Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Camp 2009, Day 2
September 14, 2009
Groupings were mostly the same as yesterday. The only change I saw was Nathan Moon in Group B. (He was in C yesterday).
Also, due to there only being 5 goalies in camp, Brad Thiessen got tabbed for double duty today.
Group A had a short practice, then scrimmaged Group B. Group B had a longer practice (though they won; more on that in a minute), then Group C came on for their practice session.
Dan Bylsma was the first person on the ice this morning. He ran down the runway and exploded on to the ice. He got some cheers and applause, then gave a "hold on, I'll be right back" gesture. He darted back off the ice and ran right back out, eliciting an even larger cheer.
Before the first drill, Bylsma found Evgeni Malkin and the two had a conversation that lasted a lap-and-a-half around the ice. He did the same thing with Casey Pierro-Zabotel, though it was a much longer talk (about three trips around the rink).
Craig Adams was helping to explain the drills the some of the younger guys. He was often one of the first guys to go through them as well.
Ruslan Fedotenko appeared to take a puck up high and left the practice a few minutes early. Malkin and Adams followed him off. Not sure why.
They changed up how penalties work in the scrimmages this year. In the past, the fouled player was given a penalty shot, with the offending player chasing. This year, all penalties simply lead to an offensive zone faceoff. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter, but why do it that way? At one point, Eric Godard was in the offensive zone below the goal line, battling for the puck and he took a stick to the face. When the other team touched the puck, the whistle blew and there was a faceoff about 10 feet from where it happened. What's the point of that?
Brent Johnson played the first "half" of the game for Group A and Jordan Parise took the second. Thiessen started for Group B, and Marc Andre Fleury played in relief.
Group B on the scrimmage 3-0. The first goal got a big assist from the officials. Malkin broke into the offensive zone and stickhandled between 2 or 3 guys. As he went to shoot, he was tripped up. His shot went wide and there was no call, though he got up barking for one. The missed shot was a breakout pass of sorts for Jordan Staal's line, and they generated a really good chance on Johnson, who made a good save. He appeared to have it covered up, but there was no whistle so Pascal Dupuis took a couple of whacks at it and eventually put it in.
The second goal was scored by Robert Bortuzzo, who just hammed a shot through traffic past Parise. I doubt he even saw it. Matt Cooke was in the vicinity and might have tipped it, but everyone was congratulating Bortuzzo.
The third goal was an empty netter by Wade Brookbank. Malkin tossed his stick in a futile effort to stop it, but wasn't close.
The Staal line looked really good. Dupuis was everywhere. He looks to be a good fit. Cooke even had a breakaway early on, but Johnson shut him down.
Chris Conner was a lot faster in the scrimmage than he looks in drills. He blew by Mark Eaton and set up someone (Ryan Bayda?) for a tap in, but it was pushed wide of the cage.
Kris Letang was pretty good in the scrimmage also. He was very aggressive in the offensive zone, pinching down the wall to keep pucks alive. On one of those pinches, he had the hit of the game, I think on Bayda.
Malkin's line had it's moments, but they weren't as constant a threat. Malkin just looked like he was thinking "when can we play a real game?", especially after the non-call.
Before Group B started their drills, Moon and Keven Veilleux had to skate from goal line to goal line several times, and were being timed. Towards the end of them, Staal was smacking his stick on the ice and yelling at them to keep going. I noticed Veilleux spending a lot of time talking with different coaches in between his turns at the drills.
Eric Tangradi seemed to have a tough time getting the drills down early on. He got better as the practice progressed.
If Dupuis could shoot like he does against Fleury in practice, he'd be a 40 goal guy. He was picking corners all day.
Paul Bissonette had the same kind of thing going on during the Group C practice. At one point, I think he buried 4-5 shots in a row under the crossbar.
Alex Goligoski looks like he might have a little more on his shot than last year, especially the slapper.
At the end of the last session, the defensemen were lined up at the blueline. One of the coaches would fire a slapshot around the boards to them and they had to collect it, skate towards the middle, and shoot on net. Sidney Crosby decided to take a couple runs at it. Let's just say he's more dangerous from closer in. His blade did appear to have a light curve, but from my spot I couldn't be sure.
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