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Training Camp 2015: Day Three Thoughts & Impressions

The second scrimmage saw the return to action of a beloved defenseman, an AHL team-leading scorer with eye opening goals, and more.

Max Friberg scores on a redirection in front of the net during the first scrimmage.
Max Friberg scores on a redirection in front of the net during the first scrimmage.
Eric Evelhoch

Team White Lines

7 Cogliano - 67 Rakell - 10 Perry

19 Maroon - 22 Horcoff - 43 Friberg

76 Laganiere - 83 Alain - 80 MacKinnon

74 Carmarossa - 78 Sarault - 82 Berry

71 Montour - 47 Lindholm

49 Piskula - 45 Vatanen

60 Gagne - 87 Garcia

36 Gibson, 68 Faragher

Team Black Lines

46 Sekac - 15 Getzlaf - 29 Stewart

85 Moore - 52 Nattinen -64  Noesen

38 Mueller - 83 Pederson - 18 Jackman

58 Bailey - 77 Sgarbossa - 88 Johnson

75 Megna - 2 Bieksa

24 Despres - 53 Theodore

16 Vishnevski - 54 A O'Brien

30 Khudobin, 1 Hackett

Scrimmage/Practice Notes

  • Essentially all of the veteran defensemen were deferring to their less NHL-experienced partners to lead play in to the zone, with Brandon Montour for White particularly standing out being able to gain multiple controlled entries.
  • Keeping an eye on AHL players, Max Friberg showed a willingness to go to the front of the net as well as some slick hands. The 23-year-old-to-be Swede had a redirection goal in the first half, then took a break in feed in the second and roofed it glove side off a nifty stickhandle. For all the talk of impact players for the Gulls' first season, Friberg finished tied with Chris Wagner to lead Norfolk with 15 goals last season, and should be an important piece in San Diego if not also earning another game or two with the Ducks.
  • The writing appears on the wall that Patrick Maroon is likely slotted to start the year playing a lower six forward role, skating with Shawn Horcoff both days. He's been engaged in both scrimmages, scoring yesterday and helping create a goal today.
  • Which brings us to Maroon's potential top line replacement, Chris Stewart. He's been skating on the right wing with Ryan Getzlaf each of the first two scrimmage days, though today was the first day their group scrimmaged. Stewart wasn't a presence in front of the net, spending most of his time in the offensive zone in the face off circles and high slot. He seemed very deferential to Getzlaf, trying to get the captain the puck in the offensive zone and not always in the best of spots. The chemistry didn't seem instant between the two, but it is just the first public camp scrimmage.
  • It's very cool seeing Vitaly Vishnevski back with a Ducks logo on his chest, but he appears every bit the 35-year old KHL defenseman he is. Perfectly competent moving the puck, though not overtly physical considering the camp setting. He was stuck as the lone man back on a two-on-one off a turnover that lead to a White goal.
  • Maybe it's because it's a scrimmage, but John Gibson did a lot more handling of the puck. There were a couple situations where it felt a bit cavalier, but he never got himself in to trouble with it.
  • As far as the three-on-three time, White sent out different combinations of Rickard Rakell, Corey Perry, Andrew Cogliano, Horcoff, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm most notably, while Black used Getzlaf, Stewart, Julius Nattinen, Stefan Noesen, Tim Jackman, Jiri Sekac, Kevin Bieksa, and Shea Theodore.
  • Two moments in three-on-three play stood out in particular:

  1. There was a point where White had the puck in the offensive zone but nothing was being created, so Perry shot the puck back down to the defensive end where Ryan Faragher gathered it so the trio could come back and re-work their entry. It wouldn't be surprising to see a bit of this soccer tactic of 'back to the keeper' used by teams to reset the attack and try and create different passing lanes and paths to the net on another rush up ice. Kyle has previously noted on the podcast that this sort of play is frequently seen in roller hockey, where teams will keep possession by doubling back to try and create mismatches on the entry multiple times if necessary.
  2. One of the final goals by White in the second half of the scrimmage came off a set play on the face off at center, with the puck being chipped in for Cogliano to track down and work behind the net for Rakell. It's a risky proposition that relies on the center winning the draw, but there likely will be moments this season where teams put out a speed player and send him deep off the draw, getting him the puck with a lob over the top almost like a football pass. In general though, expect to see more clearly set plays from face offs, as with just the three players on the ice it would seem easier to scheme with less moving parts.

  • Michael Sgarbossa was noticeable on the forecheck against other lower line players, creating a couple decent looks off the pressure. He has a solid track record of production at the AHL level, and should continue that with the Gulls this season.
  • The early non-scrimmaging practice group was short a player for the first half of the session on the Olympic session as Nick Kerdiles was not on the ice after skating with Harry Zolnierczyk and Brian McGrattan the previous day. Kerdiles was also not on for the second half of the session on the NHL rink, with Zolnierczyk leaving early in the second session as well. Kevin Gagne, defenseman with Norfolk last season, was used as the second forward on a line with Nathan Noel and Kenny Ryan yesterday, but slotted back in his defending role with White and did not take part in the non-scrimmage group practice.
  • Finally, there was a serendipitous moment during the non-scrimmage practice group's second session, with the much speculated line of Carl Hagelin, Ryan Kesler, and Jakob Silfverberg all in red uniforms. During one of the final runs of the circle skating drill at the end of the session, the trio ended up lined up together and were skating in unison, stride for stride. If the three can be as of one-mind during games, look out.