The Official Training Camp Thread
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09-15-2007, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
I was there today too. braindead, I may have been standing right next to you during the second scrimmage from what you said above about the errant puck. The one that hit off the roof?
First of all, it was great to see hockey again! It really got me excited and I can't wait for the season to start. For such a roller coaster summer, today I just focused on watching some hockey. During the season, I'll probably be going to games and worrying about attendance (what a shame), but today it was refreshing to just see some hockey and not have to hear any of the words Balsillie, Hamilton, Boots, KC, local group, lease, etc.
Anyway, it was good overall today. I think our defense (or lack of offense..) stood out the most. And its more likely to be so due to the offense being rusty with the plays and new faces on the lines. It does look like we will not have the same offense as last year (yes I know we lost alot of players) and we're going to have to grind out more wins. I think our problem will be the same as we've always had, scoring the big time goals when they're needed. Those thoughts are based more so on the roster and not solely because of the practice and scrimmages today.
I tried not to watch the usual suspects, but its inevitable. Dumont and Legwand looked great, especially Dumont. Radulov looks bigger and seems to have improved his skating. Didn't see alot out of Erat as he looked a bit rusty. He was able to steal the puck away a few times today and was really feisty. He was solid on the puck as well. Guys like Smithson, Nichol, and Fiddler all stood out a tad bit (in a good way today), mostly because of experience and being within the system. They were able to read a few passes better then the younger guys (which is to be expected). I didn't see alot of our new captain, as I watched the blue group mostly except for the scrimmages and Arnott looked like he had a skate problem and didn't play alot in the scrimmages. Not much out of Tootoo and Hordichuk, which is probably a good thing. We all remember Goehring getting leveled in last year's camp by Tootoo, although I'm not sure Goehring does. Again, the group of returning forwards looked a bit rusty, but its to be expected. Radulov and Dumont were the real standouts, with Dumont looking the strongest.
For the returning defensemen, I thought everyone except Zidlicky looked good. Zidlicky got caught possessing the puck too much and didn't display too much offense. And I'm not just saying this because he's the new official team whipping boy. I thought the 3 youngsters (Hamhuis, Suter, and Weber) looked great. Weber is an absolute beast out there. He was brimming with confidence and simply looked better then everyone else. The road is paved for him having a monster season. Oh, and he looked even bigger. Zanon was very solid today too.
Mason seemed solid as well, which is to be expected this early on.
For the new guys:
Ortmeyer - came as advertised. Little offensive ability, pretty sound defensively. Worked hard.
Gelinas - strong on the puck, wasn't afraid to go in the corners to battle for the puck.
Bonk - didn't see much from Bonk really.
de Vries - Had a hard time getting a few pucks out the zone a few times but other then that looked ok.
And for the plethora of youngsters, it was hard to watch them all.
Hornqvist looks very solid. Wasn't quite on the same page as Legwand and Erat, but showed some offensive weapons. He has a very good wrist shot. He doesn't have the speed that some of the other forwards have.
Pihlstrom looked pretty good. He laid a few good hits, especially a really good one on Shane Willis. He was able to bury a few goals from standing in front of the net. He was a bit stronger on the puck then the other youngsters.
Setzinger was ok; he had a few good passes in the first scrimmage and was ok defensively.
Michael Santorelli looked pretty good. He displayed some really good puck handling, especially a sequence in the first scrimmage behind the goal.
I really liked what I saw from Nick Spaling. He was solid on the puck, displayed great hockey sense and easily played better then alot of the other youngsters. He was very solid for a guy who was just drafted. Very good day for Spaling in my opinion.
I also liked what I saw from Thuresson. He was strong on the puck and was good defensively. He also wasn't afraid to go to the net.
Franson was huge! Proved to be a weapon on the blue line. Not the fastest player and got beat a little bit. His offensive skills make him very dangerous.
Blum looked nervous and shaky. During the second scrimmage, he looked better as he focused more and played more calm.
Koistinen was invisible. Maybe I was watching other players closely, but I didn't see anything from him.
Klein looked very solid; he looked alot better then in previous years.
Stehlik looked pretty bad. He had size, but thats it. Same as Yonkman really.
Henry was the best out of the towering defensemen, but that isn't saying much really.
I liked what I saw from Sulzer. He was able to move the puck well and seemed comfortable out there.
Jeremy Smith looks like he has the tools to become a great prospect.
Sorry for the jumbled thoughts and lack of depth on alot of the players. Way too many players to watch out there and I'm writing this a long time after the scrimmages ended.
I also walked down to the arena and picked up a new uniform as a gift for someone. They look alot better in person then what we've seen thus far on the internet.
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