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The storm that dumped about 25 inches of snow on Boston Friday night into Saturday morning forced the postponement of Saturday night's game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bruins at TD Garden. The league said the game will be rescheduled.
"Although both clubs and the assigned on-ice officials are in Boston, travel conditions remain too hazardous for fans, security personnel and TD Garden staff to get to the arena," the NHL said in a release.
With Boston's Logan Airport still closed, the Lightning will bus Saturday afternoon to New York for Sunday night's game with the Rangers.
Saturday's game already had been switched from a 1 p.m. start to 7 p.m. And while the snow has stopped, and the sun has even peaked out occasionally, a travel ban remains in effect until 4 p.m. and certainly not all roads have been cleared.
Interestingly, the Lightning Saturday morning made it by bus from the team hotel to the arena (while the snow was still falling and the wind was still howling) for a morning skate. The bus only got stuck once, though driver Jason Stirk, 29, of Boston, did a fine job maneuvering the snowy streets with help, for the second half of the trip, from a police escort.
"I like the hotel," coach Guy Boucher said, "but when you're enclosed like that, everybody is breathing the same air, so to see some hockey, feel some hockey, guys wanted to get on (the ice)."
From the Lightning:
NHL, BOSTON BRUINS ANNOUNCE TIME CHANGE FOR SATURDAY’S BRUINS, LIGHTNING GAME
BOSTON, MA – The National Hockey League and the Boston Bruins have announced that the start time for the Bruins/Lightning game on Saturday, February 9 has been moved to 7 p.m. at the TD Garden due to the weather.
The game was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 at the TD Garden.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos scored a goal on his 22nd birthday last year, though the team lost 3-1 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Kings. Stamkos said he wouldn't mind a "big win" over the Devils tonight, on his 23rd birthday, no matter if he scores or not.
Stamkos' 186 goals are the most any active player had when turning 23. They also are fourth all-time behind Wayne Gretzky (329), Dale Hawerchuk (220) and Mario Lemieux (215).
"It's pretty surreal when you think about it," Stamkos said. "It's something that you work hard towards. It's not something that you set as a goal but it's an accomplishment to be up with guys like that. It just goes to show the quality of teammates and coaching staff I've played with and the opportunities I've got. At the end of the day I want t continue getting better and scoring more goals and helping this team win."
We've talked before about how Stamkos, just with time, has grown bigger and stronger and how his summer workouts with trainer Gary Roberts have helped Stamkos take better advantage of his skills. But with age also comes wisdom.
"It's not necessarily the older the wise, it's more experienced," Stamkos said. "You could be young and go through situations where you can gain that knowledge. For sure, i buy into the experience thing. If I knew what I know now the last time we were in the playoffs (2010-11), it's a different story. I'm definitely maturing as a person and a player, picking up different things every day I play. It's going to be an ongoing process until you are done playing."
Asked for a specific example of how experience has helped his game, Stamkos said, "My mind-set coming into games compared to the first 40 games of my rookie season is night and day, the confidence level, what you expect of yourself, what your teammates expect of you, knowing your opponents now. I've been in this league, this is my fifth year. You understand what type of team you're playing against, what type of player you're playing against their type of tendencies. Those are the things you pick up. That's why veteran players are usually successful, they're able to pick up those things as they go through their careers. That's something I'm starting to do now."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Anders Lindback gets the start in net. ... Sounds as if right wing B.J. Crombeen will be out of the lineup tonight, but coach Guy Boucher says it is only a precaution after Crombeen had to leave Tuesday's game after a fight with the Flyers' Zac Rinaldo. Crombeen took several hard blows to the head (including at least one when he was on his knees in a defenseless position). Crombeen and Boucher said the player has not shown any concussion symptoms. But with the hyper-sensitive atmosphere right now when it comes to head injuries, it seems to make sense to hold out Crombeen, who did not skate this morning. "It's touchy," Boucher said. "It's a lot more touchy than it used to be. I remember when I was playing, you got knocked out and you didn't know what was going on but if you could say what your name was you were back in after 10 seconds. It's changed quite a bit and it changed for the better that we're more careful." Crombeen skated Wednesday and rode the bike Tuesday and today without effects, he said. "It's tough," he added. "Every ounce of me wants to be out there with the boys and the team but you understand the rationale behind it and it's definitely not going to hurt to get some rest." As for Crombeen being more aware of head injuries given the recent publicity, especially coming out of the NFL, he said, "You play hockey and you play the way I play, obviously, you know the risks that come along with