Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive


Lightning D Anton Stralman had to laugh.

With Stralman scoring three preseason goals - after tallying just one in 81 games for the Rangers last season - he was asked if it's a sign of things to come.

"Don't count on it," he said, smiling.

But if Stralman continues to run the point on the second power-play unit, like he did during Saturday's game and in Monday's practice, he can likely expect a scoring surge.

Stralman, who has just 18 goals in seven NHL seasons, likes getting involved on the power play.

"It's something I've been doing for 90 percent of my career, something I enjoy doing," he said. "It's just a matter of getting the chance, it's a lot about confidence to kind of find that rhythm and do the right things up there."

When the Lightning acquired D Jason Garrison from Vancouver in June, it was thought his heavy shot could make him an asset for the power play. He might get some power-play time but, for now, it's Stralman. D Victor Hedman is on the first unit.

"I think (Stralman's) got a good head," coach Jon Cooper said. "He's right-handed, which is something we've kind of lacked for a power-play guy. His shot isn't probably as hard as Jason Garrison, but he gets it through, he distributes pucks. He's a pretty heady player so for someone that can just direct traffic up there, we think he's doing a pretty darn good job for us."

Stralman said he'd like to have a more offensive game, and feels Cooper's system allows more freedom for that.

"It's just fun, I enjoy being part of the offense a little bit more and that's something I've been doing my whole career really and I'm trying to get back to it a little bit, and trying to find it," Stralman said. "So far so good."

FOUR PLAY: The Lightning did a lot of power-play work at the end of practice (5-on-4, 5-on-3). Tampa Bay has been using a four forward, one defenseman alignment for its first two units (C Steven Stamkos, RW Ryan Callahan, C Valtteri Filppula and LW Ondrej Palat with Hedman on the first unit). Cooper said he's playing to his personnel, a skilled forward group which is responsible defensively. "If this team had three Hall of Fame defensemen, we might have two forwards and three (defensemen)," he said.

MINOR MATTERS: First-round pick D Anthony DeAngelo, 19, got a game misconduct for sharing words with a referee after Saturday's game with Sarnia (Ontario junior league). DeAngelo served two suspensions last season for violating the league's harassment, abuse and diversity policy, both times using a slur. Yzerman said DeAngelo's latest misconduct is a "concern," but will refrain from further comment until he gets more details.

NOT YET: Cooper said they will alternate assistant captains this season, and won't settle on them for the first few games.

Contact Joe Smith at Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.