Friday, October 2, 2009

Warming Up the Leftovers from Vegas

We're a little over 24 hours away from the love affair beginning all over again. The pucks, the sticks, the jerseys, the wins, the losses...82 games of pure enjoyment. Well, that's not true, is it? Some nights you want to scream and then hide your head in shame. You still love it though. At least enough to come back for one more game. And when that game goes better than the last, you're hooked all over again. It's hockey. We love it.

Before turning the page and starting with a fresh, empty sheet tomorrow, I'm cleaning out my notebook from this year's Frozen Fury. Another great weekend in Vegas, punctuated with a solid win over a rebuilding Avalanche team.

Here are some highlights and comments from the pre-skate EARLY Saturday morning (note: I twittered some of these live that morning...if you're not following me, you should be).

Kevin Westgarth
  • The biggest difference coming into camp this year is the confidence from being here last year. Things are going well, but I'm still battling for a position, so that's tough.
  • All the guys in the room are super excited about this season and are (eager) to get things going.
  • The two acquisitions are proven winners. Smittie and Scuds are a perfect fit for LA.
  • HIGH from camp - playing my brother in Kansas City
  • LOW from camp - getting up so early...but that's really not a big deal, I try to stay positive
Sean O'Donnell
  • Camp is going better this year because it's basically the same group as last year. That makes things a lot easier.
  • The biggest change for the team this year is the goaltending. Last year it was a big question mark. This year, there is no question. Quick is the #1 guy. I think he has what it takes to be an elite goalie in this league.
  • HIGH - the system...there hasn't been any drop off from where we were last year...we just need to focus on the offensive side now...increase our shots per game
  • LOW - personally or team wise? (he laughs) The suspension for sure.
Dustin Brown
  • Keeping the camaraderie and communication going is the challenge. We all need to talk more. That's a big focus. Smyth and Scuderi were BIG additions for us. Its a huge help to our confidence. With most of the team being together for a season already, that's going to make a difference. We played so many close games last year. This all just helps us our confidence.
  • On Schenn - I'm not sure how much longer he'll be here. But, for an 18 year old kid he is very impressive.
  • On Purcell - He dominated at times in Manchester. He is physically and mentally prepared for the role he's being given. It's up to him to get it done every single night now.
  • The lockout was a blessing in disguise for me. I enjoyed my time in Manchester. It's where I learned how to be a pro.
  • HIGH - tonight will be my high! The Vegas game is fun every year. We look forward to it. And the line-up we have is close to our real line-up, so it will be a lot of fun.
  • LOW - testing day, for sure.
That's a wrap. Let's get on with the regular season!

The Mayor

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