9:00AM: The first practice begins, I goto rink #3 and find only 14/25 prospects on the ice, I’m not sure where the other 11 are, but I did not see them on any other rink (I lated found out that they were on rink #2) . The group of 14 includes all 4 goalies, Corey Locke, Mark Flood, Greg and Danny Stewart and a few others, Kostitsyn and Chipchura were not in the group.
The group started off by doing a drill which involved 2 players fighting over 1 stick (a player on either side, each holding onto the one stick). Locke faced off against Flood, they had a few great battles with neither of them getting a big edge. For the most part everyone did well on this drill, with nobody standing out. The next drill involved an elastic rope which was tied to the bench, the players get tied to the rope and have to skate away from the bench as far as they can on the rope. Again everyone did well in this drill, Locke showed a lot of leg strength, Flood fell on his behind after tripping over the rope on the way back to the bench, but it was just an accident. As for the goalies, Danis performed very well, he’s a very good skater, Lacasse had the most trouble with the rope.
The next drill also used the rope, but this time it was tied between 2 players, with one player pulling with the other was being pulled. The tandem of Flood/Locke (they were always partners) were the stars of this event as they “won” every race against the other tied-twosomes. The slowest players in this drill were Greg and Danny Stewart.
The practice ended at 10am, no pucks were used during the entire practice, I did not recognize who was coaching this practice, the only coach I recognized was Rollie the goaltending coach.. The standout of the hour was Corey Locke, he’s putting in a great effort into this camp.
10:30AM: Rink #1. The 2nd practice of the day, now all 25 players are on the ice. Doug Jarvis instructed this practice, the practice went almost exactly the same as yesterdays one, he started the players off by making them do laps around the ice, first forwards then backwards. After the skating, the players split into groups of 2 and practiced one on one’s, one player with the puck attempting to get by the other, Kostitsyn squared off against his translator for some reason.
Next the players went up against the goaltenders in different situations (2 on 1’s, 3 on 2’s, etc) . Kostitsyn scored a beauty goal on Danis high blocker side off the backhand, Locke also had a very nice goal. On the defensive side Archer showed his physical side when he was able to, and did not back away from a chance to rub out a player along the boards, Archer’s does need to improve his stickhandling. Ryan O’Byrne also showed a tough “mean” side to his game, on one play he shoved his glove into Greg Stewart’s face as Stewart tried to get by him.
The top performers of the practice in my opinion were Kostitsyn, Locke and Larivee. Yesterday Kostitsyn said that he was only at 40% , well today he upped it to 50%, yesterday Andrei had trouble finding the back of the net, today everything he shot went in, its scary to think how good Andrei will be at 100%. Locke stood out again today, its obvious that he knows he needs to work harder then everyone else because of his size, Locke is a very determined player. Larivee was also strong today, his skating, shooting, passing was above average, but Larivee has been to this camp more then once before.
Day 2, like Day #1 had no scrimmages. I hope that in the following days the players scrimmage, as I would like to see how they perform in game situations.
My goaltending rankings
1a)Yann Danis: Very quick reflexes, good positionally
1b)Heino-Lindberg: Good technical goalie, always in the right positions.
2a)Halak: Unorthodox style, but he has the talent
2b)Lacasse: Looks a step behind the others.
The group of 25 listening to Jarvis
Lindberg and Melanson talk as the coaches look on
Chipchura and Heino-Lindberg