No cuts were announced, but most of those who played in the rookie game are expected to be headed to Hartford and/or junior teams tomorrow. Those who survive the first cut will have a complete day off Friday.
Some lockerroom reax:
“I thought it was a good game. I thought we had really good energy in all the periods. There was time in each period when we had some little lulls. But we were able to put guys in some spots and see how they react. It was a good first game for us, just to see people play in different situations.”
On Derek Stepan:
“I don’t think he gets too uptight about who he’s playing with there. I thought he did a pretty good job. We moved him out and I wanted to give Erik (Christensen) some time there. We have to be really careful as we maneuver through this with our young players, not to forget about some other guys, and to also give them a chance.
“But that’s what I like about (Stepan). I think he can handle these situations and not really get blown away by it.”
On whether Brian Boyle is looking at the numbers at center, or just wants to be a better player:
“I think a little bit of both. I think Brian Boyle wants to improve. I think he improved last year throughout the year. And I think he has looked at the people who are here and knows where he’s at. He’s had a very good camp. So it’s a little bit of both, himself wanting to improve and seeing where he’s at as far as the numbers at that position.”
On the fourth line’s energy, starting with the first shift:
“You hope so. You hope they can bring that to you. With Weise on the right side, he has shown this year that he can get there and create some forecheck. So, yeah, we’re looking for that. That’s a pretty effective line if they’re able to get there and bang a little bit and change momentum.”
On why Derek Boogaard got the misconduct:
“Because, I think, he was the biggest guy on the ice.
“They were challenging Prust all night long, Mills and Leblond. And Boogey was basically answering and wanting to fight Leblond. And Chris (Rooney, the referee) felt that Boogey was the only one talking. It was all night long from the other team … I told him you need to see what’s going on throughout the game. He said he didn’t see what was happening.”
“I thought he did some good things. There was a little bit of speed coming down his side where at times there was a little bit of a struggle. We expect that. He’s got good feet. He just has to understand handling the gap, not lunging, and that’ll come. He’s going to play some more exhibition games and I think he’s going to feel more comfortable along the way. He had some really good shifts and at other times there was a little bit of a struggle coming down the wing. But we expect that. They had some pretty good speed, some even small speed that’s even tougher for defensemen. So we’ll keep going through the process with him and see where he’s at.”
On his decisions being more difficult up and down the roster this training camp than last year:
“There’s no question. There’s more bodies competing for a lot of different spots, where last year we all could just put people in and maybe one or two guys where therre may be a little bit of a fight. But this year, with some of the tryouts, and in all positions really, there’s going to be some tough decisions.”
On Marty Biron:
“He made some big saves. Zajac’s goal, that’s a helluva shot. He played well.”
On Frolov adding another first-line weapon:
“And it’s not just his goal scoring. He’s strong on the puck, too. He’s strong in the corners and he’s a smart player away from the puck. He can kill penalties. … I think he may be able to help us in that area. So it’s a guy who, we’re going to keep him with Gabby a little bit and see if they can compliment each other and try to figure out the center. So it’s another step in offense for us, also with a guy may who’s well-schooled away from the puck. I think that’s a good signinf for us.”
I mentioned how, adding a first liner knocks everyone else down a notch and into better positions.
“It chips it down, and you have a guy that has played first-line minutes and scored goals, maybe in the right spot, and it puts guys back into different spots and they’re going to fight in those areas for their positions.”
MORE TO COME LATER …