After Sundays game against the Minnesota Wild, Marty St. Louis acknowledged the loss of the Tampa Bay veteran:
Its a big hole to fill, obviously. Hes a big piece of this team. Weve got to be a little opportunistic. Collectively we have to pick it up a notch.
[image-1]Lecavalier has three goals and six assists this season. While fans havent seen a Lecavalier who is scoring goals every night, there is no question that his presence is vital, both on and off the ice. Head coach Guy Boucher acknowledged this last week, and noted how Vinny had dedicated this season to leading and inspiring the team.
Hes always in the office asking what he can do, details wise, to be a complete player, to inspire people," Boucher said. "Hes been great. If you ask anybody, theyll say its the hardest hes worked the last two years. Im impressed, to be honest with you.
Right winger Steve Downie, who recently missed three games due to injury, noted that the coming weeks will be difficult with the absence of such a leader.
Vinnys our captain. Hes our team, hes the man. When you lose your leader its tough. With him and [Gagne] out, its two of our top players right there. Its going to be tough, but the guys are working hard.
Youre not gonna replace Vinny, added St. Louis, but with a bunch of guys elevating their games, we can try to get by while hes gone.
Its unfortunate to see this team lose its captain. To get through the coming weeks, it will be essential for Tampa to amplify their game to work through the loss. But the positive side, and perhaps the difference, is that the members of this team have complete confidence in the man behind them and the men beside them, their coach and teammates.
We cant lose focus, said Downie, weve got to stay together as a group. Every team goes through this. Its how you come out of it. Its how we stay focused as a team--weve got to stay together.