A bit of a scare when Group 2 participated in a controlled 5o5 scrimmage drill. Otter and Big E collided with a couple of opposing players and both hit the ice fairly hard and lost their sticks. Both got up and Otter handed E his stick but rather than take it, he skated to the bench while the drill continued. After a minute or so on the bench, off he went to the room. He missed a shift but did return to the ice where he promptly took a slap shot exploding his stick in half. Seemed okay to me.
Speaking of Otter, he showed no signs of being in recovery of a sports hernia. He was ripping shots from the first drill. He looked good.
BTW, the gaggle was well behaved for the most part. I did not some three and four year olds that were quieter but then they have smaller voices.
Decent crowed considering it was a work day for most. There were 50 or so at the beginning and that number climbed by 20 or so.
No real conditioning drills as with past opening days.
Other interesting occurrences at camp included:
1. Jokinen attempted to make his drop deposit move on a penalty shot like drill, was stoned and proceeded to take a harmless but hard header into the end boards.
2. Lessard laid the first real hit of camp and had some jump to his game.
3. Boucher made a nice just get it out and up pass out of the DZone that led to an excellent fed from Mo [nice move] to Jokinen for an open net goal.
4. Barnaby showed he will keep things loose in the room hamming it up early on in the first session. Nice to see some of that around the group again. Where's Keaner, eh?
5. Vas took control of a bouncing puck in tight and roofed a nice B/H.
6. Is Niinimaa still hurt? Just joking.
7. Halpren made a nice fed to Polak resulting in an easy open net goal during 3o2 cycle drill.
8. Some nice shots in hockey stops and shot drill. Eriksson had a nice one and E worked a nice B/H top shelf.
If you can, check out the action on Saturday and Sunday. The only way to appreciate the size, quickness, strength and skill of NHL players [any pro athletes for that matter] is to check them out in a venue and setting like the practice rink. A bit is lost in the translation in the arena even down low. Even more is lost higher in the lower bowl and the game is greatly slowed from the upper deck. Just taking a pass from one of those players will blast the stick out of most rec. players hands.
A trip to practice [especially camp] is well worth the time invested for any hockey player or fan.