The Lightning started things off this morning in Brandon with a half-hour power play practice before an up-tempo full team skate. Assistant coach Mike Sullivan ran the team through various fast-paced skating and shooting drills to start things off, then they focused on battles down low, neutral zone work and defensive coverage. Jason Ward left the ice with a strained tendon in his left ankle and is listed as day to day, but isn't expected to miss much time.
In the power play practice, Shane O'Brien and Doug Janik ran the points for one unit with Chris Gratton (back on the ice wearing a visor), Ward, Jan Hlavac, Vaclav Prospal and Andreas Karlsson rotating through the forward spots. The other unit was comprised of Filip Kuba on one point with Marty St. Louis, Brad Richards, Vinny Lecavalier and Michel Ouellet joining him.
Following practice John Tortorella wouldn't commit to a goalie plan for the two remaining preseason games, and he said he expects Gratton and Ouellet to be ready to go. He also said he expected to carry only one or two extra players after the final cuts, likely one forward and one defenseman.
The team will skate at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Brandon before heading to the airport for a 1 p.m. flight to Detroit.
Observations from Monday night's 4-3 win against the Red Wings;
- Karri Ramo had a tough start, allowing two quick ones, but settled down and turned in a solid performance in the win. The goalie competition still seems wide open.
- Andre Roy and Nick Tarnasky deserve a lot of credit for getting the Bolts going after the rough start. Their back-to-back tilts in the first period energized the crowd and the Lightning bench.
- Prospal had a strong game, and his no-look cross-ice pass that resulted in Karlsson's goal was a beauty.
- The new RBK Edge white (road) unis are sharp! The Bolts showed them off for the fans last night, with Detroit wearing red.
- I'm still amazed at the color and picture quality on the new Lightning Vision scoreboard. It livens up the entire arena bowl, and I can't wait to see it when everything's up and running on Oct. 4.