Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday At K-Plex

On a gorgeous Fall day like this, one almost feels bad about spending time inside.


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):

Group B (Blue Team)
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.
For more coverage from today, check out the usual suspects - Vogs, Tarik, Corey, OFB.

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


cd said...

Good to see you in that devastatingly pink shirt at Kettler today, JP. As your old man put it so succinctly, "It makes you ready for the real thing, doesn't it?"

i left after the second period of the scrimmage. Did Semin come back after his header into the boards?

And today's unsubstantiated rumor from the two schmoes working the t-shirt stand on the second level is that the Caps will "probably" be releasing a third jersey featuring the eagle/capital crest next season.

jmf said...

good post JP - thanks for the info - I was there for the 2nd period and would agree that Clarkie was indeed a bit fiesty - with one bout with Nylander - interesting to see how competitive these guys are.

Good writing regarding Poti's ability to distribute the puck well to both teams...hopefully that changes and he is making most of his passes to only our team in the future.

My first time at the K-plex - awesome building.

Anonymous said...

JP, you need to post If You Leave Me Now again for DCSportsChick. She will be sorely missed.

thedope said...

This is great stuff. You just can't get info like this anywhere else. Please keep up the good work.

And Brent Johnson - 2 goals on 5 shots? If memory serves, Jim Ace Carey used to let the first or 2nd shot in each game and then another shortly thereafter. I'm pretty sure it was how he got into his groove. After he won the Vezina, it would take 3, 4, and sometimes 5 or more goals for him to settle down and get into the game. So no need to panic. Just part of his routine.

It feels good knowing we've got a Vezina quality netminder at the ready in case the actual Vezina winner goes down.