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01-17-2013, 10:40 PM
19 for president
Join Date: Apr 2002
So I went down to the evening practice at the Joe today and thought I'd share some notes that I made while I was down there.
1. This is the fastest overall Wings team, especially D that we've had in years. Z and Cleary are probably our slowest forwards at this point unless Knuble is signed.
2. Knuble is really slow, like barely faster than Homer although his stride is better. He is a step below everyone else on the ice. I'd be very dissapointed if he got a spot on this team over a guy like Nyquist. I'd be ok with him in GR though because its never a bad thing for young guys to play with a true NHL vet.
3. Smith is probably our fastest dman. Overall I thought he looked pretty good both offensively and defensively. He did pretty well on the one on one drills and made some good outlet passes. He did look a little overwhelmed though. You could tell that he is the youngest guy out there, by that look of semi-awe on his face.
4. Quincey is a bit of a klutz. He is probably the worst skater of our d group. He doesn't have bad speed but his stability is somewhat questionable.
5. White while being our smallest D is surprisingly fast and made a bunch of solid plays today.
6. Kronwall looked good offensively but only so-so defensively. He was getting beat during the one on one drills quite a bit. Hopefully this is just rust because he has to be better if we want to get into the playoffs.
7. E and Quincey were both pretty solid on the PK today. Didn't give up any goals vs the 1st PP unit of Dats/Z/Kronner/Brunner/Franzen.
8. Z was playing the point with Kronner on the first PP unit. I saw a lot of passing and not much shooting. I hope this changes. I also hate Franzen being in front of the net. He is much better off to the side where he can carry the puck to the net if there is an opening.
9. Howard is lighting quick in his skating movements, especially side to side. Much faster than Jonas. Also Jonas likes to be much more involved in team drills/ center ice meetings while Jimmy usually remained in his net or went to the bench. I wonder if Jonas is just more interested because he is new or if he is just more of an interactive guy.
10. Brunner has real solid straight away speed and didn't shy away from going to get the puck in the corners. He needs to work a bit on his acceleration however because it was evident that he was a bit slow in the stop/start skating drills that they did.
11. Cleary still looks like he is laboring skating wise. This was really evident in the stop/start drills where he and Knuble were by far the slowest forwards.
12. Big E has great speed going forward but is still improving when it comes to skating backwards. You can tell he isn't a natural dman in that regard.
13. Our bottom 6 has the potential to be really small. Tootoo is ridiculously small and Eaves, Miller, Mursak, etc are much bigger.
14. Flip looks to have put on some muscle. He is looking stockier now than he ever used to.
15. Looks like the Wings are sticking to the same PP model as we've gone with for years. Franzen and Cleary were front of the net players and the other two forwards on each unit were down low below the redline. **Personally I think this is going to be a disaster with the players we have... **
16. Second unit consisted of Flip, Sammy, Cleary, White, and Smith.
17.Team worked a lot on clearing and board battle drills today. Worked a lot on clearing the puck up the middle of the ice which was interesting to see.
18. Mursak, Flip,and Dats spent about 10 minutes after practice playing keep away at center ice. It was 2 on 1 monkey in the middle style. It was nice to see Mursak working with two of the wings best players. Datsyuk obviously was in the middle the least, but Flip showed some really good hands as well. Mursak didn't embarrass himself but was definitely the least skilled of the three.
Overall I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. There was actually two practices. They ran general drills from 7-7:45 and then ran about a half an hour of special teams drills starting at around 8. Parking was free, entrance was free, and concessions were basically a buck unless you wanted beer ($2). The building wasn't jammed but there was a good vibe in the arena. There was also an open skate after the practice. Dats and Z got the loudest cheers as they entered the ice and Dats did a little stick wave in recognition. I'm hoping to go again tomorrow afternoon, as I've never been able to make it up to TC and this is probably as close as I'll get to training camp for a long time.
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