Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning focuses on conditioning for stretch run

"Everyone knows we need to do it, and it's something you accept," RW B.J. Crombeen said. "It's something you put your head down and work through."


"Everyone knows we need to do it, and it's something you accept," RW B.J. Crombeen said. "It's something you put your head down and work through."

ORLANDO — For five continuous minutes Friday, Lightning players skated what basically were wind sprints: down the ice, circle to circle, then slower back to the starting point.

That the exercise occurred at the end of a 45-minute practice at the RDV Sportsplex made it all the more challenging.

But as associate coach Rick Bowness said, it was necessary for the team, getting back into shape after a 10-day practice break because of the Olympics, to be ready for the resumption of full team practices Monday and a game Thursday at Nashville.

"You don't have a lot of time to get them ready, so it's a good reminder to the mind and body how hard we have to work," Bowness said. "It's a no-brainer for us, but it's a commitment skate."

"Everyone knows we need to do it, and it's something you accept," RW B.J. Crombeen said. "It's something you put your head down and work through."

The first two days of Tampa Bay's three-day Central Florida sojourn have been devoted to regaining a feel for the puck, conditioning and reinforcing how to play within the team system.

Things wrap up today with a controlled scrimmage "to get some more game in there," Bowness said. "We've got to do some more combat drills, competitive drills, so (Saturday) will be more of a team-play kind of practice."

"It's just good to get back into a rhythm," G Ben Bishop said. "Next week we'll get serious and gamelike. We went pretty hard (Friday), but next week turn it up a notch and get ready to go."

ABSENT: Coach Jon Cooper missed practice and will miss today's, too, because he is in Green Bay, Wis., where he dropped the first puck in Friday's U.S. Hockey League game between Green Bay and Rochester.

Cooper coached from 2008-10 in Green Bay and led the Gamblers to the 2010 championship.

MEDICAL MATTERS: C Valtteri Filppula (fractured ankle), C Tyler Johnson (foot) and D Matt Carle (foot), skated individually. Carle skated before practice in full gear. Filppula and Johnson skated after practice without pads.

Filppula said his right ankle feels "a little weak" at times. "I take some strides and it kind of gives up, so that's not good."

Even so, he planned to practice Monday.

Johnson, who played two games before the Olympic break after taking a shot off his left foot Feb. 4 at Minnesota, said he should be good to go at Nashville.

When it was noted his limp had improved, he joked, "I told you, that's how I walk."

WATCH PARTY: The team had off-ice workouts after practice, so players were at the rink for the start of the Olympic semifinal between Canada and the United States.

Sandwiches were brought in as players watched the first period in the players lounge. They watched the second period on tablets and phones on the bus to the hotel. Some watched the third period in the hotel lounge.

IN CLOSING: Credit to assistant coach Steve Thomas, 50, for participating — and not looking too shabby — in the postpractice wind sprints.

Lightning focuses on conditioning for stretch run 02/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 8:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”