Impressions from conditioning camp

Posted: 07/08/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The players put on an exciting show for the fans in what was essentially a non-check scrimmage. When guys aren’t finishing their checks it makes it a bit difficult to get a complete bead on each player. What we’re doing here is reviewing pond hockey.
It’s the kind of hockey they play during workouts just prior to the opening of camps in September. During one of those pre-camp sessions, Chris Pronger complained, “I can’t wait until the hitting starts and put an end to this dipsy-doodle stuff.”

This was the third scrimmage and it was easy to see who had earned respect from the previous outings. Ducks first round pick Shea Theodore showed his ability to accelerate. The black jersey squad backed off almost every time he touched the puck. Theodore obviously has skill but we don’t know if he’ll stand-up under pressure from an opponent determined to make him less hungry for the puck.

Max Friberg was leaned on for his ability to accept the first pass and turn the play to attack. He may have scored a goal or two as well. In typical Pond Hockey fashion the only guys who kept stats are the players themselves. He’s not as fast as Cogliano but Friberg does move the biscuit from zone to zone similarly.

The guy who impressed me most with his wheels is Boston College grad Steve Whitney. Listed at just 5’7″ and 160#’s Whitney will have to score to win a job in the NHL. Jeez though, he showed ability to dart in and out of crowds, draw traffic to him and deke outside of danger with a shoulder fake. How Whitney will do when Francois Beauchemin is driving him into the boards is a story waiting to be written.

Peter Holland showed off his experience and skill with the puck. It went for naught as the Black jerseys beat the Whites 7-3. He setup a lot of scoring chances but the White squad just couldn’t finish on enough of them.

Hampus Lindholm is easily the smartest player on the ice today. He knows what to do in each situation. He plays well with and without the puck. His shot from the point won’t scare anybody but he did get most through to the net. What I liked seeing was his willingness to eat the puck in a couple of situations. A guy knows he’ll take a hit or two but when there’s no other option, you take one for the team.

Another prospect who looks to have the complete package is Irvine native Nicolas Kerdiles. He put all five skills on display. Kerdiles had his motor runnin’, showed basic and simple puck handling skill, wanted to hit but settled for tying up his opponent and he reads and reacts smartly.

Joseph Cramarossa put me in mind of a young Travis Moen. He was arguably the most physical guy out there. Next season he’ll be competing against men in the AHL so we’ll get a better read on his ability to compete physically at the pro level.

Rickard Rakell was solid if unspectacular. With a handful of NHL game experience, I expected Rakell to show a tad more.

The most pleasant surprise of the day was the performance of Antoine Laganiere . This kid looks like a Ryan Getzlaf with wheels. He drives to net. he shoots. He dishes off. He’s 6’4″ and packs 214#’s lean muscle on his bones.

Bruce Boudreau maintained a poker face. I watched him a bit but couldn’t get a read on what he was seeing.

I had a very enjoyable chat with a young goalie who plays here in SoCal. We shared some ideas about goal tending styles. Neither of us saw anything to write home about from Frederik Andersen, Igor Bobkov and Etienne Marcoux.

Overall, this was a performance for us fans. The real competition begins when cap opens in September.

  1. czhokej says:

    It looks like we have some promising young players in the making. Do you expect anybody to make it to the point of regular appearances in the NHL (besides Holland and Rakell)?

    • bc says:

      Well cz, Retired Hockey Mom wasn’t impressed with any of them. Thought they were out of shape and lacked stamina.

      Lindholm looks very steady out there buyt he’s still a teenager. Competing in the NHL is a lot to ask but he could make it. Right now I’d trust him or Vatanen ahead of Luca Sbisa.

      As to the others, no not NHL ready but those mentioned above, Theodore, Friberg, Whitney, Kerdiles and Cramarossa impressed as being ahead of the traditional development curve. Three years for forwards, 5 years for D-men and 7 years for goalies.

  2. czhokej says:

    I somehow did not lose confidence in Luca Sbisa. He did not have a great season, true, but as you know, I do not like small and lightweight Ds. Scotty ( in that category) was an amazing skater and puck-handler, but that is rare.

  3. zseller says:

    I know that this does not really relate to the conditioning camp but holy cow bringing back Dustin Penner. I am somewhat surprised by this as his departure was not a very cordial one.
    The other thing that I wonder about is what does this mean for Patrick Maroon?
    Does this mean that Teemu is not coming back?
    Does this mean that the Stiffler becomes the 4th line guy or does this bump Winnik down a line?
    It was a bad ending to the season losing to a team that the Ducks should have beat.
    Hopefully they learned a lesson like they did in 06 when they lost to the Oilers in another series they should have won, only to come back and be the power that they knew they could be and win it all in 07.
    The benefit to checking out early this season should mean they should be in better shape than the final 4.
    It is going to be interesting with such a short summer to see how the 2 finalists are able to handle things next season.
    Hate seeing 2 guys who seem to give the Ducks fits back out in the division with Ribero in the Desert and now Carcillo with the Kings.
    Lets hope the Ducks can find the chemistry and bring home another title next season.

    • bc says:

      Thanks for the heads-up z. The signing may not effect Patrick Maroon if Pancake is used at center, where he enjoyed his statistically best season.

  4. zseller says:

    Like your report on the signing.
    I am still a believer that the Flash is coming back for a swan song

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