Friday, September 18, 2009

Things Get More Serious At Camp

Bruce Boudreau is giving the guys who deserve a shot at making the opening night roster their due. As more cuts are eminent, the competition for any open spots is starting to ramp up in practices and in the preseason games.

"We've got too many guys that deserve a shot," Boudreau addressed reporters at practice today. "We want to get to our team as quick as possible like everyone else does."

With four games in seven nights through the preseason the pressure is on for the management and coaches to settle on a team. For the youngsters, unseating a veteran will be a tough job. They would have to wow the coaches to make any headway.

"If it's a championship fight and it goes down to a decision, usually the champion gets the decision," Boudreau explained. He was equated that analogy to the goaltending job, but it is also his philosophy for filling out the rest of the team as well.

Players look much more focused in practices, working that much harder today at KCI. The fun and work done during the Duchesne Cup games has faded to a much more concentrated group as guys start to peel away at camp. As more leave, the more intense it should be for the remaining players.

"Tomorrow, we will lose 15 to 20 guys," Boudreau said ominously.

Other camp notes:
  • Micheal Nylander looks much more stocky to me this year. After seeing him at practice for the first time, Nylander can still stick handle in a phone booth. But he also looks like he is working harder on what the coaches would like to see out of him. He is finding the open man much quicker, he is not shying away from hits in the corner and he is letting his speed and experience show. It remains to be seen if Nylander can continue the trend, but he looks very focused on the ice.
  • Nylander and Anton Gustafsson look like that have a healthy relationship on the ice. The two would often talk between drills. It reminds me of a couple of years ago when another young Swedish kid, Nick Backstrom, made his way to Washington for the first time and Nylander took him under the wing. Maybe there is hope for Lil' Gus after all.
  • Boudreau ran the first practice while Bob Woods took charge of the second session. Woods gave the second group a hard skate that had many players, veterans and rookies alike, crouched over with their sticks on their knees. It leads me to think that players in the second group weren't going to be making the trip to Chicago.
That is all I have got for today.

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