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THE LIGHTNING INSIDER

Saturday, 09.15.2007 / 3:02 PM / Lightning Insider
By Lightning Insider
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THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
Let Tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.
Tampa Bay Lightning training camp, Day 3

At approximately 9:48 a.m. this morning, it officially felt like hockey season had arrived. As ThunderBug worked the overflow crowd waiting for the Black vs. White scrimmage to begin, the first “let’s go Bolts!” chant of the season echoed throughout the arena. By the time Marty St. Louis fired the first shot at Marc Denis about 90 seconds in, you could tell the players were happy to finally see some pucks on the ice.

After two days of working hard with nowhere to release any aggression, you can usually count on a dust-up or two in the first scrimmage. Defenseman Jay Leach tried his best to start the party by tangling with Chris Gratton and Shane O’Brien on the same shift about 10 minutes in. Leach dropped his gloves and encouraged O’Brien to go, but O’Brien wouldn’t accept the invitation. Leach admitted later he’d misunderstood O’Brien’s intentions.

O’Brien, who chatted with Leach on the ice after the scrimmage, said he’ll be ready to go when it matters.

Though the crowd went away happy Saturday, not everyone was pleased with what they saw. Head coach John Tortorella was direct with the media, making it clear that it’s time for the players to get in the regular season frame of mind.

“I’ve got no reason to fight in an intra-squad game. He’s trying to make a name for himself, and I understand that. If someone wants to go when we play New Jersey, I’ll be ready,” O’Brien said.

Though the crowd went away happy Saturday, not everyone was pleased with what they saw. Head coach John Tortorella was direct with the media, making it clear that it’s time for the players to get in the regular season frame of mind.

“I saw nothing good,” was his blunt assessment of the scrimmage. “I didn’t like anything about it.”

Other notes following Day 3, which included practices and off-ice workouts following the scrimmage:


  • The three-headed goaltending competition should be entertaining. All three appeared sharp in the scrimmage, with Ramo and Denis stopping penalty shots.
  • Tortorella doesn’t buy into the idea that there’s a No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in the goalie competition. He said camp will sort things out, and he’s pretty sure Ramo doesn’t consider himself to be the third guy in the race. “He wants to play in the NHL this year,” Tortorella said.
  • Andreas Karlsson was the only player Tortorella singled out – good or bad - from the scrimmage. It was mentioned here yesterday that Tortorella hoped to give Killer a shot on one of the top two lines during the preseason, and it sounds like that plan may have been fast-tracked. “He was one of the few guys blocking any shots today, and he was one of the few guys with any physicality to him.” the coach said. “He will get rewarded.”
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In case you missed it in the papers today, the Lightning sent out a press release yesterday detailing a plan for the most fan-friendly preseason in team history. The “up close and personal” access for Lightning fans is unprecedented.

Want an autograph or picture? Instead of parking in the secured loading dock before the team’s three preseason home games, the players will pull up to the half-circle near the lightning bolt sculpture and walk a red carpet into the building. Players who aren’t in the lineup will be put to work as well, signing autographs and posing for pictures in different areas of the building.

The Lightning is creating theme nights for each of the preseason games: Rocket Richard Trophy night on Wednesday, Sept. 19 vs. Dallas Stars; “Party Like a Rock Star” night on Saturday, Sept. 22 against Washington; and Extreme Hockey N’ Heels night on Monday, Sept. 24 with Detroit in town.

According to the press release there will be giveaways, including Lecavalier “Rocket” Richard posters on the 19th and pink t-shirts for the first 2,500 ladies on the 24th, and a contest giving fans a chance to party with Dan Boyle.