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Training Camp Surprises So Far (If Any)


JamesB

Training Camp Surprises so Far  

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Okay, real Canuck hockey at last. Training camp is underway. Various issues have been discussed in other threads but I thought it would interesting to collect together any thoughts or comments about surprising developments.

 

I listened to the interviews of JB and WD to open camp and took a look at the initial lines on the first day. No big surprises but there were a few things that I think are interesting.

 

1. There is of course a lot of talk about JB naming Miller as #1 instead of saying the #1 position has to be earned given that Marky is obviously the guy on the rise and Miller is in the twilight of his career. JB softened his position a bit and says that how much playing time each gets will depend on how they play, but Miller still starts out as the #1 guy.

 

2. WD has changed his tune about Bo. Not only does he (and JB) see Bo as the natural successor to Hammer as a team leader but he also now expects Bo to play with Baertschi (and probably Hansen) on what is obviously a second line. (Willie said something to the effect that it doesn't matter which line we call the second line and which we call the third line, but that is just saving face for all concerned.) I think this is the right call but I was a bit surprised to see Willie say it.

 

3. WD named Tanev as a guy who can help on the PP, but indicated that Larsen will get a long look for the right point on the PP -- probably playing with 4 forwards. So obviously WD expects Larsen to be on the third pairing (having confirmed the expected top 4), presumably with Sbisa. And Larsen is apparently pencilled in for the first unit PP (and Tanev for the second). When asked about Trymakin, JB and WD were very restrained. I got the impression they were not impressed by his condition to start camp.

 

4. With a probable third line of Sutter, Burrows, and Rodin, and with Granlund, Dorsett and probably Etem likely 4th liners, Jake is going to have to work to make the team and could start in Utica. However, chances are someone gets injured before camp ends making room for an extra winger. (I think the 13th man will have to be someone who can play center, maybe Gaunce or one of the PTOs.)

 

All of this could of course change by the time preseason is over, but obviously WD and JB have been thinking things over during the summer and it is interesting (to me at least) to see how their thinking has evolved so far. It will also be interesting to see how training camp changes their thinking. But I am betting against a repeat of the Hutton situation, where a dark horse makes the team.

 

I would be interested in any other comments about surprises at the start of training camp.

 

 

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1) There's really no surprise there seeing Miller starting as the number 1, how well he plays will determine how many games he does play.

 

2) I'm excited with the idea of sticking Baertschi Horvat and Hansen on the second line to start the season. Should be a solid 2nd line scoring threat, and has the speed. If the line appears to be struggling say like after 25 games, WD can always stick Eriksson with the two and see if that gives Horvat and Baertschi a boost in offense since we know Hansen and the Sedins can click well together. 

 

3)  I won't be surprised to see Jake working his tail off during training camp and pre-season. Will it be enough to crack the top 9, we will see, however I won't be surprised to see him start the season in Utica where he can work on his offensive game playing meaningful minutes. I would rather see that than seeing him skating on the 4th line playing less than 7 minutes a night. Which makes sense why he's pencilled in with Zalewski and Cassels to kick off camp.

 

4) There's no surprise  with Horvat filling in the leadership void left by Hammers departure, and I think he's going to be a great leader especially with the younger players. 

 

5) It's only day 1 and  I expect to see quite the few surprising line combinations/developments throughout preseason.  

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The only thing I was surprised about was in that Linden interview at the charity golf tournament when he spoke about Gudbranson being the leader of the younger players on the team and that it might be difficult for a young player to connect with a 35 year old (they can respect them but maybe not connect on a personal level). I hadn't really thought about Gudbranson in that way before that but it makes a lot of sense. He's a very well spoken guy and at just 24 he shows very high maturity and leadership qualities. He hasn't even laced up his skates in a game yet and his leadership and impact on other young players is already being spoken about. Don't think Linden was speaking negatively about Henriks leadership but I think it was an honest statement and a true statement that I haven't thought about much. 

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4 minutes ago, DeltaSwede said:

The only thing I was surprised about was in that Linden interview at the charity golf tournament when he spoke about Gudbranson being the leader of the younger players on the team and that it might be difficult for a young player to connect with a 35 year old (they can respect them but maybe not connect on a personal level). I hadn't really thought about Gudbranson in that way before that but it makes a lot of sense. He's a very well spoken guy and at just 24 he shows very high maturity and leadership qualities. He hasn't even laced up his skates in a game yet and his leadership and impact on other young players is already being spoken about. Don't think Linden was speaking negatively about Henriks leadership but I think it was an honest statement and a true statement that I haven't thought about much. 

Henrik made a similar comment re leadership earlier in the month - he was talking generally and did not mention any specific player.  He was hoping for a young guy to step up to be brought into the leadership group because he and his brother are 36 and young guys also need their voice to be heard because they might not have the same view on things.  

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@JamesB  I had not seen a quote about Tanev being used on the power play???

 

I was surprised that Bo might play with Baer. Willie was pretty clear that he felt Bo's game was a defensive one first and foremost. And even though he liked Baer's defensive game? Thought Baer's core offensive talent went missing in that conversation. But that was all last year...

