For most Canuck fans, the opening of the Prospects training camp has been like waiting for a book by their favorite author to hit the shelves - and judging by the number of fans at the first two days of camp, this book will quickly hit the bestseller list.
Early Saturday morning, the standing room only crowd at Burnaby's 8-Rinks watched Canucks hopefuls run through a two-hour session of on-ice drills and scrimmage. The tension was understandably evident on some of the player's faces as Head Coach Alain Vigneault and staff looked on from the perch above the ice - but all the passes were still crisp and the drills were performed the way they were drawn up. Much like the prologue to any novel, the first day of camp laid the foundation for things to come.
It was tough for anyone to stand out on Day One and if you're like me, you like to skip the prologue and dive right into the first chapter - even if it means missing a few important details.
The crowds were a bit late showing up on Sunday morning's Day Two, but by the end of practice, the turn-out looked even bigger than the day before. Not bad considering it was the first Sunday on the NFL schedule.
The pace of the drills and scrimmage were more upbeat on Sunday morning as the coaching staff kept players skating with 2-on-1, 3-on-2 and stretch pass drills.
During the scrimmage, honorable mention goes to Marc-Andre Bernier for scoring two goals - one of which was a roof job on a one-timer in the slot. But the star of the show was 22-year-old Rick Rypien.
Rypien looked excellent during the on-ice drills. His puck pursuit was infectious and he put 110 % into each and every drill.
His strong effort continued in the scrimmage when he scored a dazzling highlight-reel goal.
Streaking down the left wing, Rypien drove wide around the defender and cut to the net before sliding the puck under netminder Dustin Slade.
There were also some big hits near the end of the 2 nd half. Nothing dirty or cheap - just good, solid body checks into the boards.
Sunday's scrimmage was a definite page turner and made me look forward to the next chapter on Monday.