Monday, September 19, 2011

Training Camp Scrimmage

This past weekend, the Wild held team scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday that were open to the public. I made it to the Saturday session, and I was able to watch most of Sunday's session on the Wild website. In the two scrimmages, just one goal was scored, and it was a Dany Heatley penalty shot goal. So here are my thoughts and observations from the scrimmages:

  • The Heatley-Koivu-Setoguchi line looked good for the most part. Their chemistry look good, and hopefully after a few games it can get even better. I noticed Heatley had more of a hesitation to shoot in the scrimmages, but I also think that should go away as the start playing actual games. I did take some video's of the top line when they were on the ice, but the shifts I got on tape, weren't anything special. So here is one of them.

  • Guillaume Latendresse looked very sharp in these two sessions. For one, he has slimmed down and has come into camp in very good shape. He showed good speed, and had a lot of jump in his strides. I can't remember a shift where he didn't make something happen for the positive. He will be a huge key for the Wild's success this season, so having him play like that is very big.
  • I payed a lot of attention to our young defenseman (Marco Scandella, Justin Falk, and Jared Spurgeon) during this session. They all seemed to do okay, but none stuck out as having a great scrimmage. I will give Scandella credit for a laser shot he fired on Saturday that hit the crossbar. Probably the best shot I saw all weekend.
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard looked outstanding in yesterday's session. He missed Saturday with a hamstring injury, but was back on the ice Sunday. And on top of that he was on the line with Latendresse and Matt Cullen, and that line looked as good as line 1 yesterday. As Michael Russo pointed out, having Gui and Butch back gives this team a different element.
  • I also payed particular attention to C Zack Phillips (Acquired in Setoguchi trade) this weekend. He didn't do anything that stuck out, but he had some solid shifts. It will be interesting to see how he handles being in camp with these guys at the age of 18.
  • Lastly, the teams only scored one goal in the two sessions. I didn't think it was a bad thing, but it is certainly not a good thing. My guess is that the players are still getting used to the new system, so as always, it will take some time to get used to. I think the goals will come in due time, but hopefully they can get that sorted out in the preseason.
  • The Wild open their preseason schedule Tuesday at Edmonton. No one on the top line will be traveling, but the Latendresse-Cullen-Bouchard line will be. I look forward to see them in a actual game. The Wild's first home preseason game is Friday vs Columbus.

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