Ross Colton still has the same motives in the Tampa Bay Lighting team. Tampa played in the previous 3 finals of the Stanley Cup (winning 2 times). They want the same this year. "They win that first one [in 2020] and a term that got thrown around was like, 'Oh, we're not full yet,'" Colton said for NHL.com "So, you win that first one, then you think OK, what's going to happen next year and then we come back, there's excitement again, guys want to win it again, we go out and we win it again.
And then same thing with this year. I think guys, when you come into training camp, there's a lot of nerves, because every night we have the bullseye on our back, teams want to beat us. I think it's that excitement.
And then to just be able to go to the Final again shows that we're still in contention and we're not content."
Ondrej Palat left the team, and Colton hopes to fill that void. "Obviously he did so much for the team offensively, defensively, he was physical," Colton said. "If we needed a big goal, he was going to score it.
So, he's obviously a big loss. But I've had a great summer and I'm looking forward to this year. ... Anything I can do to step up my role a little bit from last year I'm willing to do." Colton wants to improve in certain aspects.
"It's just becoming a more well-rounded player," Colton said. "I can't harp on the success that I had last season. Obviously was happy with what I did but was disappointed with the outcome that we had.
So, obviously, there's still more that I can build on, whether it's working on my defensive game, winning face-offs. It's such a fast game that you've got to be able to play in all three zones. ... Talking about 'Pally's' situation, he was playing against top-end guys.
To be able to play against those guys night in and night out takes a lot. I could definitely improve in those areas."