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09-17-2007, 11:22 PM
  #47
Seth Lake
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Day 3 recap and Scrimmage Notes

OK, so it's a little late. OK, it's really late, but I figured some would still be interested in the observations...so here goes:

Practice today started with all six goalies in camp and about 12-13 skaters (including Tootoo - the only regular skater to take the ice this morning) working on Rink 2 with Mitch Korn. Mitch had three stations set up on the ice...all working on effectively the same movements, but testing the goalies with different situations.

First station was at the far end of the rink where the goal was to simulate a puck being passed out from behind the net for a quick shot in front. Mitch had three shooters in the slot, one off each post and one in the middle of the slot, and Lane Lambert was passing pucks out from behind the goal line. Each rep the goalie reset to the post where Lambert was and reacted to the shooter when Lambert passed the puck out. Lane did a good job of keeping his passes random and making the goalie react honestly instead of falling into any type of pattern.

Second station was located in front of the penalty boxes and had a shooter in the slot area with an additional shooter located off each post. The station began when the shooter in the slot area fired a puck to the goalie's five-hole. After the five-hole shot the shooter took a second puck and passed it off to one of the shooters on either side of the goalie (resembling a rebound).

Third station utilized two of Mitch's favorite props (http://www.mitchkorn.com), the screen board and white pucks (yes, I said white pucks). Shooters were set up in the same formation, but this time the shooter in the slot was out higher and the screen board was placed in the mid-slot area. For those of you that don't know what a screen board is go here. The whole station used white pucks (also shown at the link above) to add another element of difficulty. The shooter in the high slot had three choices in this drill...shoot the puck (medium strength, low shots, no slapping at the puck), pass to the player on the right or pass to the player on the left. This was a very tricky station and the one I really watched closely.

I would grade the goalies that went through the 3rd station in the following order today:
1) Pekka Rinne - looked very comfortable with the station, used his long legs and good athleticism to his advantage
2) Chris Mason - again looked comfortable with the station after letting the first three pucks straight in, very efficent movement, good positioning, directed all rebounds to corner
3) Dov Grumet-Morris - like Rinne, Dov used his size and athleticism to his advantage here and looked comfortable. Very good lateral movement to cover shots from both sides.
4) Maxime Daigdenault - after struggling at the start, Max started to get the hang of it. Clearly not as comfortable as he would have liked to have been, but made adjustments and improved.
5) Dan Ellis - really looked uncomfortable with this drill and never really got too comfortable with it. Had some improvement, but overall not a good performance.
6) Jeremy Smith - also looked uncomfortable here and also exposed a flaw in his lateral movement that Korn picked up on and was instructing him about. Something to definitely work on, made some nice saves, but his youth showed here.

Two notes to finish up the goalie section of practice.

First, it was interesting to me to note that when I ranked the goalies going through the station that they went in the same order that they were paired (Rinne/Mason, Grumet-Morris/Daigdenault, Ellis-Smith) and also lead to their comfort level with the drill. I really wonder if Ellis and Smith were paired with different partners (namely one with Mason and one with Rinne) whether or not they would have shown better as they could have given each other pointers or even taken visual cues from watching how the other played the drill.

Second, Tootoo was the only veteran skater out there on the ice and I have a feeling (although purely suspicion and no facts or anything else to base this on) that he did something to irk the coaches at some point this weekend. Sunday, the Columbus Post-Dispatch reported very early in the day that Tootoo would be playing in the exhibition game, but when the final roster came out...he was not there. Also, Tootoo was the only player to dress this morning that did not participate in the scrimmage. Futhermore, Korn certainly didn't select Jordin to participate in the goalie drills as he had to admonish him several times for shooting the puck too hard and slapping at the puck. Lastly, Tootoo was the last skater on the ice on Rink 2 and had the duty to pickup the pucks...typically a job reserved for first-year players. Again, don't want to start any rumors, but...those were my observations on the subject.

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