One last ride and one last scrimmage: Live notebook from day three of Vancouver Canucks training camp
By Faber1 year ago
The Abbotsford Centre has not been this full in years!
Fans gathered in the arena as the parking lot was full before the beginning of Group A’s skate at 9 am. The scent of hotdogs in the morning was strong throughout the arena and today was Fin’s first day back with fans. The Canucks’ mascot was spotted chomping on children’s heads with his foam teeth and getting the crowd fired up with his killer (whale) dance moves.
Group A had their final day of drills at training camp and after a quick flood of the ice, we are scheduled for a scrimmage at 11:10 am.
The lines looked to be much of the same as the groups stayed the same. We had our eyes on the matchup between the Podkolzin-Miller-Garland line and the Pearson-Horvat-MacEwen line. While also paying attention to the Höglander-Petan-Boeser line matching up against the Chiasson-Dickinson-Di Giuseppe line.
Will Lockwood is another player who we are going to be keeping a close eye on. He has been excellent in the first two days of camp and will be matching up against AHL competition. If he shines in this second and final scrimmage, he will become one of the top candidates to fill out the bottom end of the NHL roster. We will have some video of him in the scrimmage later on in this article.
The practice drills were much of the same on day three, nobody really stood out but let’s just hop right into the scrimmage and overreact to everything that we see.
The crowd was excited to see the Canucks take the ice in this game-like action.
Here are some takeaways from the Canucks final scrimmage at training camp.
First off, this scrimmage was the best we have seen from Danila Klimovich all weekend. He was able to control the puck, he made good passes, and his dangles to set up dangerous shot attempts were bountiful.
I’ve had my doubts about him making the AHL team out of camp but today’s scrimmage took a big step in that direction. If he can play with this amount of confidence in preseason games, maybe him going to the QMJHL isn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion.
Nils Höglander lit the lamp as well. He was on a line with Nic Petan and Brock Boeser for the third day in a row.
It was strange to hear that line call for passes from “Petey”. But maybe Elias Pettersson will see this and get jealous.
More to come… Off to do some media.
We are back from some media. A one-on-one interview with Will Lockwood will be available tomorrow here on CanucksArmy.
Speaking of Lockwood, he was excellent once again. He was flying around in the scrimmage and looked more physical than any of the other days. He threw some big hits throughout the scrimmage, the biggest coming when he knocked over big daddy Luke Schenn.
Schenn is likely in a heated conversation with the Canucks’ social media personnel.
A story that has been in the background is Mikey DiPietro’s excellence through camp. I’m no goalie expert but it’s been clear that DiPietro has looked just as good, if not better than Jaroslav Halak. DiPietro has become a star student of Ian Clark’s in many of the goaltender drills. The goalies have had a ton of work before and after the practices and DiPietro has just simply loked better than Halak in every drill.
We will see if this is much of a story as the season goes on but two things are for sure. Mikey DiPietro looks like he’s ready to be an NHL backup and Halak’s no-move clause is going to be a pain this season.
The second group of skaters took to the ice for their practice just after noon.
Nothing was much to note, there were a few drills about breaking out the puck and Travis Green was once again very vocal.
It was a tough scene as Brady Keeper sustained a lower body injury that was hard to watch. He blocked a shot, went to put weight on his leg and something popped out. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and in a leg cast. We are hoping for the best with his recovery.
Once again, Tyler Motte, Carson Focht and Guillaume Brisebois worked with skills coaches and two goaltenders after practice.
Motte looks good, I have to imagine that he is close to returning.
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