I went into Day 2 expecting to be disappointed. After all, Day 1 was an utter surprise. We were only supposed to get 30 minutes of rookies doing some drills and we ended up with nearly 3 hours of rookies and "vets" (for lack of a better word), including over an hour of scrimmaging. Could today really meet up to that? In a word, yes.
Today gave us a half hour of rookie fitness and speed testing, a half hour of rookie and vet shooting drills and an hour and fifteen of scrimmaging. There were some media folk present today, including Peter Ruttgaizer of Altitude doing interviews. I heard McNabb was there although I didn't see him. Again, most of the Avs team was there. Still no Dutchy and today it seemed Hannan was missing as well, or maybe I just didn't notice him. lol.
Thoughts on player performances after the jump.Rookies:
In the speed and stamina drill (
red goal line to red goal line and back, timed), the following guys stood out...
Olver - he had amazing stamina (TWSS); the guy didn't slow down no matter how many times they did the drill and he pushed himself throughout
Colby Cohen - double threat...he had both speed and stamina (just keep the TWSS meme going...); he looked amazing and confident, strong
Shattenkirk - strong, smooth stride; stamina was just okay though as he slowed down as the drill went on
Holos - the guy was the best of the bunch; thoroughbred is the word I would use to best describe him - he had great speed, he pushed himself to both ends of the ice and followed through on his stride into the boards, he never slowed down; impressive
Luke (Sky)Walker - had the Force and knew how to use it (yeah, I went there) - the guy's fast...seriously fast
Gaunce - started out okay, would do great on the first leg down the ice but would coast the backend of the drill; not the way to impress your employers, dude
Hishon - slow and tired out quickly
Elliott - who? both yesterday and today, we had to remind ourselves he was even out there
Stephen Silas & Matt Ford - both were on their knees by the end of the drill, huffing and puffing like they were on the 1980 Olympic team just finishing up that shitload of Herbies. not good.
(After the fitness tests, we saw the "vets" head to the locker room after what looked like a gym workout and both groups then hit the ice for some shooting drills. Then it went into scrimmaging. The following summarizes observations from both.)
Colby Cohen - had a great day. He was positionally sound on both offense and defense, making some great plays to set up and break apart scoring ops, especially just inside the blue line
Shattenkirk - was okay today, neither standing out as he did yesterday but not sucking it up either. He showed moments of his strong skill set but made some "doh" moves as well. The big thing I noticed that I really liked, though, was his leadership coming through. During the drills, Quincey took once side of the ice with half the group on that rink and sent the other half to the other side. There was a lot of confusion at first and no one seemed to know what was going on. Shatty stepped up, clarified the drill and started running it.
Gaunce - he had a MUCH better day today. His positioning on D was superb and he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He had some brilliant poke checks that completely nullified beautiful scoring ops for the other team, including a few breakaway chances, and had some shots on net that looked sweet.
Maxwell (goaltender) - totally unimpressed. You can go home now.
Pickard - May I have some more, sir? Another phenomenal day. Boods' spot on the team is shaky, shaky, shaky once that contract is up. If an injury occurs and a call up is needed, I'm excited to see what Pickard brings at the NHL level. He was stopping Yip and Jones without blinking.
Olver - his passing ability is incredible and he has a serious scoring touch with this knack for being in the sweet spot...but so often it just DOESN'T click like it should. Hmmmm, Svats 2.0 anyone?
Zach Cohen - he had another good day, looking strong positionally and getting some good shots on net. I'm anxious to see what a year in Erie would do for him. I'm not up on that stuff, so what's his status? Does he go the the Monsters this season if he's not with the Avs?
Holos - had the best day out there, IMO. Still strong positionally, knows when to pinch in and when to stay back, nice outlet passes, good one timers (yeah, he's the one I'm rooting for, but based on the two day tally, he's the only one who's been solid in all areas both days)
Stoa - the man is a beast through the neutral zone and across the blue line. Don't get in his way or you're going to get mowed over. His shot looks good and he's strong on the puck. Just don't ask him to play defensively in front of the net cuz he doesn't know which end is up.
