Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vinny gets dropped to the 3rd line

So "Joe Smith" reported on Lightning Strikes (did I just write that his name is Joe Smith?) that Lecavalier has been dropped down to the 3rd line to play with Drew Miller and Stephane Veilleux. Tocchet says that he is dropping him down not because of his lack of scoring, but rather because other parts of his game has slipped during the last couple of the games.

“Not finishing checks, cheating a little bit, the little things that I will not let…It’s unacceptable,” Tocchet said. “That’s the one thing I came into this year, if I see your game slipping – if you’re not scoring, I can live with it – but if you’re turning away from checks, and not battling down low defensively, if you’re constantly on the ice and teams are getting chances against you, videos don’t lie. This is something we’re going to correct the next day, it’s not going to be corrected next week. We’ve got to attack it.”-Lightning Strikes

Tocchet is thinking that pairing Lecavalier with two 'north-south' guys and a line with lower expectations could help his game.

"With the puck, I'm still confident with it," said Lecavalier, who has one goal (10 points) in 11 games. "Playing on the power play, moving the puck, and it keeps you in the game when you have the puck on your stick. I think it's going to come."-St. Petersburg Times

Lecavalier is taking this demotion well. He's a proud guy, and I'm sure that he wants to do anything to get his game back, but this is a blow to him. I'm impressed he even said anything to the press. Hopefully this demotion will light a fire in him to improve his play and get him back up to the top line.

But I've been a little surprised that we haven't started to call the Stamkos/Malone/St. Louis line the top line because really, isn't that what they have been?

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