Saturday, September 20, 2008

08/09 training camp day 1: interesting

i skipped the group A morning session today, but attended the groub B skate from the comfort of the club seats. with my tummy full of free popcorn and hotdogs, i observed the following interesting items:

1. cammalleri - backlund - bourque
although rene bourque is listed as a left winger, he was playing the right side on a line with backlund and cammalleri, where the newly acquired #13 tried out the left. backlund spent the entirety of practice at centre. cammalleri has a mean slapshot that seems to consistantly end up just below the crossbar, and backlund is not afraid to get dirty in the corners... the only reason i think backs will return to sweden this year is purely because of numbers (we have far too many bodies). i think, skill-wise, he could probably make the final cuts...

2. prust - primeau - nystrom
an interesting combination that seemed to work fairly well, for the most part. i'm excited to see more of prust but i think nystrom's days might be numbered.... i would be perfectly content to see this threesome as the flames' fourth line, but i don't know what that would mean for bubble guys like moss, boyd & roy (etc).

3. moss - lombardi - boyd
i realize it's early days but i wouldn't be at all surprised to see this line stick. if cammalleri's gonna play left, however, i would actually like to see him sub in for ol' mossy, here.

4. sarich - regehr
even though aucoin and vandermeer were paired with rookies (pardy and pelech respectively), sarich and regehr were joined at the hip. i would be surprised to see this duo split up... reggie seemed to be having the most fun of everyone on the ice today; he and kipper had a pretty good laugh at one point, and he was smiling like crazy whilst chatting with cammo during the post-practice stretching....

5. baby flames
if it wasn't for kris chucko, i think aki seitsonen would have the dreamcrusher award in the bag... sure he's big, but he's also pretty much useles... john armstrong, on the other hand, is a few years behind, developmentally, but appears to possess a significantly higher ceiling. seems like the coaches saw it too, as he was playing today with greentree & germyn, while seitsonen was banished to the "kid's table" with pete vandermeer & dan ryder.

i can come up with all sorts of excuses detailing WHY, but the fact of the matter is that matt keetley looked a whole lot sharper than kipper today. yes, keets has been back on the ice for over a week. sure, kiprusoff probably takes it a bit easy in practice while keetley still has something to prove. i've been saying it for years and i'll say it again: matt keetley is GOOD. watchout mcelhinney... the fanattic probably hasn't started stitching #1 jerseys just yet.... ;) keets looked to pull something in a mid-practice drill, but stretched it out and never left the ice... hopefully all is well.

that's about it. i'll probably drop in a bit more through the week to see more of negrin, chucko & how bertuzzi's fitting in... i'll keep you posted.

my current prediction:

bertuzzi - langkow - iginla
cammalleri - lombardi - boyd
glenX - conroy - bourque (played RW today)
prust - primeau - nystrom

[moss / roy ]

regehr - sarich
phaneuf - vandermeer
giordano - aucoin

[warrener / eriksson] (*ugh)



Kent W. said...

Good stuff...

And Kipper has never looked good in the preseason (or the start of the regular season for that matter).

RobWoolley said...

wait a damn minute here, Eriksson? I hope his preseaon role was limited to ferrying water bottles and handing ice chips to Keenan.

Kent W. said...

Even the AI controlling my NHL 09 season in "Be a Pro" mode has Eriksson in the minors.

Anonymous said...

We need photos.. why the hell isn't anyone taking any this year??

Not saying you, but in general.

C'mon lazy fans

Anonymous said...

This Backlund shit drives me NUTS. If he's good enough, he should be on the team, period, and figure out a way to bury the losers. Christ, if they want to look inside the organization for prior usefulness of such a tactic, look at the best players on the team: Both Iginla and Phaneuf were "rushed" at that age, and things seem to have turned out fine there.

ngthagg said...

So what is Prust's appeal? He's clearly been picked to make the team this year, but I've never been able to find out why. What is he doing well?