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03-09-2007, 06:06 PM
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Seth Lake
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Practice Recap

Took notes to recap the action on the rink today for those that missed:

As I expected coming to the rink this morning tired from the game last night...it was an optional practice and many of the players that skated last night took advantage of the time off the ice.

Horachek ran most of the practice today with Peterson assisting. When they broke up into forwards/defense, Peterson took the D's and Horachek took the F's (which is their coaching responsibilities during games).

Sullivan, Forsberg, and Zidlicky all skated today...however I would rule all of them out for Columbus tomorrow night, but would say that Forsberg would be probable for Detroit and Zids and Sully would be doubtful at best (more on that below).

Players on the rink today:

Vokoun and Mason in goal. Zidlicky, Suter, Vishnevski, and Weber in the red jerseys playing defense. Abid, Hordichuk, Forsberg, Smithson, Sullivan, Peverley, Radulov, and Dumont in the navy jerseys at forward.

After they skated around to loosen up and stretched at center ice...practice began.

Started with some short passing drills that saw a player start out backwards at center ice, get a pass from the next player in line, return the pass and head out wide to the wing, and receive a pass again to take in for a shot at the far end. The players alternated sides with each shot. Did this for about 5 minutes adding a couple extra passes into the routine as the drill progressed.

Moved to an inside-out passing drill that began with players heading in 2 v 0 for a shot, progressed to the two skaters skating to the same side of the rink, crossing at the blueline, and heading in 2 v 0.

Next out of the same formation the drill changed to a 2 v 1 with a regroup at the far blueline. A defenseman started in front of the net and the two forwards started in opposite corners with one puck and went 2 v 1 until the puck was cleared or a shot was taken. Coach Horachek then initiated the regroup by sending a puck out to Coach Peterson at the far blueline. The forwards skated out to center ice and crossed at which time Peterson made the breakout pass. The defenseman followed up into the neutral zone and played the 2 v 1 coming back into the zone.

The team then moved onto a simple tip drill where a forward skated out of the corner with a puck and took a wrist/backhand shot on goal. The next forward in line passed a puck out to the point and the defenseman walked the puck towards the center of the rink for a shot and a tip opportunity from the forward screening in front of the net. The drill progressed with the forwards moving to the high slot for a tip opportunity. The final progression was that the forwards made a small circle away from the net coming back into the high slot to tip on the backhand.

At this time the team split into two groups with the defense heading to the far end and the forwards staying nearest the locker rooms.

The defense worked on shooting. Mostly one-timers, but varied in shot variety. Vishnevski has a better shot than I had expected to see from him, but clearly the best shots were from Weber. Zidlicky didn't look too good shooting and passed up a lot of opportunities because he either was too sore to shoot (but was going through the drill/motion) or he was just really picky on what passes he wanted to shoot off of.

The forwards worked on a cycling drill down at the other end that featured three shots. The drill started with two forwards, one at the top of the faceoff circle (F1) and one in the corner (F2) facing each other. F1 passed to F2 in the corner and headed to the front of the net for a return pass to shoot. F2 still in the corner got a pass from Horachek and skated up the boards before bumping the puck back to F1 now in the corner. F2 headed to the front of the net and got a pass in the slot for a one-timer. F1 still in the corner now received a pass from Horachek and skated out of the corner (hugging the goal line) to get a shot off on a near side jam play.

Didn't notice what else the forwards were doing, if anything. I was down at the other end.

As the practice broke up Radulov lead Mason and then Vokoun in a couple of goalie/shooting drills involving two pucks. Radulov actually looked like he was telling the goalies how the drill worked, showed some leadership IMO.

The practice then wound down to players randomly shooting. Radulov, Forsberg, and Peverley were the last three on the rink. They skated around and around passing a puck and setting each other up for shots. This carried on for about 20 minutes before they all left the ice at the same time...well sort of...

Forsberg had a photo shoot on the rink immediately following practice. I would look for a Forsberg "Live It" commerical or the shots being used in a playoff commerical. Most of the shots had him posing with a stick. Didn't really pay attention. Left while they were still taking shots.

Individual notes:
I was very surprised to watch Abid shoot. Ramzi never moves his hands during his windup. Normally players "load the cannon" by sliding your bottom hand down the stick on your backswing. Very interesting to watch Abid shoot like that.

Forsberg went through the entire practice and was the last player off the ice. I would however say that he wasn't going at full speed at any point (but neither was anyone else really). He stopped to stretch a couple of times and didn't always immediately start a drill, but he survived and I would expect him back for Detroit.

Sullivan took the ice with the team and participated in the free skate portion and stretching, but then skated some semi-hard laps around the far end while the rest of the team started the first drill. Sully participated in the first passing drill, but left soon after. He was on the ice for approximately 15 minutes total. I really don't expect him back for Detroit unless something drastically changes.

Zidlicky, as I said above, looked a little timid on some of his shots. He did however skate through the entire practice and participated in some of the post-practice shooting drillls too. Zids did some stretching in front of the bench before leaving the ice. Like Sully, I would be surprised at this point to see him back for either Detroit game.

Radulov still looks like he is having a ton of fun and that is great to see. Despite his recent goal scoring drought...he is working hard in practice and good things are sure to follow.

Hordichuk actually approached Forsberg and asked Peter for some advice about fending off an attacker along the boards while carrying the puck. It was actually pretty interesting to see as Forsberg demonstrated with Darcy paying close attention. We know Darcy and Peter have trained together in Sweden previously and it was good to see one teammate helping out another...especially a superstar helping out a fourth liner.

I read on NP.com that Vishnevski set up some pucks at the other end of the rink (from where I was) and did some individual stickhandling drills for about 20 minutes. Good to see that he pays attention to the little things and works outside of the formal practice to improve his skills.

Good turnout for a weekday...bolstered by all of the youth and parents at the rink for a youth tournament going on at Centennial this weekend. Ran into a couple of parents that are from Pittsburgh. They were impressed with the turnout for an open practice and were quite pleased that they accidentally happened into the practice.

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