The Tampa Bay Lightning got to hit the ice as a team for the first time this season. Day 2 was predominantly spent on the ice. Teams Andreychuk, Lecavalier, and St. Louis spent time rotating between the north and south practice rinks, the workout room, and the meeting room of the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.
We’re going to break down today’s action into two parts: What happened? And what does everything mean?
Team Andreychuk hit the ice first thing in the morning and these are the lines they deployed to begin the practice. The first line trio of Vladislav Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov is something that Lightning fans should get very excited about.
Day 1 Camp, team Andreychuk forward line combos:— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) September 15, 2017
Vlady Stammer Kuch
Mcginn Howden Brown
Yan Cirelli Joseph
Kunitz Cally Peca
Mikhail Sergachev - Dan Girardi, and Braydon Coburn - Jake Dotchin looks like two pairs that would not raise any eyebrows if the season started today. Coaches tend to want defense pairs to have as much time as they can give them so don’t be surprised if this is a theme.
Defensive pairings:— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) September 15, 2017
Anyone else seeing two goats on skates?
Coach Cooper teaching come support to transition plays to the boys as Team Andreychuk begins their second practice session in Brandon.
We got a quick update on some of the players playing with injuries at the camp. While their performance mostly affects the Syracuse Crunch, Erik Condra, 31, has a chance at the Bolts roster.
All three injured players - Somppi, Tammela and Condra - skating with first group this morning, all three in red (injured) jerseys— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) September 15, 2017
After a rookie tournament that helped get the cobwebs out, the prospects are definitely showing some serious pop in their step.
General Serg just popping off some point shots, as one does.
Dan Girardi certainly was impressed with the 19-year-olds abilities.
Girardi's take away from playing on a pair with Sergachev today, “He’s a really skilled talented player a lot of upside.” #tblightning— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) September 15, 2017
Things were chugging along smoothly... Until this tweet. We’ll get to this later (because you deserve to feel what we felt for the few hours in between updates on Stralman).
#tblightning Anton Stralman not skating today. Considered day to day.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) September 15, 2017
A line of Point - Johnson - Palat certainly has the skills to be one of the better 2nd lines in the league, but Point has been playing games at center. Is that still the plan?
Brayden Point was at his best last year when he moved back to center. But on wing w Tyler Johnson, Palat to start camp. Not a bad 2nd line— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) September 15, 2017
What’s a recap of a day on the ice without a little montage.
Lets talk about what happened
What happened to Stralman?? We don’t exactly know, just that he will be back by Sunday or Monday. Odds are that he either had a maintenance day, or tweaked something and they’re taking Saturday off as a precaution. Saturday is also the Fan Fest at Amalie Arena so it’s not like he will get a proper practice in, anyway.
That is one theory. JustinG. has another: “Stralman was not on the ice, therefore he could be dead. He will likely appear three days later. Ergo, Stralman is Jesus.”
#tblightning Yzerman said it's possible Anton Stralman is back on the ice by the end of the weekend. Stralman didn't skate in practice tday— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) September 15, 2017
Brayden Point started training camp on Tyler Johnson’s wing, along with Ondrej Palat. Does this mean the Lightning brass doesn’t trust him at center, even though he spent a large chunk of his time in Tampa at center? Coach Jon Cooper has been conscious of putting players of the same calibre and talent level to start training camp, to help players get comfortable. The player I see that resembles Point the most is Johnson, so they are likely training together, doing the same rushes together, and learning the same tactics rather than split them up and have the coaches teach the same thing twice.
Point played on wing w/ 9 & 18, but Cooper said don't read too much into that. "If he's proven one thing, it's he can play anywhere." #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) September 15, 2017
Steven Stamkos spoke with the media about his first day on the ice and what he thought of the players that he practiced with.
"When you have smart guys like Vlady and Kuch, who are also as skilled as they are, it makes it pretty fun and easier to play with. I'd love to get a chance to play w/ those 2 guys again. We had great chemistry before the injury. That was one of the tougher 1st practices we've had in a while here. I think Coop made a point of wanting to up the tempo.”
Coach Cooper seems to carry the same sentiment about the Namestnikov - Stamkos - Kucherov first line. They had great chemistry to start last year, all three are capable of being on a team’s first line, and they have been each other’s teammates since 2013. No need to mess with something that works.
#tblightning Cooper said with Stamkos having not played in so long, he wanted him w linemates he's comfortable with. Hence 86 and 90.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) September 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest is tomorrow at Amalie Arena, I hope all of you that are going have fun and ask Stralman why he wants to scare us with an injury.