Camp Notebook: Goalies Eager For Exhibition
Getting a second chance to play in a simulated game today before the real deal Wednesday, Tuesday's scrimmage was a low-scoring affair that ended in a 1-0 win for the side dressed in Blue.
Forward Brett Connolly tallied his second goal in as many days off of a Jonathan Drouin pass from the side of the net early in the first 20-minute half, which would stand as the game-winner. It was the second time the duo connected for a score this week.
Goaltenders Anders Lindback and Eric Brassard worked in tandem to post the shutout for Team Blue, while Ben Bishop allowed one goal and Kristers Gudlevskis worked a scoreless second half for Team White.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Working in four goalies during the two 40-minute scrimmages, netminder Lindback and Bishop were happy with Monday and Tuesday's change of pace from the previous week's practices, but are focused on their preseason competition in the days that follow.
"Games are so much different than practice is and so much more is on the line," Lindback said. "It'll be really fun to come in and play some real exhibition games this week. It will really get you where you want to be."
"It's not a real game, so it's going to be a little level above when we play our first exhibition game," Bishop added. "We have to be ready for that, but it's good to get out of the drills and into a little bit of a game."
The two goalies, who will look to compete for a spot between the pipes, aren't worried about the idea of vying against each other for the starter role as camp progresses, but rather see it as a positive.
"It's good competition for us both, " Lindback said. "Just try to push each other to get better; it's just more of a natural thing."
Bishop also said that when they do get the nod in net, they have to be at their best.
"When we get a chance to play, we need to play well and let our game do the talking for us," he said.
With exhibition play set to begin tomorrow, Bishop as well as Lindback's names were left off of the game group, leaving the possibility open for them to play at some point during the remainder of the week.
Upon being asked if he thought Tuesday's scrimmage went better than yesterday's, head coach Jon Cooper's initial response was "no."
After pondering the question a bit longer Cooper was at a loss for words for a moment, but chuckled when readdressing the question.
"'Well, either we really taught defense in a week or we sucked all the offense out of this really talented team,' that's basically what I was thinking," he said with a laugh.
"It was up-and-down," Cooper continued. "I cannot say anything against the work ethic that's gone on. That's always a good base when the guys are working really hard and they are."
Cooper also offered some valuable advice for the various players who'll be looking to fighting to get their name on the roster for the Lightning, "don't overthink the situation."
"Don't come to this camp or jump into a game and do something that pulls you out of your comfort zone," he said. "When guys start trying to do things they're not, I think it takes away from their greatest assets. What's brought you here as a player, that's what we want to see them do in these games and if it's a fit, it's a fit for us."
Blueliner Dylan Blujus underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Blujus will stay in Tampa during rehab and did not require surgery for anything done in practice.
ODDS 'N ENDS
First cuts were made Tuesday afternoon and included forward Brett Welychka, defenseman Jake Dotchin and Eric Brassard from their amateur tryout agreements, bringing the training camp roster count to 59.
Game group for Wednesday's preseason opener against the St. Louis Blue in Orlando, Florida (Amway Center) -
- Mike Angelidis
- J.T. Brown
- B.J. Crombeen
- Valtteri Filppula
- Alex Killorn
- Adam Erne
- Cedric Paquette
- Teddy Purcell
- Tom Pyatt
- Nate Thompson
- Dana Tyrell
- Henri Iknonen
- Mark Barberio
- Matt Carle
- Radko Gudas
- Slater Koekkoek
- Dmitry Korobov
- Nikita Nesterov
- Cedrick Desjardins
- Kristers Gudlevskis