Despite Chambers reporting a scrimmage starting at 10:30 today, we instead got another morning showing of drills, followed by some specific 5-on-5 work, followed by a short scrimmage to finish it off. Today's post format will follow yesterday's with me just posting all my tweets from during the action as well as getting into some scrimmage specifics that I didn't cover on Twitter because my phone died (my bad). And we're off!
So.....exciting stuff so far. Nothing happening. Some clean ice, though.
Bordy wearing the 3rd orange jersey today. Looks like fan favorite Kobasew will be taking his place. Can confirm
@DarioinDenver is elated
Opening up with some drills. appears all players are accounted for.
Nothing of interest so far unless you count Quinn absolutey being our future head coach. More drills.
Sgarbossa's biggest asset so far remains his nose. Holy beak
Stastny line still rockin today. Parenteau and Dutchy struggling to click here. Kobasew pocket picked by Hunwick. Picked cleaaaaan.
How was Jamie McGinn on the third line in SJ? Seriously he looks phenomenal. Almost as good as Lindstrom last year
Barrie just took the body on Bordy. Seriously. These one on one drills have been dominated by the excellence of Matt Hunwick.
Defense largely dominated the one on one drills. Wilson got beat a couple times but nothing major. Hunwick dominated. DOMINATED.
2 on 1s happening now. As you might imagine, the offense is gettin some of it back. Bordy also appears to be a player favorite.
Sgarbossa playing with some confidence today. Goin for corners and taking the action to the defense.
Scrimmage time. About time Chambers was right about something. Hopefully its not the last time this season that happens.
So....not really a scrimmage. Five on five, though. Inch ever closer to chambers nailing a scoop
This herky jerky five on five so far has been...something. Sgarbossa really coming to life in this portion.
O'Brien is now sweating a sad face on his lower back. I feel like Dan Dierdorf for even noticing.
At which point my phone died, which means of course the "important" stuff started happening. The scrimmaging kicked off with the team's top two lines going against each other. The starting defensive pairs were the same ones we ended last season with as Hejda-O'Byrne and Wilson-Johnson took to the ice. Shortly after the pairings began lots of mixtures because of the odd number of defensemen in camp this year. The most consistent pairing that stood out was Hunwick-O'Brien, if only because Shane O'Brien had a god awful day of turnovers, being wildly out of position, and leaving poor Hunwick hanging every chance he got. Forward lines remained the same as yesterday, with Kobasew taking Bordeleau's place on the line with Olver and McLeod. Dario was not pleased.
Overall, the scrimmage was pretty herky jerky with semi-frequent interruptions from Sacco and lasted just about 20 minutes. It's very difficult to discern anything of real value but I know the hockey junkies will be happy with who looked good and who didn't so I'll just post some of my thoughts about the happenings of the day.
I really liked what I saw from Matt Hunwick today. Really liked it. He was skating well (big shock), moved the puck with confidence and even was able to hang on for dear life while O'Brien was doing everything to sabotage the pairing. His work in the drills portion of the session was exemplary and he shut down all comers in the one-on-one portion before surrendering a couple quality chances in the 2-on-1s. I know a lot of people, certainly myself included, were befuddled at the Avs bringing back Hunwick on a 2 year deal but he didn't look out of place at all today.
Greg Zanon again looked like quite the find in the drills portion and came crashing back down to Earth once the scrimmaging got under way. Zanon's beard has been the talk of camp so far but his work during defensive drills has also been quite impressive. Unfortunately, once the scrimmaging started and decision-making became a factor, some of the shine immediately came off Zanon. He twice decided to attempt to hold a bouncing puck in at the blue line with forwards putting heavy pressure on him and he misplayed the puck, leading to one 2-on-1 break against and one flubbed breakout attempt. I know he wasn't signed for his work with the puck but I'm looking for safer play than that from a guy with 56 points in 449 NHL games.
Michael Sgarbossa was a guy who had been wholly unimpressive during the drills portion of camp but when the scrimmage started, he kicked his play into a whole new gear. He showed some quality skating, an ability to play with the puck at high speed (both sending and receiving) and some creativity when faced with creating scoring chances on offense. I loved it. Personally, I don't think he's the guy for our current roster but I love the potential. I think he's positioning himself to be the first guy called up in case of a high profile injury but I think Mark Olver's versatility will keep Sgarbossa in the AHL for the beginning of the season.
I don't really feel the need to expand further on Shane O'Brien's day but I do feel the need to simply state it was a bad day for him. From almost hitting me driving to the arena to playing like dogshit, O'Brien should be thankful there's a few more days in camp to impress
I think if Gabriel Beaupre had been brought to training camp instead of Stefan Elliott, I wouldn't have even noticed. The guy has been invisible in drills aside from being yelled at by Zanon a couple times yesterday and once today and made zero impact offensively during the scrimmage. He made one sweet move with the puck behind his own net to get out of trouble and start a breakout but outside of that his lack of physicality remains but the aggression he needs to have with the puck has thus far been absent. It's still early but Elliott's showing so far is a bust, much like his AHL season up to this point.
I like John Mitchell. I can't stop seeing Dan Hinote every time I look at him but his game looks simple and efficient. For a guy with a specific role, that's exactly what I like. His work in drills was solid if unspectacular but his scrimmage work was enjoyable and you really got a teenytiny glimpse at what the Avs saw in him. He works hard, is active in the center of the ice, and was even a bit chatty with his linemates throughout, often taking the conversations to the bench. For a new guy acclimating to a new system and teammates, it's exactly what you'd like to see.
Jan Hejda is really good, dude. He's picked up where he left off from last year. His understanding of leverage is outstanding. So good. I'm expecting a great season from him.
Speaking of potentially great seasons, Jamie McGinn has been hands down the best player in camp in my eyes. He's playing with all kinds of confidence, scoring on both goalies with relative ease. He's scoring the kinds of goals you don't see from guys stashed away on third lines. If he and Stastny continue this play into the regular season, Pauly might finally score enough points in assists alone that people will finally see more than just a contract. McGinn looks like he might match last year's point scoring pace (which would be a 22 goal season this year...your move Jones).
That's all I've got for today. As always, with these guys standing out today, I'll try to keep an eye on some guys other than them in the coming days. Thanks for all the positive feedback on yesterday's notes. Many hearts to you, MHH readers <3