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The Official Training Camp Thread

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Old
09-15-2007, 07:35 PM
  #26
predhead1
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Despite the focus on the lack of pretty offensive players, I hope the commentators pause for a moment and realize the pretty goals earned us two quick playoff exits the past two seasons.

I for one welcome the addition of a little grit in favor of pretty passers. Maybe we won't have our arses handed to us against a physical team in the playoffs. Of course, if you really want to think about it, we got our arses handed to us by Buffalo last year, so I guess our pretty offense wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

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09-15-2007, 07:43 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predhead1 View Post
Despite the focus on the lack of pretty offensive players, I hope the commentators pause for a moment and realize the pretty goals earned us two quick playoff exits the past two seasons.

I for one welcome the addition of a little grit in favor of pretty passers. Maybe we won't have our arses handed to us against a physical team in the playoffs. Of course, if you really want to think about it, we got our arses handed to us by Buffalo last year, so I guess our pretty offense wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
While I can't speak for everyone else, I don't think I was suggesting it as necessarily a good or bad aspect, but just something I noticed.

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09-15-2007, 07:58 PM
  #28
predhead1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
While I can't speak for everyone else, I don't think I was suggesting it as necessarily a good or bad aspect, but just something I noticed.
Sorry Stranger, this wasn't directed at you. It was just an expression of my general frustration with the national media about how bad we'll be this year because we lost 3 players and one part-time rental.

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Old
09-15-2007, 09:04 PM
  #29
braindead
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Stranger, it probably was me behind the goal with my two kids that snapped about 100 pictures through the scraped up glass. I hope my Mardi Gras dive for the puck to give the kids didn't offend. I also encourage anyone at a scrimmage to walk up to an unknown person and say in a loud voice "Are you braindead?".


Final note: Great crowd today. I remember 10-15 at some of the early years. Great sign.

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09-15-2007, 10:44 PM
  #30
Seth Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead View Post
Stranger, it probably was me behind the goal with my two kids that snapped about 100 pictures through the scraped up glass. I hope my Mardi Gras dive for the puck to give the kids didn't offend. I also encourage anyone at a scrimmage to walk up to an unknown person and say in a loud voice "Are you braindead?".


Final note: Great crowd today. I remember 10-15 at some of the early years. Great sign.
I was standing back there too, but more in the corner. I was wearing my Mason game-worn navy jersey and a baseball cap and talking with two other guys.

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09-15-2007, 11:38 PM
  #31
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Cool, I saw both of you then. I had a blue Predators polo and linen pants on.

I agree, great crowd today.

Whats with the new bleachers in that practice rink? Way too many bars.

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09-16-2007, 06:49 AM
  #32
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And the metal on the steps keeps anyone with skates on from going up and sitting down to talk to anyone before or after the games.... But they do look nicer, the old ones were getting ragged.

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09-16-2007, 04:07 PM
  #33
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Im jealous, I remember the good ol days, skipping class at MTSU to head down to Centennial.

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09-17-2007, 02:09 AM
  #34
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Could anyone give me more info on Laakso outside of him having some good practices (first post), and no chance of sticking with the Preds (other post)? I'd appreciate it very much.

I'm mostly interested in:
-How's his skating compared to others?
-Positioning?
-Does he look nervous or calm?

I know he's not the best out there with the puck, but he finally has a shot at actually playing in that role over here in Finland as he is one of the leading d-men on his team this year, and will most likely get to play with a better (faster, less mistake prone) partner as well. In the past few seasons he's mostly had to play in a very very defensive role with poor partners and hasn't really had much chance at playing offense.

I asked about his skating because I've never considered it a strength of his and since he couldn't train much in the offseason because of his injury, I was wondering if he'd improved at all and how his skating looks compared to other prospects, especially the NHL caliber ones like Klein.


EDIT: I'm glad to hear Pihlström is doing OK over there. Mostly because I hope he sticks, I don't want to see him play against my team over here ever again. But also because I like his style and hope him to have all the success he could possibly get.