it. It's kind of what you signed up for. So, you do the best to protect yourself and make sure those kinds of things don't happen. There's a chance something can happen to you walking down the street, but it's obviously heightened playing hockey and playing at this level. You just try to be aware of it and conscious of it." ... Nothing official but appears that defenseman Brian Lee and right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie also will be scratched as they were on the ice late. If so, that means Boucher will play with 11 forwards and seven defenseman. It also would mean defenseman Brendan Mikkelson gets in his second game of the season and first since Jan. 22 against the Hurricanes, and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron gets in his third game of the season. ... Rookie left wing Cory Conacher got an official letter from the Lightning telling him he can look for permanent housing in the Tampa Bay area. The team had put Conacher up at a hotel during his first few games in the league. And while nobody expected Tampa Bay to send Conacher back to the minors, getting the letter was a relief. "It's a Christmas gift for me," he said. "It's such a dream come true for a young kid like myself." ... The Lightning's three one-goal losses in regulation are as many as the team had all last season.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos turned 23 today. His 186 goals are more than any active player had when turning that age and fourth all-time. Asked if he had any birthday plans, he said, "A win would be nice." Here are the lists, provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, of the top goal scorers, active and all-time, at 23 years old.
Steven Stamkos 186
Sidney Crosby 183
Alex Ovechkin 163
Ilya Kovalchuk 160
Jaromir Jagr 138
Wayne Gretzky 329
Dale Hawerchuk 220
Mario Lemieux 215
Steven Stamkos 186
Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier talks about Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Flyers and his fight with Max Talbot.
Nothing was announced officially, but watching the Tampa Bay Lightning's morning skate for its game tonight against the Flyers seemed to indicate a few lineup changes.
With Pierre-Cedric Labrie off the ice early and Dana Tyrell staying late, it seems as if Labrie will get his first game action since the Jan. 21 road opener against the Islanders. Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron might also get some playing time as he also was off the ice early. Another tweak: wings Teddy Purcell and Ryan Malone have swapped assignments. Purcell was on a line with center Vinny Lecavalier and Cory Conacher. Malone took Purcell's former spot on a line with center Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.
"I tend to keep Stammer and Marty together and Conacher and Vinny together and move guys in and out of there depending on the period, depending on the momentum (of a game)," coach Guy Boucher said. "Malone brings a physical aspect to a line and Teddy brings a passing ability and vision that's out of the ordinary,so they're both good on both lines depending on the moment of the game. If I want to stir up something or I see something or I see the matchup that the other teams wants to have against us, sometimes I'll make a different decision."
As for how Labrie and Bergeron have handled their lack of playing time -- Labrie got 4:54 against the Islanders, Bergeron has 14:15 in two games -- Boucher said he could not have asked for more.
"Terrific attitude and work ethic," he said. "I know they're boiling and want to play, but they want more and to show what they can do. But on the outside, they've helped out the team chemistry and atmosphere."
"I'm practicing and I know I'm getting better, so there's nothing wrong with that," Labrie said. "I'm keeping the positive side. I'm closing my eyes to the other one."
Even so, he added, "Everybody feels the same when you're sitting down and watching, but we have such a good team. When you win like that you can't expect the coach to make the lineup changes or anything. Nobody deserves to sit."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected Anders Lindback will get the start in net. ... Defenseman Victor Hedman (left foot) did not skate in the morning but is expected to play. ... Lecavalier (left foot) also skated in the morning and is expected to play. ... Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson (right shoulder and general soreness) has been cleared to play after sliding head- and shoulder-first into the end boards during a Thursday practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. ... Defenseman Matt Carle will play for the first time at the Wells Fargo Center since he left he Flyers as a free agent and signed last summer with the Lightning. "It's a little different. I have a lot of memories in this building," said Carle, who spent four seasons with Philadelphia. "It's weird being over here in this locker room. I had to do a quick tour. I think, maybe, I played two games on the road against the Flyers before I got traded here. I didn't know what the visiting locker room really looked like." ... Tyrell probably is out of the lineup tonight, but that does not mean he hasn't impressed Boucher. "He is pond-for-pound one of the strongest players we've got and one of the most dedicated individuals we've got." ... Ben Pouliot also has impressed, Boucher said. "In front of the net he's unbelievable," he said. "Our goaltenders have told me he's one of the best they've ever seen. So, he screens and he's not scared."
