John Tortorella makes a rare trip onto the ice to measure his players' spirits.
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 12, 2001
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Center Tim Taylor said the Lightning had to tread a fine line during Thursday night's game against the Sharks.
The emotion needed to be high, especially after Sunday's embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Panthers. But that didn't mean trying to blow San Jose off the Compaq Center ice from the opening faceoff.
"You do that and you open yourself up to some easy goals," Taylor said. "You have to come out and be patient and determined and with a good work ethic."
"You have to play within the team concept and not run around like your head is cut off," right wing Martin St. Louis said. "You have to play within the system and play hard."
Coach John Tortorella wanted to make that perfectly clear, so he took to the ice at the morning skate, something he usually does not do.
"I just want to be with the team more on the day of a game," he said.
Not that the Lightning needed reminders of how badly it played against the Panthers, and they realized the coaching staff was watching how individual players reacted.
"We have to make some decisions about our personnel," Tortorella said. "I expect the energy level to be very high and (more like) "I'm going to do everything to win battles and help us win.' "
Defenseman Pavel Kubina said one thing that should help is the absence of the jitters that came with opening the season at home.
"You don't have to be nervous. You don't have to make a perfect play," he said. "We had a lot of people in the building and we wanted to win those games. That's a lot of pressure on you."