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Ylonen takes Ottawa trade in stride

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2002

OTTAWA -- Lightning left wing Andre Roy has maintained his surprise at being traded by the Senators. Center Juha Ylonen, whom Ottawa received in return, said he understands completely why he was traded from Tampa Bay.

"I didn't think it was personal. I just didn't put up the numbers," he said Saturday before the Lightning faced the Senators at the Corel Centre. "Things just didn't go my way."

The surprise, Ylonen said, was he did not hear any rumors before he was moved. And while he is sorry things did not work out with Tampa Bay, he said, "It's great to be on the way to the playoffs."

"Juha has been pretty good for us," Senators coach Jacques Martin said. "He has really contributed and is a good two-way player. I've been very happy with his play."

Ylonen had one goal and was minus-3 in eight games for the Senators going into Saturday. He had four goals, 10 assists overall. Of playing against his former teammates, he said, "It's a special feeling, of course."

Much more important is getting Ottawa, which had lost five of six, back on track.

"We're just making too many mental mistakes," he said. "We're not playing a good defensive game."

A ROUGH TIME: After a seven-game stretch in which he had four goals, five assists and was plus-6, defenseman Dan Boyle had one assist and was minus-6 in his next eight.

Coach John Tortorella said Boyle is trying to do too much.

"He has to find a way to play within himself," Tortorella said.

Example: Passing or chipping the puck off the glass to get it out of the defensive zone. Boyle was stripped of the puck in the Lightning slot against the Canadiens, leading to Montreal's second goal in a 2-1 loss.

"He can get the puck out with his passing. He just has to get back to that," Tortorella said.

CHANGES: With left wing Chris Dingman out with back spasms, Tortorella used defensemen Grant Ledyard at center for the second time this season. He also moved Sheldon Keefe onto a line with Brad Richards and Vinny Prospal, switching Ben Clymer to a line with Dave Andreychuk and Roy.

On defense, Cory Sarich was paired with Jassen Cullimore. Pavel Kubina, who had partnered with Cullimore all season, was with Stan Neckar.

"I think we're a little bit stale," Tortorella said. "We'll try some things and see what happens."

OUT OF ACTION: Senators assistant Roger Neilson was hospitalized with what Martin called "a bad cold." Martin said Neilson, who has successfully battled cancer, went to the hospital as "a precaution."

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