Good Morning, hockey heads – it’s day 2 of Wild training camp…
I probably should note that a typical NHL training camp has 50-60 players and the Wild are no different. There’s a wide assortment of skaters here – everyone from 33-year-old Jed Ortmeyer to 18-year-old Tyler Graovac to all the regular Wild “stars”.
Mike Yeo and his staff have broken down camp into 3 groups: A, B and C (which is comprised mainly of tryout players and prospects that will return to the major junior ranks).
Each morning, Group A has a video session and an 0ff-ice warm-up followed by a 50-minute practice, all prior to the scrimmage against Group B. Group B then practices following the scrimmage, then Group C hits the ice. Tomorrow, the “playing team” in the preseason opener will hit the road for Edmonton in the afternoon, while the non-playing group will stay in St. Paul.
As for today’s scrimmage, another great crowd was on hand – better than yesterday’s 2,000 followers. Not too shabby considering it’s a Sunday with both the Vikings and Twins playing at home. Speaking of the Vikings, I’m headed over to the game with Aeros’ President David Burke following today’s scrimmage – pretty pumped.
The only goal scored in today’s scrimmage came off the stick of sniper Dany Heatley, he scored on a “penalty shot” (awarded instead of calling a two minute infraction). Heatley beat Matt Hackett five-hole for the lone tally in the two days worth of scrimmages. There were two, 25-minute halves played today – the same setup as yesterday.
Couple quick notes from today:
- Colton Gillies was impressive again – he and his line mates Brad Staubitz and Eric Nystrom look comfortable already
- Goaltender Dennis Endras looks really solid and may not head back overseas after all…I thought he’d go to Europe with Hackett and Darcy Kuemper slated for Houston, but I don’t think that’s set in stone quite yet.
- Today was a much more physical and chippy scrimmage…Matt Kassian took a healthy swipe with his stick blade at Brett Bulmer after Bulmer smashed him into the boards.
- There were a few drills that looked a little sloppy this morning with Group A on the ice – my guess is some of the veteran guys will need a couple days to get used to the new coaching staff’s drills, terminology and expectations.
- Scott Burnside from ESPN.com took in today’s skate / scrimmage. Guessing he’s on his tour of training camps in preparation for the upcoming season.
Check out aeros.com for some audio interviews from the weekend…I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick update before I head back to Houston.
– Aero Joe