2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

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2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby netwolf on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:11 pm

Gorilla fell asleep (again), so the report isn't on the reports page, but the direct link works:
http://letsgopens.com/camp_reports.php?id=77

Thoughts/questions welcome, as always.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Gaucho on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:14 pm

Cheers, netbot!
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby FallenHero96 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:30 pm

No Malkin yet I see.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Bowser on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:30 pm

The Penguins first "training camp" practice was held at Iceoplex in Southpointe to a standing room only crowd of NHL hockey starved fans. Players were welcomed to the ice with applause, of course, none louder than for team captain Sidney Crosby. The franchise center was absolutely flying on the ice today during drills. If today was any indication with what we're about to see, this is going to be a great season from Crosby.

While Crosby was blowing by defensemen, he was also buzzing shots high on Vokoun and Fleury. He was battling down low using that patented big butt of his to defend his position. During one sequence, he was along boards behind the net, got a loose puck chipped to his forehand, made a quick pass to a winger (Dupuis or Kunitz, couldn't see who it was) and then came around the net to get the return pass for the one-timer behind Fleury. That's why Crosby will play with Kunitz and Dupuis.

I thought it was great coaching by Bylsma and Reirden, if done on purpose, to get Simon Despres against Crosby on a few drills. I believe Despres needs to be challenged, which will increase his compete level and confidence. I thought he did well defending Crosby on the rush drills. His performance today is why I had Despres starting the season in the top six.

Each time I sought out to watch Eric Tangradi, it was disappointing seeing him slow down the pace too much skating into the offensive zone and taking too much time to get his shot off. He's going to get a shot to play with Malkin and Neal, it could be his last chance if he doesn't produce on that line.

If Tangradi's game is more along the boards and banging bodies, it is in total contrast to Jayson Megna and Beau Bennett. Both players are smooth skaters with quick shots. These two guys may not start the season in the NHL but after a week or two of disappointing performances by Tangradi and I think one of these two could move their way up the depth chart.

Glad to see Sutter anchor the third line with Cooke and Kennedy. I hope Bylsma is smart enough to leave enough alone.

I really liked what I saw from Tanner Glass, hustling, moving well, and after practice working against Crosby, Vitale, and others on faceoffs. I had no idea Glass would capable but at one point, he was dominating Vitale on the draws with Fitzgerald dropping the pucks. What a huge improvement of a roster spot over last season's Arron Asham!

Didn't really pay much attention to either goalie today as I was trying to watch the skaters and the different drills.

Watching the drills, didn't see a whole lot different than last year's strategy for breakouts or offensive zone faceoff. Did notice more forwards pushing back high off the draw to the center of the ice to get a pass from the right defenseman.

After drills were over, players listened to Bylsma and then raised their sticks to the crowd thanking them for their attendance and coming back after a lockout.

No Malkin today, I believe he'll be practicing on Monday. Because of that, Strait had to take a few shifts at forward during drills. I would take that to mean, he's at the bottom of the nine man depth chart on defense.

Forwards
Kunitz - Crosby - Dupuis
Tangradi - Jeffrey - Neal
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Glass - Vitale - Adams
Bennett - Megna- Strait

Defensemen
Orpik - Martin
Niskanen - Letang
Despres - Engelland
Lovejoy - Bortuzzo

Goaltenders
Fleury
Vokoun
Last edited by Bowser on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby netwolf on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:33 pm

Malkin was traveling back today per Shero. Will be at practice tomorrow.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby netwolf on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Good observations Bowser. You can be my wingman anytime. :fist:
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Tico Rick on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:38 pm

Thanks for the reports, netwolf and Bowser!
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:43 pm

Great work and thanks lads.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Bowser on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:43 pm

Net - Thanks to Judy and you for having me over. It kept me away from the "cold" and the parents telling their kids to yell, "hey, can I have your stick".
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Bioshock on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:46 pm

I'm still worried about Tangradi at this level. He would be the guy doing the forechecking on the second line if he were to be placed there. I just wonder if he has the speed to do that and keep up the pace with Neal and Malkin.

