Pete Choquette's blog
Phil Laugher stubs his toe, in my opinion.
In an interesting article in the Times, Damian Cristodero interviews several medical experts as well as the Lightning training staff on the positive effects on "Camp Torturella". The Lightning have had the least amount of man games lost to injury the past two seasons, which can partially be attributed to their rigorous conditioning regime to start the year.
I have this argument regularly with fans of other teams who claim the Lightning's success at preventing injury has been the product of luck alone, and it gauls me to no end that the conventional wisdom amongst the national hockey media often parrots the same point. There may have been a point to that after one season, but after two years of having the best success in the league it's a trend, one that other teams would be wise to follow.
I will point out one factor which is missing from the article though, which is that the majority of the Lightning's players are in their mid to late 20's whereas many teams in the league have a much larger compliment of players over 30 on their rosters. Having a well conditioned and youthful team has helped the Lightning stay healthy as much as "luck" and the national hockey media needs to wise up to it.
Nikita Alexeev claims he grew an inch and gained 10 pounds of muscle when he was in Russia in a Damian Cristodero article in the Times. He also claims he will "light it up" and "dominate every year."
In related news, Alexeev also has some prime land in the Everglades he's looking to sell.
The former 2000 1st round draft pick had 6 goals and 10 points in 40 games last season for Omsk in the Russian Superleague. Rhetorical question: if he didn't "light it up" in Russia how likely is it he will "dominate" now in the NHL?
Not very. But I'm receptive to being surprised.
This guy could be mayor of Tampa if he can get the Lightning back to elite status after one off year. He says all the right things:
"No matter how you look at it or how specific you get, with the three laps six times or the 15 laps three times and the different strength tests and all that, this is a measure to see how well you measure up against the other NHL teams. Hopefully you are in better shape than they are so you can get that last goal with a minute left in the game.
"That's what it comes down to, that's the bottom line for anybody. I'm not saying this because I spoke with anybody, that's how it is everywhere and that's how it should be."
-Denis on "Camp Torturella", From the Trib
With a number of recent signings by the Springfield Falcons and Johnstown Chiefs, I figured now would be an excellent time to take another stab at the team rosters at all three levels of the organization.
Updated: 9/27 to include signing of John Adams