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said his left ankle, which on Saturday was hit flush by a shot from teammate Sami Salo, still is sore, and he did not practice Monday. But about Tuesday's game against the Flyers, Lecavalier said, "There is no thought of me not playing."
Lecavalier, who has four goals, 11 points in eight games, as well as a team-best 24 hits, was hurt just as the third period of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Rangers ended. Tampa Bay had closed to one goal with 21 seconds left on Steven Stamkos' second goal of the game and seventh of the season, and Salo's shot from the blue line was the team's last chance.
But the shot deflected slightly off New York's Brian Boyle and hit Lecavalier on the outside of the left ankle. Lecavalier went down face-first when hit and skated slowly off the ice, occasionally doubling over in pain. But X-rays and an MRI exam revealed no serious damage and the team said Lecavalier has a bone bruise.
Asked how the lineup would change if Lecavalier could not play, coach Guy Boucher said, "He'll play."
Lecavalier said he skipped Monday's practice simply to give the ankle a bit more time to heal, and he said he will keep icing and get other treatments.
"It's still pretty sore," he said. "But honestly, there's no thought of me not playing tomorrow."
Notes: Boucher said Anders Lindback, 5-1-0 this season with a 2.83 goals-against average and .911 save percentage, will get the start against the Flyers. ... Right wing B.J. Crombeen still is wearing a walking boot and still is using crutches, but both are said to be precautions to protect his injured left foot he said was hurt by a puck several games ago. Crombeen has not missed a game.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers. See game photos.
Images of the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the Winnipeg Jets.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans likely remember James Wright as the feel-good story of the first half of the 2009-10 season, when the left wing made the roster out of junior. He played 48 games before he was sent back to Vancouver of the Western Hockey League.
Wright, 22, is back in the NHL with the Jets, who play the Lightning tonight at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and in his team's good graces after attacking Florida's Scottie Upshall on Thursday after Upshall elbowed teammate Zach Redmond in the head in his first NHL game.
"I think that through the years the coaches have instilled a team mentality, all for one and stick up for each other," said Wright, who earned 19 penalty minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct, five for fighting and two each for instigating and unsportsmanlike conduct for instigating while wearing a face shield. "I thought that was a time a teammate got taken advantage of and it was time for me to stick up for him."
"I was happy with what happened," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "It was a good response from him."
After his stint with Tampa Bay, Wright played another season for Vancouver and in 2010-11 played for AHL Norfolk. In 2011-12, still with Norfolk, he was traded to the Panthers with Mike Vernace for defensemen Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg and was sent to AHL San Antonio. The Jets claimed him off waivers in January.
In five games for the Jets, Wright has zero points, is minus-1 and averaging 7:17 of ice time with some penalty kill time thrown in.
"He's played really well," Noel said. "He's a really dependable player for us right now, a good, solid, fourth-line left winger that skates and is hard to play against. For me, he's gotten better every game."
"There were a lot of good guys I learned from here," said Wright, drafted 117th overall by the Lightning in 2008. "Marty (St. Louis) and Vinny (Lecavalier) are classy guys, and the way they went about their professionalism was something I took full advantage of learning."
"It's going to be awesome," Wright said of playing at the Times Forum. "I haven't been back here for a while. It's going to be pretty cool."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Anders Lindback will make his fourth straight start in net for the Lightning. ... Defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron and Brendan Mikkelson and right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie are scratched. ... Mikkelson said he "dodged a bullet" when he crashed head- and shoulder-first into the end boards during Thursday's practice. Mikkelson, who is day-to-day, said all tests performed at Tampa General Hospital (an X-ray and a CT scan) were negative. He said he has no headaches and is nothing more than sore and stiff. Mikkelson said he isn't sure whether he got his skates tangled up with those of Steven Stamkos as they raced after a puck or if he just "blew a tire." Either way, Mikkelson said he never before hit the boards that hard and believes he was unconscious for a few seconds. When he came to he said he was "gasping for air" as the wind was knocked out of him. Of the collision, he said, "The guys told me it was pretty solid." ... Right wing Marty St. Louis has a dubious distinction as entering Friday he was tied for the league lead with Penguins defenseman Kris Letang with 11 giveaways. But coach Guy Boucher said he is not worried and not only because St. Louis, with 12 points on three goals and nine assists has been so productive offensively. "Some of the plays that are turnovers have worked before," Boucher said. "Why they don't work now is" because of "what kind of reads they have." The key, Boucher said, is "managing those offensive skills and creativity in a way the players are strong."
