We're Almost There: Training Camp Begins Soon
Thursday, 09.6.2007 / 2:58 PM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Sigalet (the defenseman) was on the ice first and skated some of his first strides in the dark -- the lights hadn't even been turned on.
Alberts, Allen, Hunwick, Hoggan, Lashoff, Pelletier, Reich, Stuart and Thompson joined Sigalet for some power skating drills with coach Paul Vincent, approximately one hour prior to the regular skate.
As some more of the crew began to filter onto the ice sheet, new policeman Shawn Thornton hit the ice at 9:52 and could be seen chatting amicably with one-time sparring partner Jeremy Reich almost immediately.
Despite their prior fisticuffs, the two men looked pretty happy to be reacquainted, and Shawn wore a grin through most of his first day in Black & Gold.
Soon afterward, several other players (many of them Providence B's personnel during 2006-07) came out of the room to join in the power skating exercises, and for a while, Coach Paul had most of the ice working their edges.
After the power skating, the ice was resurfaced, and most of those guys took a breather on the bench as the resurfacing machine made its rounds. By the way, it looks as if the Ristuccia Memorial Arena has a brand new Olympia ice resurfacing machine -- colored Black & Gold, of course.
New to the main session were Bergeron, Hendricks, Kobasew, Pelletier, Rabbit, Schaefer, Thornton and Ward. They, and the rest of their teammates, were led through drills devised by NHL vets Murray, Chara, as well as Ward, himself.
Bergy looked good, real good, and throughout the morning seemed able to perform whatever move he envisioned. Schaefer looked ready for training camp and visual evidence of the offensive game that was hinted at from various quarters when he was acquired was quite apparent out there today.
As per the recent pattern, the skate started with warm up style breakaways against Thomas and Sigalet, then progressed toward various incarnations of 2-on-0's, 2-on-1's and finally on to 3-on-2's -- these were neat because the D-men who started the breakout for one set of forwards, ended up defending against another set of forwards coming from the other direction.
The 5-on-5 game was pretty fun to witness, as the two squads seemed evenly matched; it was the white shirts versus the black-gray-red-teal's. Highlights of the scrimmage included an amazing shot, off a breakaway, from Marco Sturm and a very pretty goal from Pascal Pelletier.
"I was thinking he was going to go five hole," said Sigalet (the goalie), who had an amazing view of Sturmie's move. "He came in, put it right by my ear and it hit the (cross) bar and went in.
"I didn't get to move, really.
"Guys at this level know how to shoot the puck," he said admiringly.
Not so admiring was Timmy Thomas, who had an equally beautiful shot go by him, courtesy of Pelletier. Thomas, who was smiling about it at the time, and smiling about it afterward, gave Pascal a little shove of defiance after the score.
"He made too good of a shot," said the goalie. "He didn't do anything 'disrespectful.'
"The only disrespectful thing he did was making a perfect shot.
"I was just playing (tough), it was too good of a shot," he said, with admiration equal to Sigalet's deference to Sturm.
Sigalet seemed pleased with his performance in the scrimmage, having undergone his fitness testing today.
Convinced that his legs would be useless, prior to the on-ice workout, Jordan said he was going "80's style" during the scrimmage, because the stand-up style is a little easier on the legs than the butterfly he usually employs. True to his competitive nature, however, he employed any means necessary to block pucks and he said he was better off staying in the 21st century, anyway.
"As far as playing 80's goalie," expained Jordan, "Kobasew said I would have to put on Timmy's helmet if I was going to do that."
Come to think of it, Timmy's mage (mask + cage) harkens back to Reggie Lemelin, doesn't it.
The guys, and I, are expected to return to Ristuccia tomorrow.