My brother and I made the trek from Surrey to UBC this morning to watch the Canucks take part in their first on-ice drills of training camp. After a quick pit stop at McDonalds and Blenz Coffee – breakfast of champions, I know – we got to Thunderbird Arena and settled in with about 100 die-hard Canucks fans. (This was at 9:30 AM; the crowd grew to probably close to 600-700 by the afternoon.)
The players were split into two main groups (plus apparently a third one in the smaller ice rink that we didn’t see).
Some pictures and thoughts from Group 1:
- Andrew Raycroft and Cory Schneider were out on the ice early. (They were out already when we got there.) Raycroft, the man they call “Razor”, was anything but. His lateral movements seemed slow. Schneider was on the other end so I didn’t see him that much.
- Jannik Hansen looked focused. He competed hard in the drills and made some nice moves to get his shot off. Incidentally, his shot looked harder too.
- Michael Grabner’s speed and skill were obvious today. He missed on a few of his chances though and he was visibly frustrated by the end of his session.
- Sergei Shirokov adjusted pretty good from prospects camp to main camp. He’s quite patient with the puck and was able to make some nice moves off the rush.
- I personally thought that one of the highlights of the first group was Kyle Wellwood leading the stretches – that was a nice touch.
- Dave Scatchard looks like, well, Dave Scatchard. He was solid positionally but had little finish.
BTW… The photos were taken by my brother Jamey. As you can tell, he’s the artistic one in the family.