Estero – Day two of Tampa Bay Lightning training camp saw an increase in pace, drills, pushups, and for the first time, a scrimmage. But more importantly, it saw a return to normalcy. After a long work stoppage that saw months come off the hockey calendar, the return to normalcy with two straight practices was appreciated by all.
“Yeah, it’s the first day, but yeah it is,” Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier said when asked if it felt like normalcy had finally started to return. “It was a good day today. It was definitely tough. It was our second day of camp, but our first day here. It was nice to get into rhythm, tomorrow, and then the day after. It was good to get everybody here and then have everyone play a game, it was a lot of fun.
The night was not all about scrimmaging though, as head coach Guy Boucher upped the pace on the second day of practice, with line rushes, laps, and even some pushups in the first half of practice. Still, that was all just another sign of returning to normalcy.
“It was just fun to get some game, some battling, starting to see some game situations,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “We didn’t want to do that the first day. Get the guys into it. Every player has had a different story the last month. We wanted to at least give one day for everybody to be on the same playing field and the second day build it up slowly.”
As mentioned, for the first time, the Lightning took to the ice in a scrimmage. Team Blue came back from a two goal deficit to win the scrimmage 3-2. Blue got goals from Kyle Wilson, Dana Tyrell, and a yet to be identified player. (Although you can rule out Cory Conacher as he confirmed he did not score the goal.)
Team White got goals from Steven Stamkos and defenseman Radko Gudas.
Head coach Guy Boucher said the team will increase scrimmages as the week continues in order to prepare for opening night against the Washington Capitals Saturday. Tuesday will see two 30 minute games.
Things that stood out from today’s practice
- Radko Gudas, who scored the first goal of the scrimmage, is not hesitant to shoot the puck. He shot early and often.
- Cory Conacher skated on a line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell, and he did not look out of place. Two days in a row, Guy Boucher has given Conacher the “relentless” tag.
- Dana Tyrell looks to be in good physical condition after the first couple days of camp. Tyrell scored a goal, and did not seem to be limited in any way.
The Lightning will skate again at Germain arena in Estero. Practice starts at 10:30 and is open to the public.