On Saturday, the Bolts started their 2009 -2010 training camp. Yesterday, my brother and I, made it out to catch some of their practice. Here are some observations we made.
YAY!!! Hockey is back!! ……sorry..I had to get it out
The practice that we saw included a scrimmage. The lines looked something like this…
Vinny Lecavalier, Alex Tanguay, and Carter Ashton. My brother and I think that they are auditioning the young first round pick on this line, while they also could be considering Steve Downie for this line as well. The young kid played well during the scrimmage, fighting for the puck, and completing some nice passes. It seems like Vinny and Tanguay are comfortable playing with each other. I don’t want to take back everything I said about the Tanguay signing yet, but he looked good, scoring one of the goals during the practice game. He is absolutely a better skater than Vinny Prospal was!
Line 2 included Marty St Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Malone. We have renamed Stamkos “40″ for the season. That is the number of goals that he will be scoring this season. Mark it down. “40″ also had one of the goals during the scrimmage. This line is going to be exciting to watch this year.
Line 3 was Adam Hall, Ryan Craig, and Stephane Veilleux.
Line 4 was Radek Smolenak, Juraj Simek, and James Wright.
Being that it is just the start of training camp, we are positive that these lines will look completely different. Jeff Halpern and Todd Fedoruk were both not on the ice while we were there. They will most likely make up line 3. Also not dressed while we were there were Martins Karsums, who the bolts just resigned, as well as Paul Szczechura and Zenon Kenopka. It’s early but I’m gonna say line 3 looks like Halpern, Fedoruk, Craig, and line 4 looks like Veilleux, Hall, and Karsums.
The Defensive pairings changed alot while we were there as well. Dressed were Matias Ohlund, Paul Ranger, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Lundin, Ty Wishart, and Vladimir Mihalik. First round pick Victor Hedman came out of the tunnel to watch some of the practice. He was sweaty so he was probably practicing with the group that was on the ice before we got there. Everyone looked OK. Nothing spectacular. Ranger had a few good plays during the scrimmage. Mihalik got scored on, and as always, looks extremely awkward on skates.
Goalies during the practice were Mike Smith and Antero Niitymaki. They both looked pretty good. Its hard to judge goalies during stuff like this because they never seem to be trying too hard, and their teammates aren’t shooting full speed on them either. At the end of the practice there was a shootout contest. Whoever scored got another chance at shooting again. Vinny and Marty missed, but Malone, Stamkos “40″, and Tanguay all scored. But the only person to score twice, and the ultimate winner, was Stephane Veilleux. Apparently Smitty stopped the most shots because he was hooting and hollering and ended up giving Nitty a high five after it was over.
Overall yesterday was a good day. We are going to try and make it out to a few more of the practices so more details to come.