Tamp Bay Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson is day-to-day with an unspecified injury after crashing into the end boards during a Thursday practice drill at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
"Not a good sight," coach Guy Boucher said.
Mikkelson was taken to Tampa General Hospital for tests after he slid hard into the end boards, appearing to hit the back of his head. He stayed down for several minutes while being helped by head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan and assistant trainer Mike Poirier.
Mikkelson, 25, scratched in five of six games, skated slowly off the ice under his own power.
“He was lucid. He was talking,” Boucher said, and added. “There was no hit or anything. Maybe he hit a crack in the ice. He went plunging. Not a good sight.”
Former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Jay Feaster was at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday night as part of the team's 20th anniversary celebration that includes honoring people and moments voted for by the fans.
Feaster, who was GM from 2002-2008 and helped lead the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup title, is now the general manager of the Flames, the team that lost to Tampa Bay in the Cup final. Even so, Feaster said participating in the Lightning's 20th anniversary celebration was not awkward, and declared, "I still bleed Tampa blue."
Feaster spoke at length with several Tampa Bay area reporters about the importance of the Daryl Sydor trade to winning the Cup, how a Vinny Lecavalier trade was avoided, healing the rift between Lecavalier and then-coach John Tortorella and, of course, the best stories from the championship run, including 'shut your yap.'
Why was returning for the 20th anniversary celebration?
I love it here. I still bleed Tampa blue. I spent 10 years with this organization and we did some real good things, so this is always home.
Does it mean something that the fans selected you?
It means a lot. But again, when I left it wasn’t as thought I necessarily wanted to leave. So, from that perspective, to have the fans vote that, and to be asked to come back; (owner) Jeff Vinik has been great to me. (CEO Tod) Leiweke has been great to me. I appreciate the way they handled everything though the years. They took over and I still had a year on my contract and they were great about me going out there and how they handled all the things with my contract. ... I mean, seriously, Marty and Vinny is still here. The staff is still here. When I was in Calgary my first year and they were playing a preseason game, the Lightning were playing out there -- something that had been set up long before I ever got to Calgary -- I took the old staff and we went for dinner, and even before the game I stopped down to see the guys, the trainers and everything. So, yeah, it’s special, there’s no doubt about it. And I do, I follow the Lightning and, obviously, being in a different conference you can root for them. And I said outside, I hope we end up meeting I June, the two franchises.
What were the keys to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup season?
I think as much as anything, the big thing was the (Daryl) Sydor acquisition. Syd had been a winner and he knew how to win, and you go back to that Islanders series (in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal) and he’s the one when we got up there to Long Island that we had that meeting, the team meeting, and he talked about how important it is and you think you’re going to get back and you think you’re going to play for the Cup all these years and then you don’t. And he used Andy (Dave Andreychuk) as somebody, look at the career David’s had, he hasn’t had that opportunity. I just think he was such an important guy in terms of the minutes that he logged and, again, his leadership. And everybody recognizes David for what he was, he was the captain, but Tim Taylor was really important in that whole process, too. Because it was Tim Taylor when we got beat in Game 6 in Philly (in the East final), he was the one who kind of took over, you’ve got to look the devil in the eye, the whole bit.
When you close your eyes and think about the Cup season, what do you see?
