Tampa Bay's preseason ahead: Six Games, Seven Nights
So I came across the news that the Lightning have sent down another handful of players: defensemen Kevin Quick and Scott Jackson along with forwards Mitch Fadden and Chris Lawrence are headed to Norfolk. This, on top of five other players being returned to their Junior squads earlier this week means the camp roster has been cut from 52 to 43.
And I actually feel a little antsy about that.
Oh, 43 players still in camp, I must be nuts for feeling concerned, right? How could Rick Tocchet and his coaching crew judge talent by having an over-manned roster? There are position battles to be won and lost and some of the extra glut needs to be trimmed from the roster, right?
Well, yes... But the Bolts also have to play six games over seven nights, starting Monday, September 21st in Regina, Saskatchewan against the Ottawa Senators.
Six Games, seven nights, hopping the continent from Saskatchewan to Everett, Washington to Loveland, Colorado (back-to-back games against the Phoenix Coyotes) to Winnipeg, Manitoba (playing against the Edomton Oilers), to Norfolk, Virginia (in a game against the Admirals at Scope Arena) and ending their sojourn in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday September 27th against the Thrashers.
Now try telling me how little a difference having those excess players around matters. Two-games-in-two-nights can seriously tax a roster during the regular season. Six games, seven days? That's epic. It's hard to know how many players truly is too-many knowing everyone is going to be spent by the time the trip ends.
At the same time, this can be looked at as a testament of how little an impact Quick, Lawrence, Fadden and Jackson had made during camp? Or how out-of-condition they may have arrived in Tampa? You're not going to reward someone who is not prepared for the season ahead and keep them around for a roster-spot battle.
But six games, seven nights? All warm bodies are appreciated...