TAMPA, FL - APRIL 20: Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins crosses sticks with Sean Bergenheim #10 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and teammate Vincent Lacavalier #4 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St. Pete Times Forum on April 20, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
I think it's relevant that I repeat myself here.
Only Raw Charge's regulars and long-time community members will realize I am repeating myself, but there was a game in March 2010 that I'll quote here:
In light of last night's game in Columbus, and the outcome of the Bolts previous contest versus the Sabres... Well, I was reminded of a monologue by actor Robert Loggia (playing coach Wally Rig) in the movie Necessary Roughness.
People might get a little flustered that I'm quoting a football movie (and one that featured Rob Schneider at that), but the situation and Loggia's character's reaction just seems so fitting on so many levels right now. It's the end of the season, the coach's team is a rag-tag bunch of non-achievers, they are playing the top ranked team in the country, and that game ain't going well.
In the face of adversity, it feels like Coach Rig channels something that Rick Tocchet should want to say at this point. Edited for profanity (and some snipped context), and taken from IMDB's memorable quotes page for the film:
[Halftime of final game]
Coach Rig: Now, let's analyze what's been working for us.
Coach Rig: NOT A GOD DAMN THING'S been working for us. Like this goddamn suit doesn't work for me... and this stinking tie... and this goddamned shirt. IT DOESN'T WORK FOR ME. YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY WINNING HARD-NOSED FOOTBALL? ..... LIKE A GODDAMN RAMPAGING BEAST! And that's the way you got to do it! YOU GO OUT THERE! YOU TEAR THEIR ... HEADS OFF, AND YOU [CRAP] DOWN THEIR NECKS!
Of course, the rag-tag team ends up winning their game...
The game in question that I was writing a preview for was the Bolts last game at Mellon Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A game they ended up winning, 2-0.
The point of the above repetition of my own writing isn't an attempt to have lightning strike twice (pardon the pun) by using the same text. Actually it was because I wanted to use another quote from Wally Rig to describe the noon showdown between the Bolts and the Pens.
Before that fed-up monologue that Coach Rig delivers in the film... He gives a pregame speech to the football team he is leading in the wake of Head Coach Ed Gennero being out while recovering from what's believed to be a heart attack.
The quote in itself is simple, direct, and highly relevant to the Lightning and their playoff hopes:
I don't wanna put any undue pressure on you guys, but Coach Gennero's last words were, "Win, or I'll die."
Like I said, relevant....
There really isn't much more to talk about here, to be frank. Steve Downie and Chris Kunitz return from their one-game suspensions, the Lightning continue to flirt with the idea of playing 7-D and 11 forwards.
Of course, there's also the point to make that the Lightning need to shoot the puck more. While Sean Bergenheim noted that the saying can be taken as "cliché", it's highly relevant because the Bolts are being outshot 159-111 in the series.
Even looking at things in the best of lights, the Bolts are moving away from their own ideals put forth by head coach Guy Boucher since training camp in the late summer of 2010: Limit shots taken by opponents, be ready to sacrifice yourself to stop shots, and keep throwing the puck at the opponents net.
To clear up the TV situation, the game will be broadcast locally in at least the Tampa Bay market on Sun Sports. nationally, the game will be available on Versus. I have no clue what the game situation is in Pittsburgh -- local or national?
And while I'm not in love of the noon start for the game out of general principle that I hate matinée games, the Pens recent history in such games gives me more reason to cringe:
Contrary to what many may think, in that time frame stretching back to the 2007-08 season, 63 games have been played before 5 pm, 35 of which were for victories, 28 for losses, which also includes shootout losses, of course. That is 56% of the time they won, 44% of the time they lost. Those are more surprising numbers than I thought they would be, as I'm sure we all may feel that, panic enveloping us, we lose a lot more often than we win these games.