The NHL released the schedule for the shortened, 48 game season on Sunday with the Tampa Bay Lightning dropping the puck next Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
The Lightning are one of 26 teams starting the season next weekend, hosting the Capitals at the Tampa Bay Times forum at 7:00 PM. In the week leading up to the opener, the Lightning will travel to Estero, Florida for a mini-training camp, with their focus being getting into game shape and establishing chemistry.
"In five days, we can't expect to come out in a perfectly, orderly fashion," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher told the media after their workout at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The practice was open to the public as a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning's fan day.
"I'm not worried about the intensity," Boucher said. "We gotta get some systems in place that are simple, quick to understand and put in place so that we look at least like a team the first day."
The shortened schedule will not only force teams to get ready for the season sooner than usual, but will also test their recovery time, with teams playing four games per week.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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