For Isles forward Josh Bailey
, getting back to normalcy is just what they need.
|PHOTO CREDIT: KATHLEEN MALONE-VAN DYKE |
“It was good to get a normal practice in, but it was tough,” Bailey said. “We were pretty tired after that skate Saturday. Today was more in depth – a lot more skating drills and some breakouts to try to get back into game-like shape.”
He added, “After a few months of not doing them (the drills), you need a refresher. We went through a couple things today. I’m sure we’ll go through some more tomorrow.”
Along with the different puck-movement and shooting drills, defenseman Travis Hamonic
said the early days are also about getting more acclimated and fighting hard to prove you deserve a spot on the final roster.
“With almost a full season under my belt, you’re a little more familiar and comfortable with your surroundings and the guys and maybe not as nervous on the ice,” he said. “There are a lot of good d-men here at camp – not only defensemen, but also forwards – so everyone is coming in and really trying to earn their spot again this season.”
Both players skated in the second on-ice group of the day, but Hamonic arrived early just so he could watch the first group take the ice to see what was in store for him and the rest of his group.
“I thought the guys in our group had a good skate today,” Hamonic said. “It seemed that the first group that went on had a good, hard skate as well. The first couple days of camp guys are usually flying out there, really trying to get noticed. I thought the tempo was good. It was really good today.”
When it comes to change, Bailey, who’s entering his fourth NHL season, isn’t going to alter much of his own game. He said the team is sticking to the system that worked well for them to close out last season.
“We’re going to keep generally the same outlook on things like we did the second half of last year,” Bailey said. “I think things went well and I think guys adapted to it well. I’m sure we’ll tweak some things here and there when need be, but I think right now, there’s not really a need to change it too much.”
As day three of camp came to an end, Hamonic said nothing is ever guaranteed.
“No ice time is just going to be given – everything is going to be earned,” Hamonic said. “I think that’s the message that the coaching staff sent pretty early on. Guys are really battling for their spots out there. That’s what makes a great team.”