So much focus in training camp focuses in on young prospects and how they compete and play during the preseason games while battling for a roster spot. But even as those looking to earn a roster spot fall under the scrutiny of coaches and management so too do those established players who already have a spot on the opening-night roster. Everybody is being evaluated though for different aspects. “You look for guys that don’t take anything for granted. That’s one thing because players that have been here for a while you look to see if those guys sit here and have that sense of entitlement that they should be here. It doesn’t matter that there is a new coach and staff in here’’ Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “That’s one of the big things I’m looking for but have yet to see any of it. Everybody quite frankly is acting like a rookie. They are all pretty excited.’’ Marty St. Louis who former Lightning general manager Jay Feaster once said “still believes he could be cut tomorrow’’ said the preseason games for him serve as an opportunity to regain the feel of the game that has been absent since April. Saturday against Florida was St. Louis’ first preseason game. “I’m really trying to get some reps in which I feel is really important this time of the year’’ he said. “You need to get the timing back and in the exhibition games you get thrown into different situations and it’s really about getting back the timing. For me it’s been 10 or 12 days (since training camp opened) and you want to get some action.’’ With Cooper conducting his first training camp and installing a new system these early preseason games also offer an opportunity to get accustomed to a new style of play figuring out the nuances of the new system and understanding the positioning needed to make it work. It’s a building process that begins for veteran players in these preseason games.
Bolts’ Cooper getting buy-in from veterans
Tampa Tribune | Sep 22