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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Not a lover, but not just a fighter
Andre Roy, the Lightning's enforcer, says he wants to use his hands for more than pummeling opponents and, in turn, earn more ice time.
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
Published October 8, 2007
[Dirk Shadd | Times]
Andre Roy, who wants to focus on defense and scoring an occasional goal, battles two Capitals for position near the net.
TAMPA - The chant began Saturday with about five minutes left against the Thrashers.
"We want Roy. We want Roy."
It bubbled up again in the final minute, and sure enough, Lightning wing Andre Roy was put on the ice.
But what some fans at the St. Pete Times Forum wanted from their favorite enforcer a fight to cap a 5-2 victory was very different from what Roy wanted to accomplish, a short, intense, efficient defensive shift.
"I don't want the fans to think I've stopped fighting. They'll probably boo me," Roy said, joking.
"But I know that I can play and bring more, and I want to put that in my mind. It's not like I want to go out there and not touch somebody, but I want to do my game more."
It is a major mind-set change for Roy, who admitted he concentrated too much on fighting the past few seasons, to the detriment of his game.
He also knows if he wants more ice time than the 4:27 he averaged last season, he must prove to coach John Tortorella he can play within the system and control his sometimes volatile emotions.
"He's an important guy because he can play," Tortorella said. "I want to get him more involved as far as ice time.
"But he needs to have the right kind of mind-set where he just can't get wacky. He needs to have some sort of discipline about himself."
Roy, 32, can put on a show.
"Every game I get so worked up," he said.
He once was suspended 13 games for wrestling with officials after a fight with the Rangers' Sandy McCarthy. He was suspended three games for shoving a linesman and a referee after tussling with the Islanders' Eric Godard.
He punched, in self-defense, he claimed, Detroit's Kirk Maltby from the bench.
Last season, he had 12 fights, third most in his career and tied for 14th in the league.
"Basically, that's all I thought about," Roy said. "The last couple of years, it was like, 'Okay, I'll fight him,' or I'd wish something would happen. Sometimes it ruins your game."
Never mind the wasted time in the penalty box.
A better topic for the 6-foot-4, 221-pounder is the career-best 10 goals he scored for Tampa Bay in 2002-03.
"I have a good shot. I have to use it more," he said. "If I do that, I could be more effective and chip in a little. It's a little different preparation. You've got to think a little bit about focus."
"It's about playing in straight lines and forechecking," Tortorella said. "North-south, going straight down. If he can get his big shot off, take it. If not, you chip it in and get your lick in. That's the strength of his game."
Roy played to his strength in his first two games, averaging 6:31 of ice time with zero penalty minutes, three hits and a takeaway.
"He's done a great job with his concentration," Tortorella said. "But he needs to continue. That's the key with Andre."
Not that anyone wants to see him turn into a pussycat.
"He still needs to answer as far as sticking up for his teammates," Tortorella said.
"And the more he plays the more he protects guys," teammate Vinny Lecavalier said. "It definitely helps the guys' confidence when he's out there. He quiets the other team."