Lightning forward Yanni Gourde says team physicality improved in Game 2


Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) reacts after getting into a fight with New York Islanders right wing Leo Komarov during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The term “physicality” is thrown around fairly frequently when you are talking about a certain game, a certain series, a certain rivalry in the National Hockey League. You can argue it is not always necessary and, in some cases, it can prove to be a distraction.

However, on Wednesday, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde stated that that physicality was “great” in Game 2.

“We looked much more engaged than we were in Game 1,” he said. “Obviously, there were different factors. We did not come out as hard in Game 1 and we really wanted to.”

While the total number of hits dipped from 81 to 69, the total number of penalties skyrocketed from seven to 20.

Gourde is responsible for one of the nine Lightning penalties. He went to the box for roughing after going head-to-head with Leo Komarov. The two of them dropped their gloves, eventually falling to the ice amidst a flurry of punches.

The Lightning, perhaps, needed that first game to get reacquainted with the Islanders but now, they feel they have a better understanding of their opponent.

“We played them last year in the playoffs so we know what to expect,” said Gourde. “I think it builds up the rivalry.”

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