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Lightning pushes pace early in camp



Lightning center Brian Boyle's practice ended a little early Saturday after the heel of defenseman Braydon Coburn's stick blade caught him in the nose during a 1-on-1 drill.

Boyle was fine - no hard feelings - just some pain and blood on his jersey.

"It's going to happen sometimes," Boyle said, smiling. "The guys had a good chuckle out of it."

But the friendly fire Saturday is just an example of how intense, and fast-paced, the first part of Lightning training camp has been. Associate coach Rick Bowness

told the team it'd be a tough camp, hoping to get them up to the same speed as the 12 players who have already seen game action at at the World Cup.

Mission accomplished.

"Skating-wise, conditioning on ice, this is by far the hardest camp in my 12 years," veteran defenseman James Wisniewski said. "They said guys are playing games, you've got to rock and roll...
"I don't even know if you work this hard in a game."

There hasn't been much system installment, mostly skating and drills, specifically in the defensive zone. Bowness, running camp until coach Jon Cooper returns from the World Cup, consistently pushes the pace, opening the second half of practice Saturday by saying, "Punch the clock, boys. Punch the clock."

"You can't do those things unless you know that your players have been committed to summer conditioning program," Bowness said. "That's a tough way to start a training camp. They were told (Thursday) it was going to be a tough camp, and they're in good shape so there's no reason why we couldn't get at it."

NOTES: RW Ryan Callahan participated in practice for the second straight day, though he's yet to be cleared for contact. (and won't be part of Sunday's Fan Fest scrimmages).. Those early returners from World Cup (Ben Bishop, Ondrej Palat, etc) won't be at Fan Fest Sunday... Doors open to general public at 11 a.m, with scrimmages at 11:15 and noon. Cory Conacher has been skating with Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson.

[Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2016 4:41pm]


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