Jones - Dr. Jones is in the building! Holy crap, that wrister is MEAN! He was letting that thing fly left and right and I seriously felt pity for the goalies facing it. It was dead on balls accurate (it's an industry term) and it was hard and fast. (Told you, TWSS). He looks strong skating as well and had some fabulous chemistry with Yip. Third line anyone??
Harrison Reed - who? I dunno, but don't get in the way of his one-timers. They were hard and accurate. He had speed and creativity working through center ice and created some great scoring ops.
Quincey - as I said earlier, he was running the drills on one side of the ice. I see some leadership role being handed to him this season which will hopefully bring some BMF back. He was also acting like a bit of dick out there, totally trolling folks by letting slap shots fly hard and fast (and accurate) and kind of shoving guys around a bit. Not sure what that was about. FWIW, Gali looked annoyed and was being bitchy too.
Yip - he looked fantastic. He was blazing through the offensive zone, making great passes to set up scoring chances and/or take shots of his own, strong on the puck. Scared about a sophomore slump? From the looks of things today, don't be.
Mueller & his Muellet - he looked better as the scrimmage wore on, more comfortable. Not sure what to make out of him. Shows flashes of brilliance and then disappears.
O'Reilly - had the best passing out there. He was hitting the tape across center ice, from blue line to blue line at times, through a bunch of opposing players. The guy couldn't miss. His breakout plays were beautiful to watch. He spent most of his time being the set up man, but he did do some SLICK ass moves cutting in and around some guys a few times to get in on net to get a shot off. He looks confident and ready to play. He fell back to take over at D when Quincey left the ice at the end of regulation practice time and did an excellent job. Then, when everyone else left, he stayed behind to do some stick work and shooting practice, both for himself and the goaltender whom we think was Grahame (he was terrible and of a more mature stature so that makes sense.)
Winnick Winnik- Thank you, Phoenix. Keep sending your throw aways to Colorado, please. The guy was all over the ice in the best of ways. He got the sweetest shots on net of the day, was making killer defensive plays, was strong skating, got back on odd-man rushes to negate them, and looked like he was having the time of his life. He had great chemistry out there with the vets and rookies alike. And he stayed out there, practicing with Andy and taking direction from him for about thirty minutes after everyone else went home. I think he will make us forget that nothing else happened during the off-season.
Not too many of them out there. Sorry ladies. The best of the bunch is Colby Cohen....and that's by a wide margin. Michael Bournival comes in second with Jonas Holos taking third. Didn't really get clear pics of any of them, but I'll get the best I've got of Colby up as soon as I can (just for you Sandie!)
So that's it for today for the on-ice stuff. I will link to some videos and pics soon, but I wanted to get this up ASAP. Interesting tidbits for Day 2: I had a number of non-MHH regulars come up to me today and say, "You're Beachie, right?" It was very surreal and I'm not quite sure how to feel about that notoriety. Clearly, my reputation precedes me, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess it depends on which reputation that is! lol. Second tidbit: Bubblegum made an observation...as Liles came out for his warm up, Bubs noticed that he stopped right in front of us to do his stretching...as he did yesterday....and every other time Bubs and I have gone to games together and been there for warm ups. I considered it for a moment and realized that I cannot remember a time when this had not happened, even though I don't sit at the same spot around the rink each time. I laughed and said, "Tomorrow we have to see if he does it again." Bubs replied, "Hell no, I'm tired of seeing Liles' ass in my face." lol. He may have no choice because I think MHH has it all wrong and Hot Pocket is stalking ME, not the other way around. =)
Until tomorrow my lovelies~
Okay, some videos for you (I don't have a lot...I was watching more than filming, but you'll get the idea)...
Quick three on two scoring play:
Grey controlling the offensive zone for a bit:
O'Reilly doing a shooting drill after practice:
Dan Winnik doing a shooting drill after practice (with Bubs making commentary on Andy, lol):
Kevin Shattenkirk showing you how it's done when you're bored and have a few pucks laying around:
And some pics:
Speed/Fitness Test Pic #1 (don't ask who's in it...I dunno)
Speed/Fitness Test Pic #2
Holos in perfect defensive position (as usual) in one of the rookie/vets drills
Andy "taking a knee" with Winnik after their shooting practice at the end of the day
Colby Cohen...this one was for you, Sandie! ;-)
Damn, this turned into a long post. lol.