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Notes from today’s training camp practice (non-traveling team only) at Centennial SportsPlex:

* Dan Ellis looked sharp once again today, backing up his performance last night. The only knock on Ellis is that players kept picking their spots just above his shoulders, tucking pucks just under the crossbar.

* Ellis only allowed one goal during the break-in drill and it was to the first star of last night’s game, Colin Wilson.

* Jeremy Smith didn’t fare well today. He gave up some goals he’d love to have back and was out of position a few times as well.

* We’ve alluded to this several times but today was more pronounced than others. Jordin Tootoo, coming into his contract year, is trying all sorts of new things in camp. He’s trying to stick handle more, be more creative with the puck and just overall show off the flashier parts of his game. Well, things didn’t go so well today. He had an easy goal if he one-timed it but instead he played it cute and ended up corralling the pass by putting it between his legs and up to his stick, only to give goaltender Chet Pickard enough time to come across and make the save. Later, in a 5-on-5 offensive zone drill, he was set to stick handle around the boards and behind the net until the whistle blew, at which time the drill would start and players could begin moving to get open. The whistle blew but instead of finding an open player, he decided to make a quick move and then fire a shot himself. Dan Ellis made the easy save and the drill lasted about six seconds.

* Even when Tootoo was successful in his new creative endevours he was snake bitten today. During a 2-on-0 drill, he made a nice spin move to collect a pass from JP Dumont then waited it out until goaltender Dan Ellis committed. Ellis went down and Tootoo went up, only to ring it off the crossbar.

* Shea Weber made a nice move during the shootout drill but got absolutely stoned by the diving glove save of Ellis. It was the highlight of the day.

* The shootout drill is, by far, the most fun drill to watch. Six pucks were put on each blue line and the blue and silver teams each took the opposite blueline’s bench. They’d then go down the line, each player getting a chance to skate in and take their penalty shot on the goalie. The catch, however, is the skater must collect the puck after every save and put it back on the blue line before the next player in line could leave the bench. Whichever team scored all six pucks first wins. Good times, folks. Good times. (By the way, Joel Ward netted the winner for the blue team, which forced the losing team to do a couple laps).

It should also be noted that, in his post-practice interview, Head Coach Barry Trotz made some interesting comments. Seperate blog coming later today.



Returning Preds – Dan Ellis

“New” Preds – Robert Dietrich (for a kid we haven’t mentioned much, he had a solid practice positionally)



Jordin Tootoo (but not for a lack of trying)


PHOTO CREDITS: Jeremy K. Gover/