I think more than anything it’s how Torts (coach John Tortorella) changed. He’s such a hard ass and yet when it comes playoff time he always says, ‘I’m with them.’ And I thought right from the get-go that the series against the Islanders when the Islanders have all kinds of doors and pathways locked up there and before I even get to the arena he’s ready to fight (Islanders GM Mike Milbury) and he’s in Milbury’s office. And then you go to the Philadelphia series and the shut your yap. All that stuff was planned. When we were flying out to Calgary for Game 6 (of the Cup final), he’s talking to me in the plane and he’s saying, ‘I’m going to put the pressure on (the Flames). I’m going to paint the picture. Hockey Night in Canada and their families are in,’ and he did it. I can still hear him when he has the team assembled in the locker room and he’s telling them the pressure is all on Calgary. And the prime minister was in at the time visiting the Flames and he has all the Canadian-born players sitting in front of him. And (Tortorella) goes, ‘Look at the pressure on them. The mayor of Canada is over there,’ and there’s Vinny and Marty over there trying not to laugh. ‘The mayor of Canada.’
What’s your best memory of the 'shut your yap' episode with Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock?
All of it was designed to take that pressure off the team. When we got to Philadelphia, that bus backs down the drive there (at the arena) and the people were 10 deep up above on that balcony area. Normally, it’s just a gong show when you’re getting off that bus, and the honest to God’s truth, it was silent. (Nik) Khabibulin gets off, walks in, nothing, Vinny Lecavalier, they walk in, not a word. They’re silent. I get off the bus next to last and then (Tortorella) and then all hell broke loose. He loved that stuff. He loved trying to take that pressure off. As a result, you think about it. What did we get beat in Game 2? It was bad. And nobody is asking about Nik or if it was a bad goal, just shut your yap. He went for a run there before Game 3 and he told me, ‘I had a school bus full of little kids pass me and one of those little kids gave me the finger.’
Talk about the Sydor trade.
The guy who doesn’t get any credit on that is (team president) Ron Campbell. But the reality of it is we didn’t have the budget to do that deal. And had he called Detroit and asked (team CEO) Tom Wilson for permission there’s no way. And I explained to him what we were thinking and what (player personnel director) Billy Barber thought of this player and what he could do for us. And to Ron’s credit, he said we’re not going to ask for permission we’ll just beg for forgiveness later. And he told me, ‘Do the deal,’ and he says, ‘After you do the deal, tell me so I can call Tom and let him know before it’s announced.’
If there had been a different GM here would Lecavalier have been traded?
I was the assistant GM and Duds (GM Rick Dudley) had a deal for him (in December 2001). It was a Friday. We had lunch here with (owner Bill Davidson) and Tom Wilson came in and Torts and I were at the lunch and Duds and Ron Campbell. And Mr. Davidson laid out the criteria that if you want to consider trading him you need to consider these things. I was the note-taker and the classic of that was that Ron Campbell made a comment at the lunch. He said, ‘Rick, that doesn’t mean you have to trade him by the weekend.’ And Mr. Davidson got upset and he snapped at Ron. He said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous Ron, he’s not going to trade him by the weekend.’ Torts and I left that day to go to Ottawa -- we were playing in Ottawa the next night -- and by the time I got off the bus at the hotel in downtown Ottawa I had a message from Duds that said, ‘Call the NHL, set the trade conference call, I traded Lecavalier.’ So, the first call I had to make was back here because we had to tell Ron, and Ron said, ‘I have to get in touch with Tom. Don’t do anything.’ And then I got the phone call later that night from Ron, and Ron said, ‘You work for Bill Davidson. You took all the notes. Tomorrow when we’re on this conference call, you need to read the notes back.’ And, of course, the criteria had not been met, so Tom and Ron said we’re not going to do it. That was the beginning of the end for my relationship with Duds. And I said when I took over, and my first meetings were, I met with Vinny after the Olympics, and I told him, ‘I’m not going to be known as the GM who trades you.’ I said, ‘I don’t know what my legacy will be, how long I’m going to be here, but I’m not going to be the trivia answer: who trade Vinny Lecavalier?’ I said, ‘But I’m also not going to get rid of Torts because Torts is the right guy to coach this team.’ I had that same conversation with John.
So, how was that relationship repaired?
I always thought the best meeting on that was after we had won and we were up on Long Island and it was a time again where Vinny’s game wasn’t making John happy and Torts decided he wasn’t going to talk to him for a while, and I said to him, ‘We have to meet.’ It was a case of the two of them sitting there and Torts explaining to him how a coach thinks and he said, ‘I have 20 guys and if they’re going that’s who I’m going to play. It’s what have you done for me during that game?’ And Vinny sat and soaked it all in and then he said, ‘I understand that Torts, but I also have the ability and all I need is one shot and I can tie that game for you. I can win that game for you.’ Torts to this day will talk about the fact that for him it was tremendous insight into how an elite athlete thinks about the game. I always thought that was a good experience for both of them. It was insight for Vinny into coach-think, but for Torts it was, ‘You know what, he’s right too. He is the guy that with one shot can tie the game or make the spectacular play.