Still excited about Despres. Sure hope you are right though about him needing to be challenged, Bowser. If that's the case, he's come to the right place.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby largegarlic on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:52 pm

I've also wondered if Despres's reported struggles in the AHL this year are a product of his need to challenged. From what I've seen from him at the NHL level, it's hard to picture someone with his talent and composure on the puck being a healthy scratch in WBS. I could imagine that Despres thought he had done enough last season to make the NHL roster this year, and then having to toil away in the AHL with no end in sight might have been tough psychologically. I know we think most players shouldn't have this sort of reaction, but I can understand why some do.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby penny lane on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:55 pm

okay, now I believe penguin hockey is back... thanks Netwolf and Bowser.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Bowser on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:01 pm

Here's a picture of the crowd at Southpointe.

Image
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby DesertPenguin on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:38 pm

Even though I knew this camp was going to be short, it didn't register until now just how short it would be. Today was good for checking out individuals. Tomorrow, presumably, they will prep for the intra squad scrimmage, setting up lines and rehearsing things like power play, penalty kill etc. Wednesday is the scrimmage and Thursday they rest. Friday will be game prep for the season opener on Saturday. That's all there is.

There is no time, whatsoever, to experiment with lines. If Bylsma says Tangradi will be on Malkin's wing tomorrow, I believe that's where he will be to start the season, with Jeffrey either on the 4th line, or a healthy scratch, ready to jump in when/if Tangradi falters. Megna and Bennett are here to be evaluated in case we want to call them up during the season, but they don't have a realistic shot of starting the season in Pittsburgh. I predict they get on the same plane/bus home as the rest of the WB/S guys that come up to fill out the lines for the scrimmage, and head back on Thursday.

The coaches have some serious decisions to make on D, with very little time to do it. It looks like Letang, Niskanen, Martin, Orpik and Engelland are locks at 1-5. It looks like they are open to Despres sticking with the big club after pairing him with Engelland today, and it sounds like he played well. If he is still there tomorrow, that is telling. The Wednesday scrimmage should be really exciting, with 4 guys fighting for 2 spots on the roster, with the losers being traded, waived or sent to WB/S.

Guys that were there today - It sounds like Despres did well. What did you see from Lovejoy, Bortuzzo and Strait? Who has the inside track after day one?
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby Bowser on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:45 pm

- Really hard to evaluate Strait since he was taking shifts at forward, though that tells me he's at the bottom of the depth chart.

- Lovejoy looked ok, didn't really watch him much.

- Bortuzzo on a few drills, did well his lanky reach getting his stick in the lane to disrupt the puck carrier at the blue line.

Was talking with Netwolf about this, not a fan of Martin on the right side with Orpik.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby DesertPenguin on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:59 pm

Bowser wrote:- Really hard to evaluate Strait since he was taking shifts at forward, though that tells me he's at the bottom of the depth chart.

- Lovejoy looked ok, didn't really watch him much.

- Bortuzzo on a few drills, did well his lanky reach getting his stick in the lane to disrupt the puck carrier at the blue line.

Was talking with Netwolf about this, not a fan of Martin on the right side with Orpik.


Thanks. This is complete speculation, but I think Despres and Bortuzzo stay up, Lovejoy gets traded, and they roll the dice with Strait on waivers. If it is more or less a wash between Lovejoy, Bortuzzo and Strait, then Lovejoy will have the most trade value since he has a couple seasons of NHL experience under his belt. Strait stands a much better chance of sneaking through waivers, IMO.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby no name on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:07 pm

As always top notch report, both.
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby pcm on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:14 pm

Agree exactly DesertPen. Despres needs to be in the NHL right now. Strait will pass through waivers.

Nashville could certainly use some defensive depth. If wouldn't doubt if Shero get a 4th rnd pick for Lovejoy, as he did with Letestu last year.

Or maybe swap Despres for Gabe Bourque...
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Re: 2013 Training Camp, Day 1 thoughts...

Postby penny lane on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:19 am

Image

the new york rangers have been doing this all along, right?
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