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03-15-2007, 04:17 PM
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practice recap - 3.15.07

OK based on my 2k of on-board memory this is your open practice report.

first the 11 am practice kicked off precisely at 11:25, talk about hitting the snooze button. and boy could you tell it was an optional skate. by my count 10 players on the ice to begin. considering that both goalies and 2 rehab guys, that didn't leave to many others on the ice to run drills. but hey, it was the morning after a hard set of b2b games with the latter being on the road, so go figure.

after warm-ups(free shoot and skate arounds) and stretching they broke into 2 groups. peterson took the rehabs and horachek took everyone else. regarding the rehabs it was sully and nichol. both were working on getting their legs back. nichol was primarily working on short sprints from the center to the boards and back, where sully was working on more blue line to end board sprints and back(turning). sully also did some more half ice loops and it seemed he was farther along than nichol. nichol would take his glove off from time-2-time and you could see his cast(something akin to vokies). obviously he didn't do any puck handling, but he did skate holding his stick(although not with the broken hand when he had his glove off). sully didn't do much puck handling either but he did stop to give some pointers(see below). and if you hadn't figured it out foppa wasn't skating with the rehabs.

the best of my memory here is who ran drills(hordy, foppa, rads, abid, smithson, weber, vishnevski and suter), but don't quote me. basically ran several shooting drills; from the left then right, pass to left side and shoot, then pass to right and shoot, walk the line and shoot, cross over and shoot, 2 on 0 pass once and shoot, circle twice while passing and then 2 on 0, etc... another fun moment was when someone made a pass to foppa that was really behind him. he let it tap off the back of his right skate(trailing leg) and then almost blindly reach beside him to control the puck(hard to describe but he and the puck were moving at right angles-like someone catch it behind your back). foppa seemed like he was going at the practice at a good clip(and by that i mean as fast and energetically as rads w/o all the silly comments and machinations).

as the organized portion trailed off different guys would just take turns either skating in and shooting or lining up 2~3 pucks and shooting from a fixed position. a funny moment was when foppa tried to skate in on vokie, got stopped, tried the rebound and got stopped again. then when he thought vokie wasn't looking tried again(2nd rebound) but tomas stopped him again. foppa did get him back later when he skated in from the right to left, deeked like he was going back right. tomas dove trying to poke check i guess, but was no way near foppa who dragged it back left and to put it in. tomas flat on his stomach on the right side of the goal looking over his sholder while foppa tapped it in.

i did notice on the other end that hordy was practicing chipping up backhand shots from just outside of the crease. at one point hordy got 10 or so straight making the water bottle dance all over. peterson with an amazed looked turned around with hands open wanting applause from everyone else on the ice, but alas i think i was the only other person to noticed(everyone else was looking at the shooting on the other end). sully came down and gave hordy a few pointers on how to crouch down a little in order to flip the puck up. seemed to work to well as hordy started to miss half of his next set over the top of the cross bar. this was one of the few times i saw sully puck handling, so i would say he is still a bit aways from returning.

meanwhile back down at the shoot around mason had a set of bad runs letting several in and i guess he was miffed since he tossed his stick up into the mesh. later he layed down in the crease after blocking several shots and didn't move. at first i was hoping he wasn't hurt, but the equipment manager started tossing pucks from the bench in order to prode him to move. it took about five or six before he got up and let tomas resume the duties.

a few of the d-men practiced one on one passing and skating drills with peterson when he had finished with the skating wounded. you can really tell which guys are light on their feet and sticks(forwards) and who ain't(d-men). of course the d-men have other skills. but man i was afraid for those little orange cones. later v2 worked on some stationary puck handling.

guys would skate off periodically, but i think everyone signed several autographs before going back inside. a goalie who was practicing on the A rink came over in full pads and got tomas to sign his water bottle. rads and foppa were the last two still shooting as things wound down. they got a little silly towards the end, with foppa crouching down on his knees and elbows behind the net to act as a goal judge on rads shots. both of them signed a lot of stuff before going back in. toots came out at the very end and just skated around and took a few open net shoots from center ice. i think he was getting ready for the radio intern thing as i saw the buzz crew setting up stuff(i was thinking that it was tomorrow, but evidently they did something today). i didn't stick around for it was i was already running late for much lunch date. in all the practice lasted around 1:15 mins.

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