Today's practice was highlighted by a scrimmage between Groups B (the Freddy Cassivi group) and C (the Olie Kolzig group), while Group A (the Brent Johnson group) practiced on the public rink.
While we all know that line training camp line combos are mostly meaningless, here are today's scrimmage lines, for what their worth (and because I know you want to know):
Semin - Nylander - Fleischmann
Laich - Sutherby - Bradley
Werner - Joudrey - Barney
Sloan - Beagle - Guerin
Poti - Jurcina
Erskine - Green
Sloan - P. McNeill
Group C (White Team)
Pettinger - Backstrom - Clark
B. Gordon - Perreault - Laing
Bourque - Morgan - Klepis
Kronick - Morin - Maxwell
Alzner - Godfrey
Pokulok - Boumedienne
Collins - G. McNeill
A few notes from the scrimmage:
- The Blue Team won 4-2.
- Big day for grinders, as Brian Sutherby and Matt Bradley both looked good, each scoring goals (Sutherby on a mini-breakaway after Josef Boumedienne took a spill trying to turn around).
- Alex Semin had a couple of dazzling moves and seems to be in mid-season (read: not passing) form. He also left the ice after crashing into the boards while entangled with Matt Pettinger (see below). Though Semin was bleeding at the time, I was told later that it was nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, that's probably the last time we'll ever see Sasha back-checking.
- Tom Poti was generous with the puck, sharing it with players on both teams with great frequency. Paired with Milan Jurcina, the two made for an intimidating (looking) duo.
- Nicklas Backtrom pick-pocketed Andrew Joudrey to create a breakaway (the finish to which he rang off the iron). Backstrom also threw his body around a bit more than I expected him to.
- The Petttinger - Backstrom - Chris Clark line did a great job of puck possession and forechecking, and was rewarded with a lucky bounce that found its way onto Petty's stick and into the back of the net a split-second later.
- Though he was darting around like a waterbug out there, Mathieu Perreault was returned to Acadie-Bathurst of the Q after today's practice.
- Both Sutherby and Clark got a little fiesty at points during the scrimmage, which is always good to see.
- The ice didn't appear to be as good as you'd hope it would be in a $42 million building, with puddles still visible well into the second half of the scrimmage after the ice was resurfaced at "halftime." Whether or not that contributed to the Pettinger/Semin trainwreck, I don't know.
Finally, on the way out I got a shot of Brent Johnson in his new gear (including his new mask - click the pic to enlarge):
I could make a "two in, three not in - looks about right" joke... but I won't.
First two photos by Ken, last one by JP