NOTES FROM PREDS CAMP: Day 12…

Notes from today’s full team practice at Centennial SportsPlex:

* Before the team took the ice, Wade Belak and Joel Ward did a light skate to stretch their groins with Strength & Conditioning Coach David Good. Colin Wilson was held out of the light skate.

* Francis Bouillon skated with the team today.

* The jersey color breakdown was as follows today:
WHITE – Jason Arnott, JP Dumont and Steve Sullivan
GREY – David Legwand, Martin Erat and Mike Santorelli
YELLOW – Ryan Jones, Patric Hornqvist and Marcel Goc
POWDER BLUE – Ben Guite, Jerred Smithson, Peter Olvecky and Nick Spaling
RED – Cal O’Reilly, Triston Grant and Jordin Tootoo
PREDS BLUE – all defensemen and goalies

* Cody Franson was back on the ice today. It was good to see him out there at least being able to try and earn a roster spot. It’s got to be tough when you’re in the running for one of the open spots and you get hurt early in camp and are forced to watch from the sidelines. (EDITORS NOTE: He may have been on the ice on Wednesday but section303.com wasn’t there to cover it so this is the first time we’ve seen him practice since the nose injury)

* Bouillon showed off his wrist shot today, tucking it under the crossbar several times.

* In succession, Bouillon, Santorelli and Alexander Sulzer all scored glove side on Dan Ellis during breakaway drills.

* Defenseman Nolan Yonkman really put his best foot forward on what is probably his final day of Predators camp. Solid breakout pass to Legwand early in the day, a hard wrist shot that barely missed and then an aggressive play on Tootoo during the 3-on-2’s. It was basically an unnecessary way to play defense at that moment but it just strengthened the case that he left everything out there today.

* Erat scored a soft goal by squeaking it under Ellis’ left pad as he went down. Ellis would love to have that one back.

* Teemu Laakso took a slapshot from above the face-off circles and it went over Ellis’ glove side shoulder. Not a good day for him today.

* During 1-on-1’s, Arnott broke in and waved off Dan Hamhuis as if to say “let me try something here.” Hammer peeled off, letting Arnott have a clear shot at the net. He deked Ellis and then lifted a backhand – from an impossible angle, mind you – but it glanced off the crossbar and out. Everyone laughed when the captain threw his head back as if to say “you’ve gotta be kidding me!”

* Franson, in one of his first great plays of camp, cleared a bouncing puck off the goal line behind Ellis to save a goal.

* What a sensational goal by O’Reilly during 2-on-0’s. Truly his first play that could be deemed “amazing” of this training camp.

* Ellis made a pretty routine glove save but then fell onto the ice and held his glove straight up in the air in a faux-celebration of a big stop. Almost as if to admit he’s had a bad day.

* Hornqvist, the most snake-bit of all the young Predators, had a gorgeous goal. He broke in on Ellis, deked like he was going left, Ellis bit, and it was only as the puck slid over the goal line that you realized he never stickhandled. As he deked left, the puck stayed the course and just slid in untouched.

* The final drill of the day was the “2-on-2+1.” A drill that puts the goals on each side of the offensive zone (against the boards), stick one player who’s only allowed to pass the puck in each corner and then have two players play against another two players, until the whistle blows which signifies four different players rotate in. During that drill, Grant scored the first goal on a pretty wrist shot he roofed against Ellis.

* Later in the drill, Sullivan (who was one of the passers in the corners) fed Santorelli who was all alone in the goalmouth. When he tried to one-time it, his stick broke in half and Sullivan immediately flexed.

* Grant scored again in the 2-on-2+1’s but it was waved off by Trotz because Tootoo was laying in the goal.

* Also during the 2-on-2+1’s, Laakso and Legwand were fighting for a loose puck on the blueline and things got a little out of control. Laakso seemed to have Legwand in a headlock but when Legwand went to get away, his helmet got pushed off and Laakso ended up high-sticking him in the face. Despite going straight to the bench area where there was a trainer standing-by, he took it pretty well, skating out to his teammates in an effort to find out who he was tangled up with. Once he identified the culprit, he skated over and bear-hugged him from behind and talked some trash…  in a good way.

* This was O’Reilly’s best day of camp so far. It’s too bad it’s late in camp because what he showed today was that he’s gotten his game back on track. He was moving off the puck extremely well, had some nice shots – including that highlight goal earlier – and even got to show off his creativity a little. Something that had been severely lacking until this stage of camp.

* Trotz on O’Reilly: “Cal hasn’t had a good camp and if you talk to Cal, he knows that. The compete level wasn’t where it should be. Cal’s very talented, he’s got great vision and he’s going to get another chance to prove himself but it gets tough when you don’t get off to a good start and there’s not a lot of games and there’s guys really competing for jobs. I think coming out of the first part of camp, Cal’s behind a lot of guys because he’s compete level wasn’t where it should be. But, since we’ve had a talk, his compete level’s been very high, his attention to detail’s been very high and his ability is starting to show again.”

* Trotz on Goc: “He’s had a really good camp. I see him fitting in as one of our four centermen. Marcel’s been a really good player for us in the exhibition season. You can tell he’s played at this level. Pretty good draw guy, responsible and he has a little more offensive side when he’s been put in that role.”

 

DAY 12 STANDOUTS:

Cal O’Reilly and Francis Bouillon

 

DAY 12 DUDS:

Dan Ellis (but was in a good mood while having a rough day so that’s actually a good sign)

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PHOTO CREDITS: Jeremy K. Gover/section303.com