 

My own wish is for a Baer / Bo / Sutter second line.  Two dead plane ace defensive centres. One to take the right handed draws, the other the left.  With a speedy winger that has all the puck skill they might lack.  That's been shot down by CDC before. I don't care. I love my match up lines.  I reckon its a great idea.

 

Leaves Granlund to play offense with Hansen & Rodin.  A 4th line of Burr or Etem, Gaunce & Jake. Dorsett sits out & its not an issue because someone is inevitably not available.

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Vancourier.com(PITBulis) has an interesting article on this Rendulic kid. Only Croatian goin.

 

I'm quite intrigued by a number of names we'll have down in Utica. Significant turnover there. The farm has been a nice diversion these past few yrs, to stir in a little optimism, when required.

 

Recommended read.

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13 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Vancourier.com(PITBulis) has an interesting article on this Rendulic kid. Only Croatian goin.

 

I'm quite intrigued by a number of names we'll have down in Utica. Significant turnover there. The farm has been a nice diversion these past few yrs, to stir in a little optimism, when required.

 

Recommended read.

Rendulic is a high talent player. Just behind Rodin & Baer. Looked good in Colorado when I watched him.  Would not be surprised to see him get some games.

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benning, linden and willie have to be careful what they say, because the media and fans will twist what they say, to suit what they want to hear.  

they clarified the miller quote because some people thought that miller was washed up. everything has a natural progression. markstrom will take over at some point. 

people want willie to think and do what they want him to do. willie is a very good coach, that wants the players to succeed and he is trying to help to make that happen.

the lines will work themselves out. training camp is to try things. who knows what the lines will end up as.

i do like sutter as a winger/center with bo... strong defensive fellows. willie likes each line to have at least 2 good defensive aware guys on them.

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6 hours ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

Sucks to hear that Tryamkin isn't being talked about as a serious consideration to start in the 3rd pairing. Either management is oddly high on Larsen or doesn't have faith in Tryamkin

Tryamkin isn't competing with Larsen for a spot, he's competing with Sbisa. 

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9 hours ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

Sucks to hear that Tryamkin isn't being talked about as a serious consideration to start in the 3rd pairing. Either management is oddly high on Larsen or doesn't have faith in Tryamkin

My guess is they want to make sure he earns a spot.  This management has been fairly consistent in their words to make sure they don't gift players spots higher in the lineup.  From Horvat last year, to Baertschi in a top 6 forward spot, Markstrom as a co-#1 and Tryamkin in a top 6 defence spot this year, they don't promise young players spots before they have a chance to earn them.  Not sure if it's a respect to the veterans thing or not putting too much pressure on the young players thing.  Probably a bit of both I guess.

 

Bottom line, I wouldn't worry.  If, after exhibition games, Tryamkin is clearly in the top 6, I have no doubts he will be in the top 6.

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58 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

My guess is they want to make sure he earns a spot.  This management has been fairly consistent in their words to make sure they don't gift players spots higher in the lineup.  From Horvat last year, to Baertschi in a top 6 forward spot, Markstrom as a co-#1 and Tryamkin in a top 6 defence spot this year, they don't promising young players spots before they have a chance to earn them.  Not sure if it's a respect to the veterans thing or not putting too much pressure on the young players thing.  Probably a bit of both I guess.

 

Bottom line, I wouldn't worry.  If, after exhibition games, Tryamkin is clearly in the top 6, I have no doubts he will be in the top 6.

I feel that way as well, it does sound like they're gifting Larsen a spot vs making him earn it. I'm sure if Tryamkin shows he's ready he'll be it the lineup. Just more concerned that he didn't put in the time and effort this offseason for training and getting in shape and management has seen that.

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41 minutes ago, Ghostsof1915 said:

Any updates on Day 2 or was it a day off? 

Uh, today is day two and it's only 9:30 in the morning. We may have to wait a bit for some updates since practice just started an hour ago.

 

But we can't put much stock in the goings on of the first day of camp until we see more of the players and they have a chance to be evaluated. Line ups will change, players will shuffle around, and we'll start to see more as we get to day three and the intra-squad scrimmage.

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29 minutes ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

I feel that way as well, it does sound like they're gifting Larsen a spot vs making him earn it. I'm sure if Tryamkin shows he's ready he'll be it the lineup. Just more concerned that he didn't put in the time and effort this offseason for training and getting in shape and management has seen that.

Nucks are desperate for a mobile dman, so Larsen will naturally get the extra chance.  The other mobile dmen are waiver exempt.

 

There's been nothing tangible that suggests Tram is not in game shape.  Sbisa is the vet, so he will probably start off at the left side of Larsen.

 

Not to worry about Tram not making the team, as the Canucks will be carrying 8 dmen.  Biega is likely the odd man out.

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50 minutes ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

I feel that way as well, it does sound like they're gifting Larsen a spot vs making him earn it. I'm sure if Tryamkin shows he's ready he'll be it the lineup. Just more concerned that he didn't put in the time and effort this offseason for training and getting in shape and management has seen that.

That thought had occurred to me too.  Perhaps it's a case of Larsen being the older player.

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