My thoughts on the small bit of training camp i got to see on Friday (just session 2):
- Players were skating hard out there. Even captain Jason Arnott hit the deck more than once as things got physical and fast-paced out there. I think he was skating harder than almost anyone else on the ice. He was talking with other players, but wasn't goofing around as much as i saw him doing it last year. He was there to lead. The Captain Has Arrived. Love it.
- Nolan Yonkman doesn't stand out as the beast he did last year. I think he may have trimmed down and gotten a little faster, but i think it's mostly that this team is much, much bigger overall than last year's squad.
- Barry Trotz is much grayer this year. Not sure if he went gray over the summer, or just stopped using Just For Men. Probably a combination. Either way, he somehow looks both tougher and wiser. Good leader for a more
blue-collar* scrappy, physical team.
- I agree with what has been said elsewhere. We have some canons on our team. Tootoo, Weber, and Radulov were shooting often and shooting hard.
- Rinne impressed me. Not that i am an ultimate judge of goalie talent, but he was moving quick, confidently, and was rarely out of position. I was concerned that he would be rusty given how little he has played over the last year, but he looked good. We'll see how he looks in a game or even scrimmage, but i'm already feeling better about our backup situation.
Lots more pictures and videos to come. I'm also going to the session tomorrow and am going to do everything i can to catch the scrimmage. Ah...to see something even resembling a hockey game again! Game On!
* Note to sports writers about the term "blue collar". Do you know any hockey teams that wouldn't describe themselves as a "blue collar" or as a "lunch pail" team? I don't think there are a lot of hockey teams vying for the title of "most likely to try to avoid sweating", "pampered", or even "smarter not harder". Being tough and hard-working is kinda the over-all ethic of pro-sports in general and particularly hockey right? I think more specific terms like "scrappy", "efficient", or "punishing" could apply in some cases, but "blue collar" is by far the most overused description i've been reading in pre-season write-ups around the league. Cut it out.