Day #5 of camp, tomorrow the players will finally get a break as no practice is scheduled for Wednesday, they return to the ice on Thursday.
9AM-10AM: Today I sat at practice rink #3 (The Kostitsyn group). Dagenais is the first player on the ice and he spends about 10-15 minutes skating around and practising his shot, luckily no goalies were on the ice at the time. When the rest of the group hits the ice I see that the spelling on Kostitsyn’s jersey has changed from “Kastsitsyn” to “Kostitsyn” , its about time, Andrei is also without his translator/agent for the session today, as he had other clients to attend to.
The first drills of the session were the regular skating drills, Kostitsyn had a few problems with these drills, it was either because of the lack of a instructions-translation or it could of been Kostitsyn simply stumbling on his own, either way, even when Kostitsyn’s skating falters he still looks more smooth then the other players.
The next drill was one that I hadnt seen in a couple of days, the one on one “fight for the lone stick drill” where the players both began on their stomachs holding onto one stick between them. Chipchura faced off against Bonneau, the matchup was very even between the two strongmen with neither holding an edge. Kostitsyn then took on Cote, and Cote scored a victory, Cote later beat Bonneau, Cote looks like one of the stronger (strength-wise) players at the camp. O’Byrne went against Chipchura and Kostitsyn vs Korpikari, both matches ended in draws.
10:30AM-12PM: For the late-morning drills Kostitsyn asked Chipchura for help explaining some of the coaches instructions, Kyle was more then happy to do so, although I’m not really sure how much english Kostitsyn knows or how Chipchura was able to explain the drills. Kyle must have used a lot of hand signals. Today was not one of Kostitsyn’s better days at camp, he mishandled a few pucks, he made a few sloppy passes, and a lot of his shots were off target, plus his defensive play during the 3 on 3’s is horrible he’s very lazy on defense and a whole other player on offense. I would love to see Kostitsyn in a game situation as I’ve heard that he’s s a completely different player in games then he is in practices (not the defensive part).
Now onto the others players who impressed me today. I’d have to say Jonathan Ferland looked good, he let off a couple of rocket shots during the practice and scored a few goals during the drills, Locke had another strong day, along with Danis, I could name a few other players, but I’ll stop there.
J-P Cote: Big strong kid, he can overpower other players, he is tough to move when he plants himself on the ice. He has a very good point shot, he keeps it low and shoots it hard, he is an average skater. He is Hamilton property, it will be interesting to see if Montreal offers him a contract.
Maxim Lapierre: He’s a very hard worker, and a quick skater, his feet move very fast. He has a nice quick shot. Maxim is a agitator/pest type of player (but with skill) , so he has not had the chance to show off all his talents at this camp yet.
My Forward Rankings
Kyle Chipchura may end up being the better player, but Corey Locke is having the better camp. The Canadiens are deeper at centre then any other forward position at this camp.
Lambert and the Stewarts have all had respectable camps, I feel that Lambert has been the most consistent of the 3. Bonneau is a step behind them all.
No doubt who is #1 here Kostitsyn has easily been the top RW, #2 was also an easy call, the tryouts fill the last 2 spots.
After the practice ended I again waited as the players filed out the building onto the bus, later I chatted with Mike Wyman, Dan Linn and the father of Chistopher Heino-Lindberg, Lindberg’s father had a lot to say, but I’ll let Dan fill you in on the details when he returns home. See you on Thursday!
Players doing push-ups
Korpikari and Bonneau
A staff pic