The Tampa Bay Lightning held practice at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon Friday afternoon prior to heading across the state to Sunrise for Saturday afternoon’s matchup with the division-rival Florida Panthers.
Not all players took to the ice, as head coach Guy Boucher said Friday’s session was optional and more informal.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
BACK AT FULL HEALTH
He didn’t disclose much, but head coach Guy Boucher said Anders Lindback is doing “much better” but that he still needed to check on some details before making a decision on whether or not Lindback would start in net on Saturday against the Panthers.
“If he feels up to it, he will start,” Boucher said. “But I’m waiting to see how good he is, and he feels good, he’ll go.”
Lindback did not start the team’s most recent game on Thursday against the Capitals due to illness, but was back at the rink in Brandon Friday morning, so it appears it was nothing more than just a slight stomach bug.
Despite the team’s current six-game winless streak, there is little panic among players and coaches in the room.
Head coach Guy Boucher has said in previous games following losses that the dedication has been there and that each guy is working hard, with the only things preventing the Bolts from earning wins are a few bad bounces, not capitalizing on opportunities and making a few costly and impatient mistakes.
But other than that, Boucher said, “these guys know. We’ve talked about, we’ve watched video and they know, so that’s why we didn’t have a long practice today, there were no meetings, they know.”
“Their mental state is fine,” he added. “We sabotaged ourselves, but that speaks about our maturity level. We had too many turnovers and guys are getting impatient, and that shows that we need to be more mature.”
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