Lightning Prospect Workouts: Day Three
The Lightning prospects really seemed to be settling in as the intensity level perhaps dropped a notch on Wednesday, but they had an overall decent practice. Today’s practice was slightly more skating intensive, as strength coach Eric Lawson led the team in goal line to goal line skates the last 10-15 minutes of the workout. So, once again, the highlights and lowlights:
Kevin Hodson proved just how in shape and ready he is for his bid to become Nikolai Khabibulin’s backup as he wore out the other two goaltenders, Brian Eklund and Evgeny Konstantinov, in the conditioning skate at the end of practice. Hodson is teaching lessons to the young Lightning players both in word and in deed, and setting an excellent example for them to emulate.
Nikita Alexeev is clearly the class of these workouts through three days.
Gerard Dicaire only missed one pass all practice and sparkled in the breakout passing drill. Once again, he distinguished himself with surgical, clean, tape-to-tape passes and a very professional ease in the way he handled himself on the ice. He could stand to work on his shot, however, and he didn’t really step up physically in one-on-one drills. Instead, he opted to go for the poke check on incoming forwards before resorting to the less than rousing stick-check method to try and hold up advancing forwards.
Paul Ranger, who is the youngest player in camp, shows good mobility and a good hard wrist shot. His passing has been erratic, however, as at times it has been excellent and at other times, like today, many of his passes have been in his teammates’ skates. He also needs to apply himself more physically in contact drills, although he shows a nifty ability to slip checks in his own end.
As for Arthur Femenella, I’ll put him in the highlight category again today because of my firm belief that every time a puck rings off the inside of a post or crossbar and goes in, an angel gets its wings. “Artie” had a very accurate and hard snap shot today and was again the most physical Lightning player in contact drills. However, with more skating today, the hitches in that part of his game were a bit more prominent and his ability to both take and give passes has been substandard over the past three days.
Alex Svitov, little by little, is looking more comfortable. He started to use his hard wrist and slap shots more to his advantage today, although in one drill he found himself on the receiving end of three solid stops in a row within a span of five seconds by Brian Eklund.
Darren Reid, who had dug himself out of a hole with a decent workout Tuesday, took two or three steps back today. Reid had a hard time both giving and taking passes, and reverted to his habit of looking down at the puck a bit too much. He was also off the mark with his finishing. Reid was using a different style of stick today. After the performance he put in, he’s probably better off going back to the old one.
Last to leave the ice today were Kevin Hodson, Adam Henrich, Aaron Lobb, Alex Svitov, and Nikita Alexeev. Hodson skipped his usual 15-20 minutes of visualization and muscle memory exercises he has performed alone the first two days of practice.