After attending the Bruins rookie game Wednesday night, I was very excited to see many of the young kids in action again. I arrived at the Garden with my "Habs Suck" t-shirt, sinister goatee, and McDonalds breakfast in hand. This years session wasn't nearly as crowded as last years (I attended the 1st session, and Tyler Seguin was playing in the 2nd, my thought on why it wasn't quite as packed). Before I launch into my comprehensive coverage of training camp, I feel the need to address the "used equipment sale" that the Bruins have on the concourse.
There were a few tables spread out, and I decided to look around at what they had for sale. Practice worn jerseys, used sticks and gloves, ok cool I think. Then I walk down a bit further and see a table of locker room name plates. There were some real recent Bruin all stars here, Dave Lewis, Petteri Nokelainen, Pascal Pelletier, Petr Kalus, and Paul Mara just to name a few. The I saw something that made me stop dead in my tracks, mostly because I was seriously considering shelling out the $200 bucks and getting it, a life size Zdeno Chara "We Want It" banner. However after debating for about 10 minutes I decided to pass and go inside to my seat.
So now on to my coverage of training camp:
-- Break Away drills
This essentially was 4 players cruising in from the blue line one after the other and taking breakaways. Adam Courchaine and Nolan Schaefer both looked pretty sharp here. Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton had some nice goals.
--Break out/2-0 drills
This was a drill where 2 forwards cross and break out from their defensive zone and break in on the goalie. Joe Colborne (who was sporting a full cage thanks to his newly broken nose) and Brad Marchand looked very good here, David Krejci looked very sharp as well. A funny moment happened when Lane MacDermid tripped over the red line after crossing with Jared Knight.
--Red line breakaways
This drill was very fun to watch, it was players getting a full sprint from the far end of the ice, picking up the puck at center ice and breaking in on the goalie. Tim Thomas was in for this one and got schooled pretty bad. He only had 5 stops out of 12 breakaways. Jared Knight looked very fast and can definitely stick handle, Michael Ryder rang a few shots off the post and crossbar.
--1 on 1 drills
This drill was the shortest of the day, basically one on one with a goalie. Jeff Penner got burnt a few times on this drill, Shawn Thornton while not known for his hands had some very nice dekes, Nathan Horton has an extremely quick release and a very heavy shot.
--3 on 2 drills
This drill was good to watch, it was 3 forwards coming in on an odd man rush against 2 defenseman. Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara were paired for this drill and looked very strong, not giving up any goals or good chances in 5 tries. Brad Marchand, Blake Wheeler, and Zach Hamill were lined up in this drill and looked very good, they scored 3 goals in 4 tries.
--Puck Battle/Corner drills
This was the best drill of the day, the puck was thrown into the corner behind the net and players were battling for possesion to get a shot on net. Zdeno Chara absolutely owned this drill, he was very physical and didn't allow a single shot on net. Brad Marchand again looked very good here, his is very fast and elusive on his skates. This drill definitely got very chippy, especially when Shawn Thornton was going against Zdeno Chara. The best part of the drill was when Julien had the players switch roles and the defenseman were the puck carriers against the forwards.
That was the end of the session and my day at training camp. Some players who stood out to me, Chara, Marchand, Horton, Knight and Krejci. I think I speak for all of us when I say lets drop the puck already!