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09-17-2007, 06:36 AM
  #35
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I'm looking forward to hear more from Pihlström.

I like his game and attitude, he is one my favourite players.

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09-17-2007, 07:38 AM
  #36
Seth Lake
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Heading down to the rink this morning for the latest installment of training camp practice and the second blue-white scrimmage of the week. None of our NHL guys will be playing in the scrimmage though as it is also the day of the annual Doc Walker Golf Tournament and they are participating in that.

Should be a good look at more of our prospects and AHL depth players in a game situation. I'll try to give a report back this afternoon on my thoughts and I'll try to keep an eye on Laakso for you EroSennin.

If anyone else is heading down, I should be standing behind one of the goals with a #30 Chris Mason navy jersey on and a ball cap. Stop by and say hello.

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09-17-2007, 09:57 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EroSennin View Post
Could anyone give me more info on Laakso outside of him having some good practices (first post), and no chance of sticking with the Preds (other post)? I'd appreciate it very much.

I'm mostly interested in:
-How's his skating compared to others?
-Positioning?
-Does he look nervous or calm?

I know he's not the best out there with the puck, but he finally has a shot at actually playing in that role over here in Finland as he is one of the leading d-men on his team this year, and will most likely get to play with a better (faster, less mistake prone) partner as well. In the past few seasons he's mostly had to play in a very very defensive role with poor partners and hasn't really had much chance at playing offense.

I asked about his skating because I've never considered it a strength of his and since he couldn't train much in the offseason because of his injury, I was wondering if he'd improved at all and how his skating looks compared to other prospects, especially the NHL caliber ones like Klein.


EDIT: I'm glad to hear Pihlström is doing OK over there. Mostly because I hope he sticks, I don't want to see him play against my team over here ever again. But also because I like his style and hope him to have all the success he could possibly get.
Laakso didn't stand out the day I was there, although with a defensemen, that can very much be a good thing. He didn't seem as physical as I've heard him touted, but that could be due to this being training camp. He seemed a bit nervous with the puck, but again could be due to the early stage of training camp. His positioning was good. I didn't watch alot of Laakso, so sorry for the lack of details.

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09-17-2007, 11:07 AM
  #38
braindead
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Laakso didn't look up to the level of Klein or Koistenen. I remember being vaguely disappointed in his size and speed as well as agreeing that he looked nervous with the puck but it's hard to focus on any one guy with so much going on. I'll try to watch more when I get back there next.

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Old
09-17-2007, 12:03 PM
  #39
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That's weird (especially since both of you agree). Most people on the Preds message board only had good things to say about him.

Things like:

"Laakso moves well and had a couple nice hits"

"After seeing the first two practices I don't think Koistenen or Klein are ready. I was hoping Klein would be but he just doesn't play with any fire out there. Koistenen has done nothing to stand out either. Laakso on the other hand has impressed me more than those two."

"Laakso I thought had a good morning practice as well. Very smart player with an edge."

"i also want to add that laakso looked good"

"laakso had a good practice, as did henry i thought."

"And besides, Laakso actually LIKES to play the body. I can't wait to get him over here and I think he'll contend for a roster spot right away."



The last one might have been posted before camp started. Not sure. Anyways, not trying to question anyones judgement or anything, just thought it was funny...

More details/opinions still welcomed.

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Old
09-17-2007, 12:10 PM
  #40
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Let me preface this by saying I haven't been to any of the practices, etc. That said, I would expect Klein to look much better in a training camp setting - the reason being he is a terrific skater.

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09-17-2007, 12:18 PM
  #41
Jarnberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EroSennin View Post
That's weird (especially since both of you agree). Most people on the Preds message board only had good things to say about him.

Things like:

"Laakso moves well and had a couple nice hits"

"After seeing the first two practices I don't think Koistenen or Klein are ready. I was hoping Klein would be but he just doesn't play with any fire out there. Koistenen has done nothing to stand out either. Laakso on the other hand has impressed me more than those two."

