“When we have a theme in practice, we have a specific game to match that theme.”
Those were the words of Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde. Following a historic 62-win season last year and a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Lightning are back this season and more committed than ever to the small details that win hockey games.
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Coach Lalonde spent the better part of two decades in college hockey with Ferris State and the University of Denver before working his way into professional hockey through the ECHL, AHL, and now the NHL. Small area games have rightly become popular with hockey coaches at every level of the game. When the Tampa Bay Lightning use them, they use them for a distinct purpose.
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