The Predators have wrapped up day two of on ice practice. With the rookies took off to Atlanta for their two-game tournament against the Thrashers rookies, training camp was split into two sessions for the veterans. Both the morning and afternoon session was full of fast action drills preparing the guys for another competitive season.
Many of the players after practice commented on the importance of these drills to help get them back into ready to play shape. Ryan Suter
talked about how the timing is starting to come back for all the guys as the practice sessions are getting more physical.
Dan Ellis, who was in net for the morning session, recognized the difference between working out and playing with friends over the summer and hitting the ice with the team. He went on to say that the heighten intensity will really help out in the next few days of training camp as they prepare for the season and exhibition games that are to be played later this week.
Head Coach Berry Trotz went on to reinforce this by stating, “Right now we want to get some fundamentals as far as structure; we want to get foundation on some of our offensive and defensive principles.”
The afternoon session seemed to have a little more drive and fire on the ice; before the half way mark was met, the gloves were thrown – the first fight of Training Camp as Hugh Jessiman squared off against Nolan Yonkman. After a short go around between the players the focus was put right back into the drills. Nonetheless it was quite obvious that this group was much more physical and aggressive than the morning session.
Trotz felt that the aggression was good to see from the players and said it showed the desire to be on the ice. He went on to add, “They will separate their selves. My job is not to the separate them, they separate their selves. You have to evaluate them you don’t have to validate them. They validate themselves by their play and how they produce”
The rookies will play in their first rookie game of the season tonight at 6pm against the Atlanta Thrashers at Duluth IceForum in Duluth, Georgia. Although the players at camp are not too concerned about this game, defensemen Shea Weber
commented that the rookies are an important part of the team and they will look to the coaches for updates on how they do.