Images of the Lightning's victory over the Jacksonville Panther's
For some players, being a healthy scratch in five of a team's six games would be maddening. But for Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie, it is a chance to learn.
Talk about a coach's dream, Labrie said he is watching teammates when they play, talking to them and ready to put what he learns into practice. That may come this weekend as Labrie, who tonight will be a healthy scratch against the Panthers, likely will play at least one game of a back-to-back with the Jets and Rangers.
"I take the positive side," said Labrie, whose only game this season was Jan. 21 at the Islanders against whom he had just 4:54 of ice time and five minutes in the penalty box after a fight on the opening faceoff with Joe Finley. "I work out to get stronger, faster, so every time I jump on the ice every day I feel better. So, when they tell me I'm in, I'm all in. It's a different mind-set but I learn so much."
For example, Labrie, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound ball of energy, said he watches how B.J. Crombeen protects his teammates by approaching opponents when he wants to send a message. He watches Ryan Malone and how he uses his body to shield the puck, and Adam Hall because the forward rarely turns over the puck.
"I take it in," Labrie said. "It's a process."
Chances are Labrie will play against the Jets and/or Rangers because both teams are big and fast. The Jets, especially, gave Tampa Bay trouble last season because of their size and strength. Labrie has size, speed and strength, too, and isn't afraid to hit or fight. The key, Labrie said, is not to try to do too much when he finally gets a chance to play. He said he fell into that trap on Long Island.
"I already learned from my mistakes in that game," Labrie said. "Now, I'm just going to do my role of a fourth-liner, keep it simple, chip in, chip out, forecheck, hit people, get the momentum and the energy."
And since the Lightning has no immediate plan to send Labrie back to AHL Syracuse, he said, "I'll be patient, no panic. There's always positives with everything."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight against the Panthers but expect Mathieu Garon to play against either the Jets or Rangers. ... Defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron also are scratched. ... Crombeen, who missed Monday's practice with a bruised left foot serious enough to require a walking boot, is expected to play. ... A weird moment and just as weird explanation as rookie left wing Cory Conacher stumbled as he made his way down the hallway from the ice to the locker room during the morning skate. He later returned to the ice and said he had a skate problem. Conacher said he had inadvertently laced his right skate incorrectly, using the second lace hole from the top which, he claims, threw off his skating and, apparently, his walking as well. Conacher said he has "for some reason" left that second lace hole unused since college. So with the lace in that hole on Tuesday, "I was a little messed up," Conacher said. "We were going on the ice and I could feel it. It feels like your one leg is a little more off than the other one." Bottom line, Conacher said he is fine and will play. ... Coach Guy Boucher was asked if he would rather not see his star players fight. Captain Vinny Lecavalier got into a scrape on Sunday with the Flyers' Luke Schenn. "Obviously, when guys fight like that, the only thing I'm thinking about is not him winning but him getting injured," Boucher said. "But I can't think like that because the players react to what's happening during the game and Vinny felt it was a moment he needed to take a stand, and it had a huge effect on our players." Lecavalier has fought just 22 times in the NHL, including playoffs, and said that he is concerned about injuries when he fights but, "In the moment you don't have time to think about it. If you're going to do it, you just have to do it." Asked if he held his breath while Lecavalier was fighting Schenn, Boucher said, "A couple of seconds? How about the whole time." ... Defenseman Brian Lee has had a rough start to his season. He is minus-4 with five penalties in four games. But Lee played better Monday against the Flyers with three hits and two blocked shots in 12:36 of ice time. "We had a good talk," Boucher said. "He wanted to do too much at first like most guys who don't have too much experience with a new team. He sees the competition we've got and he wants to stay in the lineup, so he was overdoing the few things we wanted him to do. Now, he calmed his game." What does Boucher like about Lee's game? "He closes his guys," Boucher said. "He finishes his checks. we know there are things to work on but we like the fact he's defensive-minded first and we want to build on that with him."