Connolly, Drouin shine in scrimmage as Blue beats White 1-0
Who knows what goes in to creating chemistry between players. Whatever it is, Brett Connolly and Jonathan Drouin seem to believe they have some.
Connolly scored for the second straight scrimmage in the Blue's 1-0 win over the White on Tuesday, and he was set up with a pinpoint, through-traffic pass from Drouin, a natural wing who seems to be enjoying the experiment of playing at center.
"He's a world-class player," Connolly said. "Nine times out of 10 he'll put (the puck) right on your stick. He's a treat to play with."
"He's a smart player," Drouin said of Connolly. "He sees the game well and he puts in his work down low and in his zone. I think he's a good all-around player."
Connolly's goal Tuesday was simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
"I'm not sure what happened, honestly," Connolly said. "I got spun around. I got turned around and it was pretty much right on my stick."
"It's fun,"Drouin said. "Sometimes in these camps it's hard when you don't know the players you're playing with. But me and Cons are building a little chemistry. Obviously, it's working for us right now."
Both hope to keep it up in the exhibition season which, for Tampa Bay, begins Wednesday in Orlando against the Blues.
Connolly, 21, the No. 6 overall pick of 2010, is fighting for a roster spot. Drouin, 18, drafted No. 3 overall in June, can play as many as nine games with the Lightning before a decision has to be made on sending him back to junior.
"I just want to make it hard on the coaches and give them no reason to send me back to (AHL) Syracuse," Connolly said. "I'm working toward that and I'm pretty happy with the way I started."
The scrimmage had a much better pace than Monday's. Better goaltending, too, with Anders Lindback stopping all 14 shots he faced.