"Laakso I thought had a good morning practice as well. Very smart player with an edge."

"i also want to add that laakso looked good"

"laakso had a good practice, as did henry i thought."

"And besides, Laakso actually LIKES to play the body. I can't wait to get him over here and I think he'll contend for a roster spot right away."



The last one might have been posted before camp started. Not sure. Anyways, not trying to question anyones judgement or anything, just thought it was funny...

More details/opinions still welcomed.
Maybe it was a different practice? Also a guy simply running into someone may constitute as physical to one person yet go unnoticed to another.

Not saying what I saw was right or anything, just what I remember. And I could have easily missed a play or not have seen something. Its really hard at training camp, because you're trying to view so many different players.

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09-17-2007, 12:46 PM
  #42
Seth Lake
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Just wanted to chime in here quickly and note that Laakso looked good in today's scrimmage. He didn't necessarily stand out, but that is not necessary for a defenseman either. His skating was definitely on par with his peers and he handled the puck well and played the body a few times in the corners. The only knack I had against him this morning was twice during long cycles by the opposition I felt that he eased off his man too far allowing them to get open in the slot area. The first time the pass never came, but on the second time they got a good shot off before he could react.

I'll have more later.

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Old
09-17-2007, 12:46 PM
  #43
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hockeybuzz claims Klein is out 3-4 weeks with an injury

Koistinen's golden oppurtunity?

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09-17-2007, 12:51 PM
  #44
Seth Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnlikestars View Post
hockeybuzz claims Klein is out 3-4 weeks with an injury

Koistinen's golden oppurtunity?
Wouldn't doubt it. Klein was the only player in a position battle not to take the ice today. Ellis and Rinne both went to the golf tournament, but Pihlstrom, Hornqvist, Koistinen, Niskala, Henry, and the rest of the roster was on the ice for the scrimmage.

The one other player that was missing from the ice that shouldn't have been at the golf tournament was Nolan Yonkman. Don't know why he missed today's session.

Disappointing for Klein for sure. Really don't want to get rid of either Klein or Koistinen, but I really don't think we can keep them both around at the NHL level either and don't want to risk waivers on either one.

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Old
09-17-2007, 12:52 PM
  #45
Panopticon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Maybe it was a different practice?
The first comment was from this morning's practice. I think the rest were after the morning practice the day before the Columbus game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Not saying what I saw was right or anything, just what I remember. And I could have easily missed a play or not have seen something. Its really hard at training camp, because you're trying to view so many different players.
I can understand that. That's why I said I'm not questioning anyone. Just trying to build myself a mental image since I can't be there to watch him myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post
Just wanted to chime in here quickly and note that Laakso looked good in today's scrimmage. He didn't necessarily stand out, but that is not necessary for a defenseman either. His skating was definitely on par with his peers and he handled the puck well and played the body a few times in the corners. The only knack I had against him this morning was twice during long cycles by the opposition I felt that he eased off his man too far allowing them to get open in the slot area. The first time the pass never came, but on the second time they got a good shot off before he could react.

I'll have more later.
Thanks. Really appreciate it.

That sounds a lot like him.

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Old
09-17-2007, 01:28 PM
  #46
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Again, I only saw two periods of a scrimmage on one day, with a huge group of new players to watch, so it is highly impressionistic (and I'm braindead). I remember one early year where I thought some new guy (Crowe, can't remember his first name) looked great to me in an early practice and I think they didn't even keep him for the Ads.

I think I would discount the quote that says both he and Henry looked good though as I think Henry is not at the level you would want your boy to be.

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Old
09-17-2007, 10:22 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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09-18-2007, 12:54 AM
  #48
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Thanks for the recap Slake. Really interesting about Tootoo. It makes you wonder if something is up. The practice I saw, Tootoo looked like he wasn't having any fun out there and I didn't see him talking with anyone.

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09-18-2007, 01:14 AM
  #49
Seth Lake
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Day 3 Scrimmage Notes

Well, after the goalie session on Rink 2 we all moved over to Rink 1 where the entire squad, minus the veteran players and Mason, Ellis, and Rinne were ready to engage in a scrimmage.

