Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning’s Steven Stamkos participates in group work for first time

Forward Cedric Paquette is absent from practice for a second straight day.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos takes to the ice while working on the power play with teammates at the start of practice at Amalie Arena on July 17, 2020.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos takes to the ice while working on the power play with teammates at the start of practice at Amalie Arena on July 17, 2020. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 18, 2020|Updated Jul. 18, 2020

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos seems to be taking coach Jon Cooper’s word “inching” literally as the Lightning captain is slowly working his way back into a normal training routine.

Stamkos skated on his own before Saturday’s morning practice, which focused on the power play for at least the first 15 minutes. After working on special teams, Stamkos stayed on the ice for the rest of the first session.

Related: What did it take to get the NHL back in time for the playoffs?

Stamkos, however, did not participate in the second half of the practice, which was broken up into two parts so the ice could get resurfaced.

Saturday was the second consecutive day that Tampa Bay worked on special teams — especially the power play — and Stamkos was able to join.

On Friday, Stamkos was working on passing and puck-handling drills with teammates. There wasn’t much contact, which worked out well for the forward who is recovering from a leg injury sustained during Phase 2 of the NHL’s voluntary on-ice sessions.

While Stamkos’ presence seemed to be a highlight for the team — which is about halfway through training camp — the absence of Cedric Paquette remains an ongoing issue.

Related: Fox Sports Sun will air Lightning exhibition, round-robin games

The defensive forward was not at Friday’s practice, the second consecutive day he was missing from group work. Paquette was banged up during Wednesday’s intrasquad scrimmage and was slow to get off the ice. He’s the first Lightning player to start training camp then miss a day.

Stamkos skating for about 45 minutes Saturday was an encouraging sign for Cooper, who had said a day earlier that Stamkos was “inching his way” back.

“(Stamkos) felt good,” said Cooper. “That’s a good sign for us. We’re not going to rush anything.”

Related: Andrei Vasilevskiy needs to find his way to where he left off

Linemate Brayden Point said it was good to have Stamkos back at practice.

“It was great to see him playing,” Point said. “Hopefully he keeps progressing and is ready to go for the games.”

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge