NOTES FROM PREDS CAMP: Day 2
- Updated: September 13, 2009
Notes from today’s training camp practice at Centennial SportsPlex:
* As expected, Captain Jason Arnott and newly appointed alternate captain Steve Sullivan spent most of their time playing with JP Dumont. It was the only forward line that was consistent throughout.
* Dan Hamhuis was paired with leading rookie candidate Cody Franson for most of the day. Seeing as how most other players were in a constant rotation, it’s very obvious the coaching staff was looking to see what the combo of Hamhuis-Franson would look like.
* During the second half of Group A’s practice, JP Dumont went wide enough to run into the line of players on the boards and seemed to favor his right leg immediately after. Then, after returning without a hitch, Dumont caught a rut in the ice behind the net during 2-on-2’s and fell on top of the net. Obviously all minor things but today was not a good day for Dumont.
* Newcomer Marcel Goc skated well with Joel Ward and Jarred Smithson in seperate drills. Ward and Smithson also skated well together in their own pairing so look for that to be an early line come pre-season: Ward-Smithson-Goc.
* Remember this: off-season acquisition Ben Eaves loves to shoot the puck. That is all.
* Ryan Suter, a player not exactly trying to make the team, was livid at himself after a bad breakout pass early on, taking his stick and slapshoting a puck nearby against the boards. His attitude is already in the right place and it’s only the second day of on-ice activity. Could be a great indictation of things to come this season for him.
* Dan Ellis made an absolute highlight reel-calibur save on a wrist shot by Cal O’Reilly in the first half of Group B’s session. A rebound came right on the tape to O’Reilly while Ellis was clear on the other side of the crease. Ellis dove across and snatched the wrister out of mid-air. The crowd gave him a well-earned rousing ovation as a result.
* Jordin Tootoo is making no secret about the fact that he’s in a contract year. He was toe-dragging the puck and stick-handling all over the place. He even tried to duplicate this move by Pavel Bure but Ellis said no. All of his creative endevours didn’t find much success though. Obviously it’s only day two so it stands to reason that he’ll improve as he goes along but it’s very interesting to see what he thinks he’s going to bring to the table this year.
* David Legwand skated pretty consistently with his regular season linemate Martin Erat as well as center-turned-wing Mike Santorelli. Legwand, however, looked out of sorts quite a bit. He needs to get his legs back under him in time for the season otherwise it’ll be another slow start for the Preds first ever draft choice.
* Good news for Preds fans: Erat looks poised to return to his prime. He skated extremely well today and scored two amazingly precise goals on Ellis during the 2-on-2 drills.
* A name you won’t hear much (unless you’re in Milwaukee) is Andreas Thuresson. It’s worth noting that he displayed a wicked wrist shot in day two. Unfortunately, that’s about all he put on display.
* As far as the rookie group goes (Group C), there isn’t much to report other than 2009 1st round pick Ryan Ellis scored a great goal that showed a veteran sense of patience. During the 2-on-2 drills, he carried in from the blue line and wound up. Using the other player as a decoy, he held his wind-up until he was roughly a yard in front of goaltender Jeremy Smith. Both defensive players had cheated to the decoy so he finally put his stick down and slid it by the near post for a goal. The crowd offered up their 2nd, and final, cheer of the day.
DAY 2 STANDOUTS:
Returning Preds – Jarred Smithson, Joel Ward (when skating with Smithson), Dan Hamhuis, Dan Ellis and Martin Erat.
New Preds – Marcel Goc and Ben Eaves.
DAY 2 DUDS:
David Legwand and Cal O’Reilly.