In our daily lives, unselfishness is considered a virtue. In hockey, it can be a curse. Just ask Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Teddy Purcell, who would rather feed an open teammate than unleash one of the NHL's better wrist shots. Purcell's 21 points ranks third on the Lightning, but he has only four goals in 25 games and Tampa Bay craves more offensive balance around Steven Stamkos, the league's top goal scorer. Given Tampa Bay's 1-9-1 mark in one-goal games, Purcell is determined to end an 11-game goal drought Tuesday night at Sunrise, where he last put the puck in the net Feb. 16 in a 6-5 overtime triumph against the Panthers. "I consider myself a goal scorer, but I've always been a pass-first guy,'' said Purcell, who was obtained in a trade from Los Angeles three years ago. "It's a bad habit I've got to break.'' Purcell couldn't have picked a worse time to enter a scoring slump. After a quick start, the Lightning are tumbling toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and coach Guy Boucher is beginning to reduce Purcell's ice time. During his 11-game tailspin, Purcell has registered six assists and only 14 shots while posting a minus-4 mark. "Teddy's always in shooting position and always trying to make a pass when he doesn't have to,'' Boucher said. "He plays well when his battling level and his speed are high. If he's not having a good game, 100 percent of the time it has to do with those two factors.''
Tampa Bay Lightning want Purcell to be selfish
Tampa Tribune | Mar 11