After Day 1 of training camp on Saturday, in which Lightning players participated in off-ice physicals and on-ice testing, the team finally got the chance to skate together as a whole on Sunday in the first on-ice practice.
"We got Saturday out of the way, which is always a little stressful, but once that was out of the way it felt good to get back on the ice and have normal hockey practice," defenseman Mike Lundin said.
It showed, as Groups A, B, and C worked hard and looked sharp in two separate sessions of one-hour practice. On Rink One, Group A started off the morning by performing drills that simulated the transition game, in which two forwards skate out wide and alternate tape-to-tape passes until firing the puck on net. Vincent Lecavalier
and Alex Tanguay were teamed up together.
As Group A continued to practice attacking in the offensive zone, Group B started off with some outlet passes from behind the net to the side boards and then moving on to two-on-none drills which featured some crisp one-time pass and shoot combos. Both groups then participated in figure-eight passing drills from blue line to blue line with a defender simulating a one-on-one breakaway. Meanwhile, Group C did some light stretches and strength training up on the mezzanine above the ice before holding on-ice practice of their own at 12:00.
"Today felt good to get out there on the ice and just get your feet going and get the tempo going," Lightning center Ryan Craig said. "It was a lot of fun. It was nice to handle the puck, I think a lot of the guys worked effectively and are just looking forward to start playing some games."
After a 15-minute session in the locker room to cool off, both Groups A and B took to the ice once again, in which both practiced getting back on defense and setting up the offense in transition.
Sunday’s practice concluded with one-on-one drills, as well as 3-on-2 drills, with an extra skater coming on during the play to mimic a line change. In addition, Group A participated in shootout drills where newly-acquired defenseman Mattias Ohlund
gained the applause of not only the fans in attendance, but also his teammates and coaches.
"It was definitely a good first day on the ice. The coaches tested us and the drills they had us do simulated some game-situations and some guys learned their lanes as well. It was good to have the guys amped up with intensity once we got going. Overall, [practice] was extremely effective today," defenseman Matt Lashoff said.