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Tocchet talks Lightning

Tampa Bay sports radio personality Steve Duemig sat down and talked with interim head coach Rick Tocchet for nearly two hours about the Lightning.  The audio of which is available here off the 620 WDAE web site.

Hat tip to JoeBoltsfan.com for posting about the interview, here are some of the highlights they pointed out:

On Vinny Lecavalier: Tocchet said Vinny is hiring a speed skating coach and a personal trainer to get himself into extraordinary condition. Tocchet said he has “some leadership things for Vinny to read” and he’ll be visiting Vinny a couple of times over the summer.

On Mike Smith: “Everybody’s concerned [about the concussion recovery]. I talked to him today. He feels a little bit better.”

On the 2009-2010 captain: Tocchet talked about grading players leadership skills and Vinny  improving on his. He said “Marty has the best leadership skills.”

On the goalies: Tocchet was very pro Karri Ramo and called Mike McKenna “a minor league goalie.” Tocchet talked about solidifying the position.

On the Bolts failing to stick it to Alex Ovechkin: Tocchet wouldn’t say his guys were a bunch of wimp-asses for not coming after Ovechkin after his goal celebration in Tampa. But you could tell Tocchet wanted to call out his team.  ”It was “like a suicide squeeze up 8-0 … and you know what happens after that.” I told [the Bolts] between the periods we can answer with agressive hockey. …

On the up and comers: Tocchet expressed love and appreciation for Cory Murphy, Matt Smaby and Matt Lashoff, “but I’d like to see more bite to [Lashoff's] game. He needs to get in NHL shape.”

On the Bolts overall lack of talent on defense: “You need bullets.”

Note the remarks about Ovi-gate. Now I understand why the local media was beating a drum over the incident: behind closed doors, Tocchet seethed at the lack of reaction. Or at least that's how I'm interpreting it in lack-of-context.