Training camp recap: Chip the puck off the boards

Day Two of Thrashers training camp was much like the first in the drills conducted by coach Craig Ramsay and his staff. The concentration was on chipping the puck off the boards as an offensive weapon. They also worked on getting the defensemen to jump into the offensive rush some more.

There is still plenty of work to do. Ramsay was unsatisfied with the progress made. Here is what he had to say:

“We worked on chipping it again and we found it to be inordinately unsuccessful. Using the boards is an important part of the game and it’s actually a play. You just don’t panic and throw [the puck] off the wall. You bounce it off the wall on purpose if someone can go chase it down. Indirect passes, I call it. Or you can get it back.

“It’s something I really believe in. When you look at the middle of the ice, just look at the middle of the ice now and all the people standing there, and you try to make a pass through there. If you watched today’s scrimmage we tried to make a pass through there. And it doesn’t work. They kept picking it off and picking it off and turning it over. The point is when someone is clogging up the ice, you have to use what’s available to you. The other thing, and it’s an old hockeyism about tape-to-tape passes, if there are two guys trying to pick it off, they are probably going to get it. If you throw it off the wall behind the player, it’s going to come out in front of him and you can chase it down. You can throw it off the boards in all aspects, almost every place on the ice and catch someone trying to aggressively step up. You can use it very effectively. What we did see is that these players, some of them, are not used to it. Some of them want to make a tape-to-tape pass even when they cannot. That’s when you see all those turnovers. We think we can cut down turnovers and increase offensive opportunities by putting ourselves in foot races.”

* As a final note, Ramsay said he has not set a date for the first set of cuts. It will be after Tuesday’s first exhibition game. While he would like to get to a smaller, more manageable number, he and his new staff are still learning about the players. That makes it hard.

As I posted as a comment in the first blog, Ramsay is switching Bryan Little to center and Rich Peverely to right wing. That is the subject of the daily training camp story which should be posted soon.

19 comments Add your comment

Joe Friday

September 19th, 2010
5:30 pm

Little to center? I like it, smart move, that’s where we should’ve been playing him all along.


September 19th, 2010
5:38 pm

Ditto Joe Friday’s comment at 5:30 PM. Put Little in the middle and forget about the Mix-A-Lot jokes.


September 19th, 2010
5:43 pm

Now let’s hope Antro moves back to the wing.


September 19th, 2010
5:56 pm

I like the board strategy… pass it off the board and chase down the rebound. The “Give and Go” as we called it in soccer.


September 19th, 2010
7:20 pm

If you want to play the boards then invest in some hot boards like in Detroit or Montreal. Would be cheaper than one of these 2 way has-been players we keep stockpiling.


September 19th, 2010
9:16 pm

I like that Ramsey can verbalize areas needing improvement. I suspect post-game pressers will be the same. No “dark clouds” following the team, but specific things to work on. That suggests to me that he really will teach the players how to see/play the game better.


September 19th, 2010
9:18 pm

Sounds like Bob Hartley with better vocabulary.


September 19th, 2010
9:25 pm

Fancy that, a coach who isn’t afraid to speak what is on his mind; not worried about pointing out his team’s flaws to the media. They’re big boys, they can handle it. Don’t think we’ll see much sulking and WTF? from Craig Ramsay!

Mike Honcho Shake and Bake

September 19th, 2010
9:27 pm

it sounds a little (no pun intented) like what Anderson was trying to do (defense jump up and forwards get back quick). Just an uneducated observation. From the mic’ed up video I like his deilery method a lot more than Anderson, he’s got the experience to back it up, and we are two less Russian’s doing things their own way…. maybe it will be a quick and successfull spin up


September 19th, 2010
9:28 pm

I like in the video that hes not afraid to call people out. When Hainsey and a few other guys jumped the whistle he asked what their problem was and made them do it again.

I like that style from a coach. There is a time and a place for being a friend, and the ice is not that time.


September 19th, 2010
9:35 pm

Peverly is a good pivot…hate to see him go to wing, he can really create space. Of course, what do I know?


September 19th, 2010
10:29 pm

KLS1 – I agree. I think Peverly is more responsible defensively than Little. Much of Little’s production 2 years ago was at right wing on the little-white-russian(koslov) line. Some of these changes appear to be just for the sake of making a change.


September 19th, 2010
11:42 pm

I really like the LADD / LITTLE / PEVERLY line idea a lot and from the chemistry Ladd and Peverly had at camp this past weekend it only makes more sense!

Lots and lots of options this time around, I couldn’t be more excited. Let’s drop the puck already!


September 20th, 2010
8:02 am

If this will lead up to plays such as this:
I’m all for it.

(Of course Ruutu passed the puck of the wall to himself here, twice. But whatever works, I guess :) )


September 20th, 2010
8:41 am

ajcthrashers Nik Antropov and Angelo Esposito not skating again this morning.

Any thoughts on this, Chris? Are these guys having any post-surgery problems? Or is the reason for holding them out again “just a precaution”?


September 20th, 2010
8:50 am

Does any one know what happened to Evgeny Artyukhin?


September 20th, 2010
9:44 am

ajcthrashers Group C wins scrimmage over Group A 4-1. Goals by Zubarev, Peverley, Paquette and Meyer for C. Sifers for A.

Spirit Fools

September 20th, 2010
11:31 pm

Hey Spirit, how are ticket sales coming? You idiots are amazing. Another year of boring hockey in Atlanta while owners charge Red Wing prices.

Zombie Steve

September 21st, 2010
11:25 am

Wing charge $10 nose bleeder tickets too??