Attended the open scrimmage this morning with the lovely girlfriend!. Sorry if the opinion is redundant.
Team 1 (Blue):
Team 2 (White):
Soooooo...got there early.
It appeared that there was still some testing going on, as the ice was used. When seated we watched all 3 goalies work with Rollie, Carnegie and Cloutier (i think, couldnt really tell or verify) on lateral movement and rim around drills. Not sure, but i thought maybe Baumer was there too.
Then the skaters filed out. The assistants ran the benches. Torts was in the stands, about 10 rows up from players bench watching with no pen/papers. Scouts were seated further back.
Quickie summary (biased observations):
Played 2 full periods. 2 refs. Sedin vs.Kesler were the veteran 1st lines matchups.
Kass looked very
good. Super slim. Almost skinny. Was always with the Twins was quicker for sure. There was some Sedinery (got a fun treat of the Hank half ice slapper from east to west, only to bank off the end boards to Danny Sedinery. Nothing really came out of it but it was rad to see . A couple of lapses from Kass as far as getting double teamed and not getting the puck deep. Oh and he executed a full on Bertuzzi homage. Spinned into the corner with the puck, and warded off 2 defenders and gained the back of the net for a sweet wraparound attempt. But then again, its only a scrimmage. He was impressive most times.
Kes looked good too. Was hard on the rookies. Lots of bumps. Was getting gnarly with Pacan who played Kes hard. Some trash talking and sticks in ribs.
Burr and Kes as a tandem was rad as always. Shinkaruk to me was neither here nor there as far as being noticable. I saw some good things and some silly mistakes. I saw him as a strong skater, good with keeping the puck, but weak on retrievals. He also grinded and gave some good bumps.
Horvat, to me was more noticable. Same with Gaunce, Lain, Alberts, Corrado, and Lack
Its almost easier to tell you who stood out. And they were mainly the guys we all know so far.
Sort of speculated that the vets had liberties with playing the kids hard. Horvat stood out as being a guy who took it, whereas many of the rookies got shy if Hammer, Garry, Kes, Albie, Juice...started really stapling them to the boards and playing them hard.
Saw some vintage Burr. He curled in for a loose puck near the blue line, and burned in with a forward and d trailing (wasnt sure who they were), and executed to perfection his "go to":
Hammer seemed rusty or dazed. He skated well, but seemed clumsy with the puck at times. To be fair, i like him, so i was attentive to everything he was doing, including the lapses. BUT, he was great against the rookies against the walls. He was bumping/hitting, making good simple plays, and bailed out Corrado a few times (and vice versa too). Got some pucks on goal That Hammer thing he does, he did it.
Corrado was pretty rad. Total offense and a sound defensive game. Hammer and Corrado were sound at quick breakout passes. A good duo.
The vets were the only ones that could anticipate the Twins/Kass, same with the Kes line. Every d-kid got a very brief amount of thier shift with a d-man veteran. Juice, Garry, Hammer, Corrado, Albie all bailed them out of funny defensive lapses against Kes/Burr-Danny/Hank.
Admittedly i was looking at the vets and touted kids than say Santorelli.
But i can say this: the bottom 6 forwards in this scrimmage were just as fun to watch. They were givn'er. Chippy, interesting, quick; they were desperate shifts to impress.
I think Gaunce has a better shot of sticking than Shinkaruk. I think Horvat is a leftie handed tank version of Kesler, and wouldnt be out of place on a version of the 3rd line.
Same for Lain. Everyone had trouble containing him. He was a bit shy, but you could see some nasty in him. Wasnt as slow as i thought he has been purported to be.
Really loved what Albie was bringing. Maybe im biased, but if the final d-pairing requires a leftie, it should be Albie.
Believe it or not, i thought he was the most notable player who is on the bubble of sticking, playing well. He was virtually mistake free. Physical. Simple. Quicker. Would really love to see him stay.
Erikkson was an adventure. He got beat when he should not have. Five holes, high glove and blocker.
Lack was excellent.
After the scrimmage...there was a short break. New ice. Torts, Rollie, and most of the assistants were out on skates, along with group of players.
The vets that were back out were: Burr, Kes, Garry, Juice, and i think (i know im probably wrong), Alberts.
Notables were Hamill...and....ummm. Lack and Eriksson were back stopping.
Torts was loose with the players. Horns and whistles dictated the start and stop of a drill. After a brief skate around, Torts started the practice.
They were all specific drills.
I couldnt possibly tell you what they were. But i can quickly describe what i saw.
First 3 drills were all break-out drills along the boards, where all players rotated with quick first pass, breaking out of the zone plays.
Then it was passing. I cant describe the drill properly, but all uptempo skating (usually in duos) and quick east to west short passes and a shot on net.
Those were pretty much the only drills with the puck. Also there were no breaks or skatearounds. It was fluid, uptempo drills bleeding into one another except for maybe 2-3 quick breaks to instruct the next group of drills.
Then the nets were pulled up to the top of the slot. A stopwatch was brandished. And all players were grouped at all 4 corners (at one time they were all at center). And got their NHL/NHL future hockey butts kicked.
It was all hard skating. They were timed. The skating drills were a variation of a theme, all timed.
Kes and Burr were the best conditioned, same with Juice. Hamill struggled. Shinkaruk did too.
Interestingly, Kes was cheering on the kids urging them to skate more. Pretty cool.
They were totally worked on the skating. Holy crap, no joke.
After, Kes was to lead the cool down stretch but appointed Gaunce to lead instead.
That was pretty much it for me.
Sorry i couldnt give more info about the unfamiliar guys. Sometimes it was difficult to keep track of who we were sometimes seeing.
That was only a scrimmage/practice.
And it was exciting to see what could be, especially from the core, Lack, and a few kids that could easily stick.
Guess what i didnt see?
Risky shot blocking with the body.
Sure there were blocked shots, but most players seemed to be in sound position when playing well. and prevented point shots and low slot shots.
Edited by BedBeats™2.0, 14 September 2013 - 06:33 AM.