Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Los Angeles Kings Report: Camping Without a Compass

As you probably know the kids are in town and starting to cause quite a stir. That's right - LA Kings Rookie Camp is underway.

I headed down to Health South today to catch the morning session. Wanted to prime my senses for the game...um, scrimmage...tomorrow night.

I intentionally didn't bring the roster available on LAKings.com.
View / Print your copy now by clicking here.
Bringing it has several draw backs. First, I think you spend half your time looking at the roster and not enough time watching the action on the ice. C'mon, we're all hockey starved at this point, so our souls need as much as we can get. Don't lie, you know you're still watching the same highlights on the NHL Network every night that you've already seen a thousand times. Fear not, 2009-10 is almost upon us.

The second reason for not bringing it is I think sometimes when you come to these camps you end up with that self-fulfilling prophecy thing. Basically, you come to the rink wanting to check out Teubert, Hickey or whomever...then, you leave saying how impressive they were. Well, if you stare at any one player long enough, its fairly easy to sing their praises.

Thus, I opted for a more organic approach today. Just plopped myself down and started watching the action. There were some 5-on-5 drills, followed by some 3-on-3, then some specific game situation drills (i.e. pass from the blue line attempting to be tipped in by a guy shadowed by a D-man in front of the net, etc.).

My two cents...77 Dennis McCauley (yes, I looked it up when I got home) was the most impressive on the ice this morning. This guy is a natural born goal scorer. Power forward extraordinaire. He HAS to play on the top line this year along side Ryan Smyth. We're talking 40 goals easy. Everybody will be saying "Frolov who?" by November 1st.

The other two players I noticed the most were 53 Alec Martinez and 80 Nicolas Deslauriers. Both players wanted to score each time they were on the ice. Constantly driving to the net or shooting at it. Plus, they were finishing plays that others were happy to just go through the motions on.

Who else has been going to the practice sessions? If you've been, leave a comment below with your thoughts on the players. Who has impressed you...or not?

If you haven't been yet, but were thinking about going tomorrow night, tickets can be purchased here - SCRIMAGE TIX - with all proceeds going to the Kings Care Foundation.

I have a few pics and videos to share (see below). RinkRat was there taking photos too, so I'm sure he'll have some much better shots up on LetsGoKings.com.

The Mayor

p.s. For those of you without a sarcasm detector (available now at Amazon.com), relax and breathe! Of course I'm kidding about McCauley playing in LA this year. IT'S ONE FRICKIN' PRACTICE! I just love when people come away from one session of these things and start proclaiming ridiculous future "facts" about a player. Like I've said in previous posts about young players, we should probably leave the predictions and real analysis to the scouts, the GM or even other players. So, on second thought, keep your two cents, I'll give you today's opinions for free.

LAKings #NHL #Kings

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