Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Camp 2009, Day 3
September 15, 2009
As I posted earlier this morning (http://www.letsgopens.com/scripts/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39688), all of the groupings changed today, with Group A being the lineup for tonight's exhibition game against Columbus:
Group A had a relatively light practice as you might expect going into a game tonight. There wasn't a lot of contact or hard skating.
Robert Bortuzzo was sporting a full shield; not sure what happened. He was having some trouble passing off his backhand side, though I suppose that could have just been trouble adjusting to the shield.
Sergei Gonchar spent a few minutes talking with Simon Despres at the end of practice. It's kind of remarkable how Gonchar has gone from a scapegoat over his first few seasons here to one of the most important guys on this team.
Sidney Crosby and Dustin Jeffrey practiced faceoffs against each other. The first time through Jeffrey was dominant. Crosby of won a few. Tony Granato gathered up more pucks and the two went at it again, switching sides. That time Crosby was better and the battle was pretty even.
Kris Letang was taking a breakaway drill and roofed a shot under the crossbar and past Brad Thiessen, which not only popped the water bottle off the net, it broke the lid completely off.
Tyler Kennedy seemed to have a little extra hop today, like due to him being back at center.
Jordan Parise and John Curry played the entire scrimmage. Parise looked really good, robbing Luca Caputi on more than one occasion. Curry was okay; not bad, not good.
More changes to the scrimmage format; Dan Bylsma was on the ice the whole time, talking to players throughout. He also introduced special teams work. Each team skated 5-on-4 once per period and the final 90 seconds or so was played 4 on 4.
The first shift of the game Evgeni Malkin showed some pretty good chemistry with Caputi. Each of them had a real good scoring chance on their first trip into the offensive zone. A couple of sharp save by Parise on Caputi and the net coming off as Malkin ripped a backhander under the crossbar kept them off the board. The two of them, along with Matt Cooke, looked good all game. An odd note was that Cooke was taking the majority of draws, not Malkin.
Lane Caffaro scored a goal from the left wing circle for group B to open the scoring. Keven Veilleux took the puck to the net. Aaron Boogaard picked it up and fed Caffaro in the left wing circle, and he fired it into a virtually empty net. John Curry had gotten tangled up and never got over to attempt a save.
Letang was once again very aggressive offensively in this game. He was leading rushes more often than some of the forwards and was pinching down the wall to keep pucks alive. I don't recall seeing him get caught out of position by doing so.
Nick Johnson scored two power play goals and Group B would go on to win 3-0. On his first goal, he screened Curry as a Kennedy shot came in. He may have even tipped it as it passed by. He spun off a defender, collected the rebound and put it in. His second goal was off a nice cross-crease pass from Bill Guerin.
Wade Brookbank left midway through the scrimmage and did not return, nor did he practice with the rest of Group C.
Group C practiced with Curry as the only goaltender, but about 2-3 drills in Brent Johnson came out for some extra work.
During a 1-on-1 drill with Brooks Orpik, Malkin appeared to lose an edge and went hard into the boards. He was slow to get up, but finished practice without any apparent issues.
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