We’re starting to wind down Development Camp. The Gold group is here until Friday and then everything will be wrapped up. It’s going by fast isn’t it?
Things were pretty status quo today at camp. Pretty much the same drills as usual. The forwards continued to work on puck protection and driving to the net. Defense did more puck retrieval and neutral zone work. And the goaltenders again focused on more of the fundamentals. Pretty much old hat by now.
Everyone in the Gold Group seems to be healthy as well, what Kings fans love to hear. Scott Parse
, who had a couple teeth knocked out the other day, is still skating with a full face shield. But you could overhear him saying he felt much better today and more comfortable. And Thomas Hickey
, though not being able to skate yet, is still working out every day. A few people mentioned that his upper body strength is even better than last year. Positive stuff.
We’ll focus this notebook (and rest of them for that matter) on more quotes from the camp participants. If anyone is interested on the two Russians in camp (Viatcheslav Voynov and Andrei Loktionov
), check out the quotes below from Nikolai Bobrov, a Kings scout and Russian translator.
And in case you haven’t seen, Kings Vision has been doing extensive interviews throughout camp.
Here were the comments from Day 9:
Nikolai Bobrov – Kings pro scout: (On Voynov and Loktionov)
“It’s been an interesting adjustment for them, since they had to travel half the globe to come here. It takes a few days to get adapted to the environment and the language. But their teammates have really taken care of them with English, teaching them word-by-word everyday. They’re really enjoying their time in LA and their time with the Kings. And both have been getting better on the ice each day. Their conditioning has been improving and their legs are feeling better.”
(On adapting to the North American style of hockey)
“It takes a while because of the language barrier and not understanding some of the directions. That adds difficulty to the process, but they’re watching and learning. They’re not lacking hockey sense. They’re smart kids and able to understand the drills and they’re good hockey players.” (On the intimidation factor)
“It can be taxing trying to understand coaches directions and wanting to communicate with your peers. But the guys have been really good with them and trying to teach them. The kids are enjoying themselves and their vocabulary has been improving. So I don’t think there’s really an intimidation factor for them.” Wayne Simmonds – Kings second round pick (61st overall) in 2007 NHL Entry Draft:
(on the drills today)
“Today we were working on puck protection, driving to the net and Gretzky Turn-ups as they call them. Which is basically making the defense think you’re going to the net and curl back up instead.” (on slowing the drills down)
“I think it helps a lot actually. I find it harder to slow it down for me. Being in game mode is easier because it’s instinct. When you slow it down you get more of the points and it helps you get better.” (on what the coaches are saying)
“They’re telling us to make sure we’re doing everything properly. Not to rush it, that’s the whole point of slowing things down. If you rush it, you’re going to make mistakes.” (on having fun)
“It’s always nice to get together with the guys you’re going to be playing with. It’s a great way to get to know each other.” Drew Bagnall – Signed with the Kings in August 2007:
(on staying in shape)
“Having an opportunity to skate here in the summer is huge, especially for those that don’t get a chance to get on the ice during the summer…For me staying healthy is the biggest thing. You’re going to get banged up during the season, but you want to make sure you’re in good condition so you have a better chance of staying healthy.” Joe Piskula – Signed with the Kings in March 2007:
(on what he’s working on)
“I’m a defenseman first and there’s so many small things that you can learn here. With my style of defense I like to work on puck retrieval and a clean breakout to get the puck out of my zone. This camp is definitely a great place to work on all those little things to prepare you for the future.” Alec Martinez – Kings fourth round pick (95th overall) in 2007 NHL Entry Draft:
(on his experiences)
“I’m just trying to work hard and focus on the little things. It’s those little things that separate the good players from the great players…The past few months have definitely been pretty wild for me. Just a few months ago I was sitting at a desk in school and now I’m here.”