Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Rookie Camp 2006, Day 2
September 10, 2006
Today's practice was split up into three portion. Drills, 4on4 scrimmage, and skating drills. Everyone took a break between the drills and the scrimmage while the ice was resurfaced.
First they warmed up with a drill they used yesterday. A group of 5-6 players would all take a puck and skater around center ice, darting in and out, avoiding each other and the coaches.
They did some basic passing/skating drills where one player heads up ice, takes a pass, skates in and shoots from 15 feet or so.
Then the coaches gathered the players around and formed them into two lines about 4 feet apart. Then they had Jordan Staal skate between the lines as everyone got to take whacks at him. Happy Birthday Jordan! =)
The next drill split up the guys into two bunches at either end of the ice. A coach stood on the boards even with the faceoff dot. The players lined up on either side of him along the boards. The coach threw a puck out and the high guy tried to get it and score and the low guy tried to beat him to it and defend.
They ran a 1 on 1 drill out of the corner where the attacking player had go turn a couple of times before trying to work out for a shot on goal. There were a couple of other 2 on 1 drills and 2 on 2 drills as well.
At separate parts during the drills, both Joe Jensen and Moises Gutierrez left the ice with leg or knee injuries. Jensen was pushed into the goalie and net by Welch and Gutierrez got caught along the boards. Jensen was back out for the scrimmage. I don't think Gutierrez was.
At different parts during the session, the following players came out of the locker room to watch: Sidney Crosby, Ryan Malone, Libor Pivko, Brooks Orpik, possibly Jarko Ruutu, and Ryan Whitney, who today, earned the nickname "Socks." Once I have the pictures up from today, you'll understand why.
The scrimmage wasn't much to watch unfortunately. It wasn't that competitive; the intensity wasn't there. Maybe it was because of the 4 on 4, maybe it's because a lot of these guys know where they stand with the organization already. I don't know.
The two things that stuck out during this scrimmage were Patrick Ehelechner getting beat on a slapshot from center ice and Kris Letang schooling Gabriel Bouthillette on a breakaway move that many forwards in this camp couldn't pull off.
Video of Letang
I think the scrimmage ended in a tie, so they went to a shootout. After everyone from both sides was done, it was still tied I think and a few more players went from either side until it was done.
Once this was done, they were turned over to Besa Tsintsadze (skating coach) again. He took it a bit easier on them today, but one drill called for them to pivot backwards, drop to one knee, then the other, then pivot forward and finish. Once all the drill were over, he did another demonstration where he stepped on a puck with one skate, pivoted backwards, and did all kinds of turns and twists, basically on one skate. The speed at which he did this, switching from inside edge to outside, and then back was amazing.
Some random thoughts:
Evgeni Malkin's skating was every bit as impressive as yesterday. His acceleration is going to make it very tough on NHL defensemen. He's showing that he already knows how to use a change of speed and that's the key. He did seem to be fighting the puck a bit. On both of his shootout attempts he lost the puck and didn't even get a shot off. His passes were off and the shot didn't seem to be going exactly where he wanted. At times, he seemed a bit frustrated. At the end of practice, he got another ovation and turned to acknowledge everyone again.
Jordan Staal looked better today. At one point in the 2 on 2s, he surprised the defense with a nice move and a burst that I didn't know he had. I still don't think he's ready for the NHL though. His skating needs to improve, but I think he knows that and will get it taken care of in time.
Noah Welch was the same solid defensive player he was yesterday. He matched up on Malkin a few times and did very well.
Patrick Ehelechner had another sub-par day. Hard to tell if the knee is still a problem, or if something else is going on.
Daniel Fernholm will need to upgrade the speed he plays at if he ever wants to stick at a level above Wheeling. He skates slow and takes a long windup on his shots. A good forechecker would cause all kinds of trouble for him right now.
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