From what little of the game I saw last night, Loktionov looked harder to knock off the puck than last season, at least on a couple of plays.
I came in the thread to say just this. Lokti definitely worked on that this off season. He is much stronger on the puck, and last year when he got hit as the puck carrier, I would cringe waiting for him to fall, or have his shoulder separate again. This year, I didn't get that the first few games. Not only was he able to skate through a check while still holding onto the puck, he also looked like he went into the spots where he WOULD get hit. It seemed like he used to shy away from those areas in the corners and along the boards previously.