THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
Wrapping up Saturday’s game, the team still has an issue with playing in South Florida. For whatever reason the Lightning always seem a bit out of sync in the Panthers’ home barn.
John Tortorella’s post-game comments after the Lightning dropped to 3-1 focused on the parade to the penalty box which ultimately did the team in despite a valiant comeback effort.
“My concern is about our discipline,” Tortorella said. “We have to understand how these games are called. It’s frustrating because I thought our team worked their butts off to get back in it. At 5-4, I thought we had a good chance, but the discipline hurt us.”
The feelings coming out of the game weren’t all negative, though, because it’s clear the 2007-08 Lightning don’t quit and even a four-goal lead against them isn’t necessarily safe. Once the Bolts started playing their game in the third period, they dominated the Panthers and seemed on track to tie the game before Florida sealed it with a two-man advantage.
Other positives were the play of Vaclav Prospal, who now has five goals in four games, and Jan Hlavac, who scored his first with the Lightning. Hopefully that will lead to more for the talented winger from the Czech Republic. Now it’s Michel Ouellet’s turn to score his first.
Today’s practice consisted of a 30-minute pre-practice video session in which Tortorella said much of the focus was still on winning battles. The one-hour workout had the same focus, and the enthusiasm boiled over a bit near the end when Brad Richards and Shane O’Brien got into a cross-checking battle. They two were quickly separated, only to go back at each other again. Tempers cooled by the end of practice and the two chatted on the ice before heading to the locker room, where they opted not to discuss it.
“It’s part of practice,” Tortorella said.
The Lightning will skate at 11 tomorrow at the St. Pete Times Forum before heading to Boston on Wednesday.