Before the scrimmage they warmed up with two flow drills for about 10 minutes which was fine, but I thought it really chopped up the ice and contibuted to much of the choppy play in the first half. The game was divided into two 35 minute running time periods with the teams switching rinks between halves.

White team:
Forwards - Rich Peverley, Mike Santorelli, Mark Santorelli, Viktor Sjodin, John Vigilante, Kelsey Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, Andreas Thuresson, Shane Willis
Defense - Robert Dietrich, Alex Henry, Ville Koistinen, Janne Niskala, Richard Stehlik

Blue team:
Forwards - Cal O'Reilly, Nick Spaling, Jason Guerriero, Antti Pihlstrom, Matt Ellison, Josh Langfeld, Ryan Maki, Oliver Setzinger
Defense - Jonathan Blum, Cody Franson, Teemu Laakso, Mark Matheson, Alexander Sulzer

Goalies rotated into the nets with Grumet-Morris starting for the White team and Daigdenault starting for Blue. About 20 minutes in, Smith went into net for the White team and Daigdenault replaced Grumet-Morris in the Blue net. Smith allowed 5 goals, Daigdenault 1 goal, and Grumet-Morris allowed no goals. Blue won the scrimmage 5-1.

Guerriero had two goals (first from a bad angle through the legs of Smith, second burying a big rebound from Smith) to lead the way, O'Reilly (nice forehand to backhand move finishing up and over Smith) scored on a penalty shot, and two others (both rebound goals) scored for Blue before I could catch the numbers. Alex Henry (found a loose puck along the boards, walked to the high slot and shot a good wrist shot off the top of Daigdenault's glove hand) scored the lone goal for the White team.

Mostly got to watch the Blue team as they defended the end I was standing at the entire time and it was easier to pickup their numbers, but I got a little on both teams too.

Matt Ellison played a lot of center today. He is a winger, but due to the shortage of players he took a look of draws and spent a lot of time in the middle.

Mark Matheson also played a bit out of position today. A couple of times in the first half I saw him playing up at forward on the wing, but I really don't that was too effective as he was shifted back exclusively to defense after his second shift at forward. Matheson looked still a little over his head. Not totally out of place, but will definitely have to show a lot to stick in Milwaukee to start the season otherwise he might be making a trip to Cincinnati to start.

Alexander Sulzer was very good today. Moved the puck well, made good reads defensively, and played the body. Sulzer really looked like a solid two-way defenseman at this level of play and I think he will be a solid addition to the Milwaukee blueline this season.

Cody Franson was the best defenseman for the Blue team today. He is very confident with the puck on his stick and made several pinpoint accurate breakout passes through traffic. Really just beginning to understand how to use his size to his advantage, had the opportunity to really flatten a few teammates, but held up. Continued to show good shot selection (although he had one poor choice that was blocked) to get the puck on net. Also demonstrated great hand-eye coordination by breaking up several crossing passes and dump-ins with his stick in mid-air. Really think he has the potential to be a call-up late in the year, but will most likely spend at least this season and part of next in Milwaukee before cracking the Nashville lineup full-time.

Richard Stehlik really likes to carry the puck up ice. He is slow, but is actually effective at this due to his size. The problem though is that when he gets through the neutral zone he enters the offensive end of the ice with his head down. Therefore, he remains on the perimeter where there is skating room and misses any and all opportunities to pass the puck to someone in a scoring position. For a man 6'4", 248 lbs...he really is soft...didn't throw any hits of notice and actually stayed away from contact when carrying the puck.

Ville Koistinen and Janne Niskala were very hard to tell apart today. They both are similiar in stature, wear half-visors on the same helmet, and both wear the same wide white tape job on their socks. Additionally, they were also both paired together for much of the scrimmage and were attacking at me so I could not see their numbers. Therefore, the observations go for both...first, they can both skate very well and use their skating ability to both stay in position defensively and join the rush. Both appeared very confident with the puck in traffic and under pressure and made good breakout passes. I thought that Koistinen actually skated himself out of the play a couple of times following his man way up the boards out to the blueline and not really making any immediate effort to recover to a more defensively responsible position.

