Thursday, November 15, 2007

Vinny can play a mean game of shinny!

He plays virtually unnoticed, tucked away as he is in southern Florida, one of the many witness protection postings in the NHL these days.

Yet, in the last few weeks Vincent Lecavalier has launched a one man assault on the scoring race, climbing up the charts to wrestle the number one spot away from Henrik Zetterberg on Wednesday night.

Vinny had put together a five point game, three goals and two assists on the way to the Lightning’s 6-1 victory over divisional rival Carolina, the Bolts second victory over the Canes in the last week. Wednesday night was a career high night for Lecavalier, as he dominated the play and was virtually unstoppable on his trek up the scoring list.

While he’s having a pretty amazing start to the season, it’s certainly one that isn’t going have him mobbed by Floridians looking for an autograph any time soon. A quick scan of The Tampa Bay online website, didn’t have Vinny’s exploits jumping out at me; the lead items were the Barry Bond’s indictments and a story on the Bayshore Christian Girls Class 1A volleyball championship. A worthy achievement to celebrate we’re sure, the girls that is, Barry’s a topic for another day and another blog.

But for hockey, well if you keep digging deep enough on the TBO web site you find a Lighting section, where word could be found of Wednesdays game and Lecavalier’s achievement.

Things were a bit better over at the St. Petersburg Times, where at least you didn't have to click too much to find news of Lecavalier's stellar night.

But you can‘t help but think what the coverage might have been like had he scored his five points in say a Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City or a Winnipeg and heck even Calgary and Edmonton too.

Perhaps that’s the secret to his success, the pressure to perform probably isn’t too intense in Tampa, staying loose most likely is about the easiest thing that a player could do.

And well, you certainly stay off the radar, one day you’re part of the hidden hockey culture of South Florida, the next thing you know, everybody remembers who you are if not where you are.

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