Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Development Camp -- Day Two

Day 2 develobits…

- It was Group B on the ice this morning. The most compelling part of it was the pairing of John Carlson and Dmitri Orlov. One might have been forgiven (ok…me) if they were to look ahead three or four years and saw this duo as a pair on the Capitals blue line. Carlson, in particular, was an interesting study in “what a difference a year makes.” Whereas last year he had that “just glad to be here” look, now he looks like a purposeful young prospect. It is easy to throw around thought like “he has captain written all over him,” and we will resist the urge to do that. But watching him giving direction to Orlov on the fly or pointing things out to him during breaks, it was easier to think of Carlson as the “alpha” of a defensive pairing down the road.

- Orlov, while not as demonstrative as Carlson, was effective in his situational drills. While there is a certain “let me be sure to make the right moves” aspect to his play – entirely expected at this point – he does look to have the skating skills, the deft use of his stick to frustrate puck handlers, and the vision to play a role for the big club in two or three years.

- Think Francois Bouchard doesn’t know that this camp might have special meaning for him? Well, he showed his frustration on a couple of occasions by abusing the walls with his stick after not converting or completing a play to his satisfaction.

- Dean Evason did the honors in running the morning session, with George McPhee and Bruce Boudreau up in the crow’s nest. Evason, like Boudreau, keeps things going at a healthy pace… not much (as in any) down time for guys.

- Denny Kearney is probably an optimist. He was already sporting a healthy playoff beard.

- Dmitry Kugryshev had an interesting time of it in a four-corners defensive drill (player has to defend, one-on-one, four players in succession from the four corners of the offensive zone). He poke-checked the daylights out of everyone… didn’t look like guys were figuring it out.

We are not able to take in the Group A session today, nor do we have pics (the battery in our camera dying in service to hockey), but we’ll try to do better tomorrow.