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DAY 2 BLOG: Right on Pace

News, notes and reaction as the pace on Day 2 remains high

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer


Group A took the ice shortly before 1 p.m. and, naturally, ran through the same drills in the same sequence as the previous group. 

VIGNEAULT: "Instead of just a continuation (from Day 1), we've looked at different things. We looked at our D zone coverage and our neutral zone forecheck. Today we touched a little bit on our offensive zone forecheck. We've touched on all three zones without the puck. Tomorrow we're going to touch a little bit more on play with the puck. We're trying to get everyone on the same page. Obviously, there's a process to this and that's what we're into right now."

In terms of the 5-on-5, semi-scrimmage subgroups, they were as follows:

Giroux - Couturier - Farabee
Twarynski - Andreoff - Aube-Kubel

Provorov - Niskanen
Morin - Friedman

Ratcliffe - Frost - Voracek
Strome - O'Reilly - Gabriel

Hägg - Welinski
Brennan - Bigras

Three goalies rotated in the Group A session: Elliott, Berube and Sandström.


* Joel Farabee continued to look comfortable playing with Sean Coutuirer and Claude Giroux. He grasps drills very quickly and is exceptionally polished without the puck for a 19-year-old player.

* A year ago, Morgan Frost noticeably struggled once Rookie Camp gave way to NHL Camp. Today, he held his own to much higher degree early on in the session, even when matched up against Sean Couturier. The vets still won the won the majority of the battles but Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe won a few as well. However, as the session progressed, the top-end vets began to dominate.

FROST: (on playing against Couturier in drills for the first time): "It' was a little overwhelming, to be honest, to play against guys that caliber. I felt like I was just watching, chasing the puck all day. I'll try to learn from them, and do better the next time."

* Samuel Morin and Kurtis Gabriel waged a good battle for positioning near the net during a 5-on-5 drill.

GABRIEL: "It was a pretty easy decision to come here. [Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr] believe in me, they drafted me. I could have played more in Minnesota. It didn't happen but I got my chance in New Jersey last season, and I think I made a positive impact. Coming here, I'm trying to do the same thing."

* Nicolas Aube-Kubel got out of the way in the nick of time as friendly fire from his side came rising up dangerously high. No harm was done.


After Group C, coached by Scott Gordon and Kerry Huffman, took the ice for the morning's early session, the two "main" groups switched orders from Day 1. 

After Group B did systems work during the 10 a.m. session, they moved to a full-ice 5-on-5 semi-scrimmage, with designated starting positions on the ice (corners, behind the net, neutral zone with a defenseman lead-pass from the blue line, etc.)

The sides were as follows:

JVR - Hayes- Lindblom

Gostisbehere - Braun
Wotherspoon - Prosser


Raffl - Laughton - Stewart
Sushko - Vorobyev - Criscuolo

Sanheim - Myers
Zamula - Millman


* Carter Hart was razor-sharp in today's session, showing strong positioning, angle coverage, puck tracking and rebound control.

* Phil Myers made a solid defensive play one-on-one against German Rubtsov. Later, Rubtsov saucered a pass over Egor Zamula's stick to David Kase for a good scoring opportunity. 

* PTO forward Chris Stewart has always been tough to know off the puck along the walls. The Orange defenders struggled to budge the 243-pounder. 

* The trio of James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes and Oskar Lindblom on the Orange side showed good puck support work during their turns on the ice. 

van RIEMSDYK: "Obviously when [Kevin Hayes] was thinking about coming here I was pretty excited about it so that was fun to have a chance the first couple of days to play with him. I think me, him and Oskar have had some decent chemistry so far and as we get into the live stuff and live-game situations we continue to build on some of that stuff."

* Lindblom noted that one of the aspects of his game that he paid particular attention to this summer was his speed. He's noticed the results after just two days of ice sessions.

LINDBLOM: "I feel a little lighter, a little faster and we started faster with a little bit of tempo in practice. It felt good and we just have to keep building on that. We can't stop working, we just have to be better and better every day."

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