Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rookie Camp Begins

Kinda like the first day of school, but...different.

For the record, Stephen Werner was the first Cap to take the ice this year.

Among the youngsters, getting a feel for who made a mark and who didn't isn't generally possible after Day 1 of skating and drills, but a couple of guys were worth paying attention to from The Peerless' vantage point...

Sasha Pokulok looked more inclined than most to apply his body, which is probably a good sign, given the problems he's had physically over the past couple of years.

Nicklas Backstrom is smooth as buttah -- he had a couple of nice shifts in a forward drill and a couple of nice shots, beating Michal Neuvirth.

Francois Bouchard was this close to having an excellent day. As it was, he looked pretty good.

As far as the visuals go...

Coaches Hanlon and Prior sporting the spiffy new coaches duds. They did have the faint look of haz-mat suits, though.

Coach Evason reminding players that they have to turn right out of the parking garage to find the Rock Bottom Brewery..."but no beer for you underage guys."

Michal Neuvirth about to turn away a shot when he spies the Papa John's sign and thinks...""

Coaches preparing the kids for a drill... "ok, we're going to practice the power play, and these are the New York Islanders.

Coach Prior giving tips to young Mr. Neuvirth on his "break-in-the-action" pose.

It was good to see hockey, hear skates digging into the ice, and know that in four weeks, they'll be doing this for real. For the kids, some might not be invited back to training camp, and even those who get invited to stick around are likely to find themselves back in juniors or in the minors in a few weeks. But every one of them can say they participated in an official National Hockey League camp, and that's not a bad memory to have.

Good luck to all of you guys.

...and with this, The Peerless is going dark for a few days. Have fun over the rest of rookie camp, and we hope to return in time for the start of training camp next weekend.

Ready to Go?

Finally, we can get started. So if you're ready to go, here is some arena music from from last year...

...and some hockey kerfuffling to get the juices flowing (with Beantown homers to further annoy the listener)...