by Jon Jordan on 02/24/11 at 03:31 AM ET
Many of us were looking at tonight’s tilt with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes as a good measuring stick for the Tampa Bay Lightning after a winless week past at home.
I’d say a 7-0 start and an 8-3 finish gives them their latest in a season of consistent reminders that these boys measure up pretty darn well against just about anyone. (Score one for yourselves, of course, Detroit. Well-deserved.)
Here’s some of what was said in the winning locker room post-game Wednesday night:
Teddy Purcell, who scored his first career hat trick and was named the game’s first star:
“We weren’t happy with our last two efforts on home ice and, especially with those days off [spent as a team in Naples and Estero], we wanted to kind of reward the organization and ourselves and come out with a strong effort tonight.” - on what this win means after a relatively tough go of late.
“That was pretty cool, my first hat trick since street hockey when I was 10 or 12” - on his individual performance.
“‘Bugsy’ (Ryan Malone) and ‘Downs’ (Steve Downie). Coach kind of set me up too, so it was a team effort.” - on the guilty parties behind a shaving cream attack in celebration of his hat trick.
“We took it to them right away and our power play was really good early, we got off to a good start and we stuck to it. We had a little lull in the first 10 minutes of the third but that’s something we can learn from. Most of our games are tough games, playoff-type games but we’ll take these when we can get ‘em.” - on what can the team can learn from such a lopsided victory.
Martin St. Louis, who scored twice and added an assist:
“To have success in this league, you raise the expectation. The team raises the expectation but you have to raise the expectation on yourself as well.” - on young players, like Purcell, showing sustained improvement.
Vincent Lecavalier, who starred with a five-point performance:
“After the Flyers game and Detroit was a tough one but, even last game (against Florida), I thought we deserved it. It’s nice to get one of these games. I think we hit five or six posts too, so there could have been more goals.” - on the importance of the win.
“You get a new player like (Eric) Brewer that’s just kind of in awe about the whole way this organization is right now. We want to do well for them.” - on showing appreciation to management for some recent down time in Naples and the overall state of the franchise.
“We’re just not used to being at home so long. It’s very strange. You’re out of your element because we’re so used to being on the road.” - on the extended homestand that concludes Friday against New Jersey.
“We just kept going but we can’t get ahead of ourselves here. It’s just two points. (Whether) you score 16 goals or you score two and win 2-1, it’s just two points. The results are nice for everybody but it’s over now.” - on pouring on the offense in this one, making sure Phoenix couldn’t come back and the reality of a blowout win.
Head coach Guy Boucher:
“If you go into games thinking you’re going to blow out the opponent, you usually get blown out. Expectations have to be that it’s going to be a tight game.” - on expectations prior to the game versus its end result.
“If you try to skill it, you’re going nowhere. If you let the skills come out of the grinding, then you’ve got something solid.” - on the fruits of his team’s workman-like approach and the constant reminder that that is what’s brought them the success they’ve seen this season.
“We haven’t had a slump all year.” - an undeniable reality for this year’s Lightning, who have lost three straight twice and two in a row only a handful of times this season, and have shown a penchant for avoiding momentum-killing, extended losing streaks.
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