Musings from the second day of training camp:
- Chad Thibodeau was playing defense during part of the practice but he is listed as a forward on the roster. Chad indicated after practice that he has played both positions in the past. Versatility has to be a benefit when trying out.
- Phil Fox participated in practice today for the first time. Nice to see him back on the ice. Stay tuned for more information.
- Heard two different comments about Jamie Schaafsma from fans. One thought he had bulked up in the off season and one thought he had lost weight. Asked Jamie and the answer is he reported to camp at the same weight as he reported last year. Must be the long hair he is wearing that causes different conclusions.
- They guys got publicity head shots taken today after practice by Americans official photograper, Kimberly Sauer. Her comment afterwards was, "Hockey players don't like to smile" and while I was watching there were few exceptions to this rule.
- The team dinner tonight is at 5th Street Pizza in Allen (75 & McDermott just inside Stacy Furniture Mall) and Tommy Daniels wants everyone to know they are invited to attend. A good way to mix with the players and support a great corporate sponsor. The team will be there at 6:00 pm.
Had a chance to get some quick comments from the coaches and here is what they had to say:
- There were less goals scored today than yesterday as I thought the goalie play was much better today.
- It was nice to have Phil Fox on the ice today and he looked good.
- There are still some excellent players available and I continue to talk to players in an attempt to improve our team.
- We will not release any players until after the scrimmage on Saturday.
- There are no immediate plans to sign a veteran with the one veteran slot we currently have available.
- I thought the Louisiana guys looked better today.
- Day one of camp is always tough as the guys have jitters and are used to playing shinny hockey so today they were asked to to have a little fun, pick up the intensity and be more competitive and I thought they responded well.
- If I had to name a player that stood out for us it would be Peter Cintala. He really looks good so far.
It is hard for most fans to attend practice during the week but plan on coming to the intrasquad game on Saturday. There should be publicity coming out with details but my understanding is doors will open at 2:00 for other activities and the actual intrasquad game/scrimmage will be at 4:00 and the skills contest will follow. It will be the last chance to see all of the guys in camp before cuts start. Remember, the final roster is due to the CHL by 3:00 pm on Thursday (October 17th).
With the emphasis this team puts on physical play and finishing checks it must be difficult to not have a preseason game to assess the hitting. I am sure the lack of a preseason game makes it more difficult for the coaches to evaluate this phase of the game. Some guys do better in practice and some do better in games. This intrasquad game may prove very interesting and the skills contest is something to look forward to.