With 11 games until the season midway point, the main news out of Tampa this week was... training camp. Yes, training camp... Coach Rick Tocchet ran the nag that has been the Lightning roster (under performing, non-cohesive and soft) until they dropped.
Quite a difference to what Ryan Malone experienced back in September under Barry Melrose:
"I wasn't sure how different camps went. We scrimmaged a couple times and then we left, really," he said of the fall. "It wasn't much structure and all the other stuff you're supposed to be learning."
It would seem Rick is trying to get his house in order and that's all fine and good. In fact my above remark about "riding that nag...until it dropped" is misquoting and mischaracterizing -- this wasn't a mid-season Camp Torturella -- but he still ran the team and ran them hard which is a stark contrast to the laissez faire approach of September's camp and European Vacation under the Mullet.
Rick also met with Vinny Lecavalier after Tuesday's practice to talk about the team, leadership and on-ice play. And Vinny's on board with everything.
The question is, what type of results will we see from this tonight versus the Avs? A more alert team? Or one that is tuckered out from being overworked during their time off the last few days?
- Gary Roberts will hang them up after this season.
- Kari Ramo has been called up and will serve as backup to Mike Smith tonight due to an injury to Ollie the Goalie
- Ryan Malone and Jeff Halpren return to the lineup tonight
- Tonight's telecast is in High Definition...