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KINGS NOTEBOOK JULY 15

by Jeremy Zager / Los Angeles Kings
The Development Camp Notebook is back after a three-day hiatus. Both groups were in town for the weekend and played two scrimmage games Monday here at the Toyota Sports Center. It was standing room only to say the least. For a recap of yesterday’s scrimmages click here

While Monday was a pretty intense day, it was time to slow things back down Tuesday. The Purple Group has exited, so now the spotlight is on the Gold Group.

The talk of the day was still centered around the scrimmages, but not so much about the game. Sure, people are still chatting about it a bit, but I heard this question a lot: “How will this group be able to go from a full speed scrimmage to slower pace drills the rest of the week?” A legitimate question.

But not one the coaches here are worried about. In fact, bringing in this group second was by design. The Purple Group from last week was mainly filled with the younger players (a lot of 18 year olds). If you take a look at the Gold Group [link to both rosters] you’ll notice they’re a little more experienced. The majority of this crew played in Manchester last season and only two players are under 20 (Josh Kidd and Wayne Simmonds).

Drills today were pretty much an exact carbon copy of Day 1 last week. The forwards took the ice first and worked on a lot of skating and puck handling. Scott Parse, who missed Monday’s scrimmages after getting a couple teeth knocked out, was back on the ice wearing a full face shield.

The two Russians (Viatcheslav Voynov and Andrei Loktionov) also stayed at camp. They were in the Purple Group originally, but didn’t start skating until the weekend.

Back to the drills... The defensemen were working on transitioning from behind the net and in the corners, while the goaltenders worked on steering aside rebounds. Pretty basic for these guys. But still, the coaches want them to slow it down and hone their skills.

The afternoon practice was also very similar to last week. A lot of skating, passing, puck protection, etc. for the forwards. The d-men were trying to keep the forwards on the outside and the goaltenders…well that’s pretty obvious. Definitely a quicker pace than the morning sessions, but it wasn’t a full speed practice. Just like last week, expect the pace to pick up each day.

Here were the comments from Day 8:

Mark Morris – Manchester Monarchs head coach:
(on the Gold group going from the scrimmage to the drills)
“I think it’s actually quite good that it’s not as an intense of a day out here. We now get a few days to slow things down with them, so that they can try some new things. Often times things are so hyped up that’s it can be nice when you can work on some of the skills you might not normally have time to do.”

(on knowing a lot of the players in camp)
“I think there’s a great rapport there. These guys know the way we are and we know their strengths and weaknesses. This gives us an opportunity to really bond with them and then they also can feel comfortable opening up to us and maybe discussing some of the things they normally wouldn’t be able to do”

(on yesterday’s scrimmage)
“I was really impressed with the compete level. Some of the new players really impressed me with their foot speed, agility and puck handling skills. I think this young group is going to be exciting in years to come. They appear to have a lot of speed and the knack for carrying the puck under control. And watching their enthusiasm is just tremendous for us to see.”

Jamie Kompon – Kings assistant coach:
(on the camp overall)
“I think the camp has been fantastic. It’s exceeded expectations. The first group had a great week and now it’s our job to get the second group to that level…Watching the game yesterday you could tell the players were using the techniques we’ve been teaching them. It makes you feel really good inside knowing they’re putting it to use.”

Jonathan Quick – Kings third round pick (72nd overall) in 2005 NHL Entry Draft:
(on his experiences)
“Every time I come out here I learn a lot and have a great time. And now I know more of what I’m getting into…I need to work on reading the puck coming off the stick a little quicker and being prepared.”

Josh Kidd – Kings seventh round pick (184th overall) in 2007 NHL Entry Draft:
(on today’s drills/yesterday’s scrimmage)

“It’s been pretty simple so far. We’re going maybe half speed and nothing contact wise. We’re just breaking down the points and learning…Yesterday was great. It was a lot of fun playing in front of a full house like that.”

Davis Drewiske – Signed with the Kings in April:
(on his experiences)
“It’s my first time playing with these guys, so it’s good to get the experiences. The biggest thing for a player is that you just want to work hard, keep your ears and eyes open and mouth shut.”

Vladimir Dravecky – Singed with the Kings in May 2007:
(on his familiarity with the system)
“It helps me because I already know the coaches out here. [Dravecky played for Mark Morris of Manchester and Karl Taylor of Reading – now Ontario – last season.] We know how they want us to play and what to expect.”

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