Very sorry for the late posting of this blog. I got back from practice to find the screen on my laptop is not functioning. Sounds like a new (old) computer is in my future. Meanwhile, the monitor on my home computer is getting me through the day.
I wanted to share a couple of thoughts from coach Craig Ramsay from my post-practice interview. He brought up the subject of player commitment several times in response to several different questions.
As part of a response to a question about what the team did in practice, he said: “The one thing I really like around here, overall, is the commitment by the players. They have to show it. Not everybody has at all times and I’m not going to get into that, but we have to see that from every person. There isn’t somebody who can just go out and play. That’s unacceptable. We are going to get past that.”
As part of a response about the battle for the final defenseman position, he said: “It’s not going to be easy to play here. I hope they’ve picked up on that so far in training camp. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be demanding. There is a lot expected from our players. We expect to see that commitment at practice and in the games. They better understand that because it won’t work any other way.”
As part of a response about who will play in exhibition games, he said: “We see commitment at this during practice. We see if a guy is willing to work. The vast majority are doing that.”
Sounds like he is trying to deliver a message.
In other news:
* Chris Thorburn has played some center during training camp. There will be a story posted later, but Ramsay said the Thrashers think Thorburn can play both center and right wing. He’s going to get the chance. It’s possible he’ll play in the middle on the third or fourth line.
* In injury news, Andrew Kozek had successful surgery to repair sports hernia that has kept the prospect out of training camp. Patrice Cormier is scheduled to have the hard cast on his broken right foot removed in the next couple days and he will be re-evaluated. Everyone else in camp, including Jim Slater, participated in practice.
* It looks to me that Nigel Dawes and Fredrik Pettersson are likely to make the roster at forward. That leaves the fourth-line center and seventh defenseman position open.
*Here are the practice groupings and pairings from Thursday’s practice.
Goaltenders: Chris Mason, Peter Mannino
Defensemen: Brent Sopel, Zach Bogosian, Freddy Meyer, Noah Welch, Johnny Oduya, Tobias Enstrom
Forwards: Evander Kane, Bryan Little Patrick Rissmiller, Nigel Dawes, Niclas Bergfors, Anthony Stewart, Eric Boulton, Spencer Machacek, Akim Aliu, Jim Slater
The Group A line pairings were:
Goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelec, Drew MacIntyre
Defensemen: Boris Valabik, Ron Hainsey, Jaime Sifers, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrey Zubarev, Arturs Kulda
Forwards: Andrew Ladd, Fredrik Modin, Enver Lisin, Ben Eager, Chris Thorburn, Riley Holzapfel, Rich Peverley, Alex Burmistrov, Fredrik Pettersson, Nik Antropov
The Group B line pairings were:
The practice schedule for Friday is
Group A: 10:15-11:20 a.m.
Group B: 11:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
Note: They have been using both rinks at the IceForum. Warm-up drills first in the public rink followed immediately by system work in the practice rink.
Finally, thanks so much to those who have introduced themselves to me at practices. I so very much appreciate the kind words and your reading of the AJC.