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by Lightning Insider / Tampa Bay Lightning

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The weather is absolutely perfect in Raleigh today. It is about 65 degrees, sunny and the leaves are changing. A perfect fall afternoon in the Carolinas. As I'm sure many of you know, the Lightning relieved Barry Melrose of his duties yesterday and elevated Associate Coach Rick Tocchet.

The Lightning held their first practice under Tocchet today at the St. Pete Times Forum and it was a short, up-tempo practice which one player called "the best practice of the year." Tocchet has said that he fully believes in the important of practice. He plans on most practices moving forward to be crisp and about an hour or less in duration.

After practice today Tocchet said "We have to increase the energy level of some of our players." He didn't name names, but he did say that anyone who doesn't do their part will be held accountable. Also expect for players to go to the net and create havoc around the crease.

On a side note, it looks like Ryan Malone is not yet ready to play. Tocchet said there is a "slim" chance he'll play. Malone is with the team however.

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