In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The boys are back in town - Training Camp 2010

You can literally smell hockey season starting... or maybe that's just the locker rooms. But either way, hockey fans came in droves to watch old favorites and new rookies alike don their skates at Anaheim Ice.

With Bobby Ryan safely signed to a five-year contract, Paul Mara most recently added on a one-year, and Toni Lydman out indefinitely with migraines and double vision, the roster is roughly that which will be seen at the Ducks' first preseason game (against the Phoenix Coyotes) Tuesday night.

There were a few "new" players I was anxious to check out (Andy Sutton, Danny Syvret, Cam Fowler) so I started off my morning on the larger, and arguably colder, Olympic rink and worked my way over to the NHL rink to visit perennial favorites (Bobby, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Jonas Hiller, etc.) later. Oh, and to be in place for the scrimmage, of course.

I'm no hockey expert, so my observations are simply that: observations. I thought our boys, for the most part, looked good. Ryan Getzlaf's ankle injury appears to be well behind him, as are Hiller's back spasms. Saku, Teemu, and Bobby look great, as always. There's plenty of fight in guys like Stephane Veilleux (on a pro-tryout) and 2010 draftee Devante Smith-Pelly. Our passing could use some work, and I'm not talking about stretch passes, just ordinary passing!

Coach Carlyle has mentioned that Bobby will try his hand at playing center, and while I'm confident he'll do well (he hasn't floundered in that position in the past), I hesitate to put up any goal expectations in the sidebar for him this season! Maybe 30? Maybe 35?

Anyway, let's check out some pictures!

The Olympic rink boys watching a diagrammed play.

Jason Blake getting ready to fire one at Igor Bobkov while Sutton looks on.

I like what I'm seeing with Sutton. The guy is HUGE, for one, standing at 6'6" and 245 lbs. He's got great defensive presence, and I can't wait to see him in action at the Ponda. Personally, I don't think I'd want anyone else wearing #25 after Chris Pronger besides Sutton. Big shoes to fill, buddy, but I know you can do it.

Timo Pielmeier in the net.

I still like this kid, but I think he could use another year or two in the minors before he comes up.

Corey Perry and Jason Blake.

Aaron Voros and Kyle Chipchura, who's turning into a scoring machine at this year's training camp!

Curtis McElhinney watching Fowler, who's watching the puck.

Syvret, newly acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Also liking what I'm seeing from Syvret: a close-covering defenseman who can put a few in the back of the net as well.

Local draftee Emerson Etem, Selanne, and Koivu.

Didn't see too much from Etem on day one, but I'm hoping he warms up in exhibition games.

Hiller, with a new black mask, between the pipes.

You can definitely see a comfort level with Hiller, who himself has said that it feels better knowing he's our number one goaltender and he won't have to prove himself every night to get the start.

The scrimmage was strenuous, I felt tired for our boys on the ice! As the days of training camp progressed, guys would get more physical and aggressive.

Voros and Bodie breaking up Carter and Sutton as tempers flare.

(I managed to bring Rebel XL for one day for better pictures, hence the two different sizes of pics. My apologies.)

Sutton giving Luca Sbisa a few words of advice, d-man to d-man.

Koivu and Veilleux battling for the puck while Selanne watches.

Ryan Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey race for the puck.

Getzlaf and Peter Holland in the faceoff.

Bobby and Perry took off after the puck, but Perry tripped and fell while Bobby gained possession.

The boys stretch after an exhausting scrimmage.

It's so good seeing our Ducks back out on the ice. The summer really has been too long. The first preseason game is tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes. Can't wait!

Ladies and gentlemen, hockey is back!


Mike said...

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Site name: NHL Snipers

Chris (aka Ducks54) said...

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