October 13, 2014

Compressed training camp shows speed, competitiveness

It usually takes the roadsters a game or two to run out the off-season kinks.
Sunday, they did it in one morning.

After a lacklustre, dispiriting training camp opener the teams regrouped to put on a run-and-gun show of precise passing, fancy footwork, rapier goals and solid goaltending that would have pride of place late in the schedule.

When the concrete dust settled, Lak Attack and his mates hung on for a 10-8 nailbiter.

"The second game was a really good pace," said the versatile veteran who was solid in his first goaltending start. "You saw a lot of nice plays. There's a lot more parity."

Doo said more players are taking off-season conditioning seriously, ensuring they're able to hit the court running come training camp.

"If you stayed in shape over the summer, then you're pretty good," said the young sniper. "I thought everybody's legs were going really well."

That bodes well for the coming season, which officially opens next week.

"You can see what to expect," said Lak Attack. "The guys are in shape. You've got speed, a lot of skill."

"The skill level is high out there," said Doo. "I think everybody got adjusted really quickly."

"A lot of guys are ready to play," said Yak.

Lot begin the operative word.

Sunday's pre-season game was one of the best attended in years. Motivation was high.

More importantly, the league's annual struggle to find committed, consistent goaltending seems to have eased.

Joker's back and ready to fight off any signs of a sophomore jinx while defending the Stanley Stick championship he won in his rookie season.
Lak Attack is ready to step in when needed.

And a new recruit, Eight Ball, showed up with leg pads, body armour and a positive attitude about playing net.

Add them to veteran stalwarts Twizzler and Chico, both of whom missed training camp but indicated they'll be ready to go for the regular season, and, for the first time there seems to be a wealth of riches between the pipes.

That's allowing the rest of the players the rare luxury to focus on their game, rather on whether there will actually be a game.

"You have to prepare yourself," said Lak Attack. "You're going to see a good pace through the season."

Which made a quick start in training camp that much more important.

"It's a good indication that there's not going to be a lot of time out there," said Yak.

"I think a lot of guys needed to measure themselves against the other guys," said Doo. "They needed to learn tendencies again. Those are the things you can't work on over the summer."

"You've got to be ready every second," said Lak Attack.

Posted by jaysuburb at October 13, 2014 02:18 PM

FYI to all the goalies, I will be one of the starting goalie this Sun and onward until I lose my spot!Bammer make sure you bring all the gear.

Roadblock signing off.

Posted by: lakattack at October 17, 2014 10:39 AM

Fun pre-season game boys. I felt a step behind all morning but only because the play was fast and the execution sharp. All bodes well for the rest of the year. Looking forward to it!

Posted by: The Colonel at October 13, 2014 06:14 PM