By Ken Peacock
After a day of off-ice activities and 3 days of intensive on-ice drills and scrimmages it’s time to see what the Lightning can do in the pre-season. While most of the veterans are just wanting to get the formalities of training camp over, the prospects and training camp invitees have different thoughts. The pre-season gives them a chance to shine and get themselves noticed. Norfolk Admirals players like Blair Jones, James Wright, and Radko Gudas are a few of these young hopeful’s. It appears that Blair Jones might have the upper hand. Jones was a late call up last season. He played well during the playoffs and came to camp ready. He is one player battling it out for one “unclaimed” roster spot. His performance in camp and a nice end to end goal in Sunday’s scrimmage has certainly caught the eye of Lightning coach Guy Boucher. Now it’s time to put things together against the St. Louis Blues this Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Lightning travel to St. Louis for the pre-season opener against the Blues and follow it up with a home game in Orlando the following night at the Amway Center. The Lightning will have two different squads for the two games. The one exception appears to be Jaroslav Janus who is tentatively listed on the roster for both nights. One big name missing from the lineup is goalie, Dustin Tokarski. Tokarski has only been on the ice one day, Saturday, for drills. He recently underwent two MRI’s on different parts of his body. Lightning officials have not said a whole lot about Tokarski’s condition, but there is a good chance that he may not be ready to go at the beginning of the season. Hopefully things work out well for Dustin so he can take his spot as the Admirals number one and the Lightnings number three goalie.
In other news, the Lightning released Adam Janosik and Geoffrey Schemitsch to their junior teams today. This is only the first of many cuts to come. You can almost guarantee more cuts after the first two pre-season games. The expected rosters and line combinations are listed below.
Tuesday – St. Louis
JT Wyman – Mike Angelidis – Eric Neilson
Dana Tyrell – Adam Hall – Alex Picard
Mattias Ritola – Nate Thompson – Ryan Shannon
Carter Ashton – Dominic Moore – Steve Downie
Victor Hedman – Brett Clark
Mark Barberio – Pavel Kubina
Richard Petiot – Radko Gudas
Wednesday – Orlando
Tom Pyatt – Vladislav Namestnikov – Blair Jones
Brett Connolly – Vinny Lecavalier – Teddy Purcell
Richard Panik – Tyler Johnson -Michel Ouellet
Cory Conacher – Steven Stamkos – Marty St. Louis
Mattias Ohlund – Eric Brewer
Marc-Andre Bergeron – Matt Gilroy
Mike Vernace – Bruno Gervais