Jonathan Blum looked more comfortable today, but still over his head at times. He improved as the game went along and I really think he will show much better next season with this experience underneath him.

Alex Henry was probably the best White team defenseman today. Looked very efficient, like a veteran player should be in a game of this manner. Really could probably be an effective 7th defenseman/13th forward on some NHL teams this season, but doesn't really stand a chance here of cracking the NHL roster to start the season IMO. Could quite possibly be the captain in Milwaukee if he clears waivers. The only thing that will really keep Henry from being anything more than a depth defenseman at the NHL level is his skating. Henry is slow and in the new NHL...a slow defenseman usually has a very brief NHL career.

Robert Dietrich was on the other end so I didn't get a great look at him, but what I do remember is that he looked a little over his head. But at the same time I remember him making a few good plays too, so there is some hope for the future. The thing I really remember about him is that he was making mistakes due to his inexperience, but the effort was there and given time I think he can turn out OK in the future.

Didn't really watch too many of the forwards...some quick hits...

O'Reilly looks like he is bigger than last season and really confident with the puck. Made some nice plays in traffic and wasn't shying away from contact. Really think he could be a call up later in the season and possibly competing for a spot in the lineup as early as next fall.

Peverley looked like a veteran player out there too. Played well along the boards and had a few nice plays in traffic.

I really like Jason Guerriero. Don't think he'll ever become an impact player, but you never know. Could be the next Martin St. Louis or the next Darren Haydar. I really want to keep an eye on him this season in Milwaukee because I believe he will be fighting for a two-way deal as soon as next summer. Scored two goals today.

Antti Pihlstrom worked very hard today. As far as I know he didn't score, could've...missed two goal scorers, but he was a real pain in the side of the opposition. He is a smart player and has a strong work ethic to go along with his smarts. Very tenacious checker, I really think he could crack the opening night roster this season and be an effective third line player.

Mark Santorelli (the younger brother) is a shifty stickhandler that needs to fill out his frame, but has a future. Will return to junior this season and should be heavily relied upon to be a top scorer on his team. Look forward to watching his development as he integrates into pro hockey next summer.

Viktor Sjodin is a checker. Looked lost at times, but always finishes his checks. Lost most of last season in Portland (WHL) due to injury, but want to keep an eye on his development this season. Really not sure what to make of him yet, but he is not a top six type of forward.

John Vigilante had a good day today. Very hard worker, played well with Pihlstrom and made for an effective checking duo. Will play in Milwaukee this season and just might play his way into an NHL career down the line with hard work and developing more confidence in his two-way play.

Kelsey Wilson likes to throw the body. Goes hard each shift. Not sure he'll ever have a cup of coffee in the NHL, but he might carve himself out a solid career in the minors.

Ryan Maki is a player I think has greatly improved his skating since last summer when we saw him at prospect camp. A power forward prospect, Maki will integrate into pro hockey this season with Milwaukee and I'd like to watch whether or not he is able to crack the top six there on a consistent basis. I get a good feeling about him.

Andreas Thuresson goes through periods where I think he is playing above his head, but then he'll turn around and throw a good hit to make a play or unleashes a shot in traffic that reminds me why we drafted him. Needs to integrate into North American hockey, but I think we'll see a much better player as the season wears on.

Lastly, Langfeld and Willis both skate hard and actually make some good plays, but they don't stand out IMO. Good depth players that will get consideration for recalls this season, but players that I really don't see having a major impact on the Nashville roster at any point in the future.

Off to bed, back to the rink again in less than eight hours. Sorry for the delay. Had a busy day today and will be twice as busy tomorrow.

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09-18-2007, 04:19 AM
  #50
Roger Explosion
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Country: Australia
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Thanks for the update slake.

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