ve been kind of maybe second guessing ourselves a little bit.  So it was nice to get back on track all night we improved in all areas.” I brought up that it was only the second time this year they scored first, Malone commented, “We need to work on that,  it’s obviously important to get that first everyone settles in after that, so we’re definitely a better team after we score first.”

Lightning back-up goal-tender Mathieu Garon would get the start and stop all 10 Islander shots he faced in the first two periods and 6 out of 7 in the third to finish as the number three star with 16 saves on 17 shots.

The Bolts would carry that 1-0 lead into the newly renovated locker room. 

The first 15 minutes of the 2nd period were real paint-driers… but then,

Vinny Lecavalier with just less than 5 minutes left in the second period gave the Lightning a two goal lead when he picked up a loose puck that was poked away from him in the offense zone.  Then Lecavalier calculatingly skated to the slot where he blistered a wrist shot that deflected high over the glove hand of Montoya.  It was Vinny’s third goal of the season with an assist handed out to Marty St. Louis.   The Bolts were up 2-0 for the first since October 7th when in  Raleigh against the Carolina Hurricanes, yes hockey fans that was opening night.

“We were successful because we were playing like that; we were playing with-in the system.  Chances will come and you know plays will come but when you play well defensively like we did tonight ah five man unit here we have a pack mentality… we didn’t give them a lot of chances.” Vinny said in the locker room after the game.

 As I was thinking during the second intermission as I took a stroll through the “Coors Light Between the Pipes”  (a must see upon a visit to the forum, holy pipe organ!) I came to a conclusion…Through the first forty minutes it was apparent that Lightning head coach Guy Boucher’s and GM Steve Yzerman’s message may be seeping in.   The team must play better.   The Lightning played much better tonight especially on the defensive end.   The Islanders managed only 10 shots in the first forty minutes.

Eric Brewer said after the game, “We just really wanted to play more of our style of game.” 

Early in the third at 5:25, Steven Stamkos would pad the lead to 3-0 Lightning when he beat Montoya from the slot after a perfect feed from behind the goal by Teddy Purcell.

Michael Grabner manages to finally get the Long Island gang on the board when he beat Garon for Grabner’s  second of the season. Mark Streit and Matt Moulson would pick up helpers at 7:55. 

At 16:59 Brett Clark (Teddy Purcell’s 2nd assist of the night) rifles a slap shot from the point that rang post to post and in past Montoya to promote the Lightning lead to 4-1 which is how the game ended.

Lightning Coach Guy Boucher said in his post-game press conference about tonight’s winning performance, “It’s discipline and total focus that’s what we were lacking in last games.”  Boucher continued, “I call it a standard game, not because it’s a normal game but because it’s up to our standards, below 20 shots (opponents), above 30 shots (Lightning) and suffocate the opponents and that’s our standards and out of that comes offense not the opposite.”

The Islanders drop to 3-2-0 on the season while the Lightning picked up points 5 and 6 to sit at 2-3-2.

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