Blackhawks Training Camp Festival Round-Up

After watching a few hours of hockey on a Saturday morning in mid-September, it’s easy to predict that the Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup in June of 2012.

Of course it is.

But what did we see during the training camp festival? Here are a few thoughts.

Positives

Jonathan Toews was in mid-season form, and appeared to be a man playing with boys. He beat Ray Emery for a breakaway goal during the first scrimmage. If his play during a scrimmage this morning is any indication, Toews is ready for a big-time season.

Patrick Kane did not participate in the scrimmage, but his wrist appeared to be as good as he claims it feels.

Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Nick Leddy all appeared to have fresh legs despite Friday’s fitness testing. Leddy appeared to be stronger on the ice as well.

Michael Frolik looked very good, and was physical as well. He handled the puck in traffic effectively and led the rush a few times.

Corey Crawford made a number of outstanding saves.

Among the draft picks and prospects in attendance, a number looked especially good. Brandon Saad was very good, holding his own physically against NHL players and handling the puck well in traffic. Philip Danault and Brandon Pirri also looked good at forward, while Shawn Lalonde, Joe Lavin and Ryan Stanton all looked good on the back end.

Not-So-Positives

Sami Lepisto wasn’t impressive at all. If Saturday’s action determined the depth chart for the season opener, Lepisto would be your sixth or seventh defenseman.

Of all the players that skated in any capacity on Saturday, the guy that appeared to be the furthest from being an NHL player was John Scott. He was the slowest skater on the ice, including Troy Murray and Joel Quenneville. The puck eluded him on a number of occasions, and he had a few bad turnovers as well. I don’t know how he’s on the NHL roster in October.

Rostislav Olesz looked lost on a number of plays, and was caught flat-footed as the puck passed him a few times as well. He isn’t going to see top-nine minutes the way he played on Saturday. The game was being played at one speed, and he was skating at another, slower pace.

Among the prospects in attendance, there were two that were noticeably invisible.

Marcus Kruger, who is a favorite of the organization and many fans (including me), didn’t make a big impact.

The more unfortunate ghost in the action was Kyle Beach. His team played in both scrimmages, providing him with plenty of opportunity to impact the game and stand out. He didn’t.

Unfortunately, Jeremy Morin skated on the side only on Saturday. He missed a big part of last season with concussion symptoms, and the team is calling his availability day-to-day right now with continued issues.

This entry was posted in 2011-12 Blackhawks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Blackhawks Training Camp Festival Round-Up

  1. pricey says:

    Is it any wonder why Olesz looked lost? First on ice practice since ACL surgery and on a new team. That’s not surprising at all.

    It’s also being very optimistic to think Lepisto is anything other a 6/7 dman on this team anyway..

  2. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Olesz – w/ all due respect, he passed his physical and is 100%. There are more than enough forwards in Chicago for a guy that, in the estimation of some, could use a knee injury as an excuse to take his time getting back. If he’s going to need time and reps to get his wheels under him, he should start looking for a place in Rockford (as I said Friday).

  3. Olesz will be fine. He may have passed a physical, but that doesn’t mean he’s “ice” ready. So, I also will agree with “Pricey”. Not so concerned with Sami Lepisto either. I think what fans may want to know more about are: What did you think of Monty? How was Mark McNeill’s performance? Daniel Carcillo,…heard he did well and maintained composure. Toews brothers. How did David perform? As for your blogs? ….Read them quite often. Fun to come to this site, especially when hockey isn’t the primary source of conversation and we’re looking for our hockey fix.
    Dr. G

  4. wall says:

    Watched both scrimmages via Stream… great analysis… I would add that Stalberg looked much faster than everyone else, Bolland was great, and Carcillo looked good! Here are the Forward Rankings based on 1st scrimmages:
    Toews (way better than everyone), Bolland, Saad, Frolik, Pirri, Stalberg, and Carcillo.
    If the last 2 guys mentioned learn how to finish, the Hawks will be dangerous.
    Saad looks like a “mini-Hossa” with the puck. Either he is faster than most or has great endurance… seems to have extra gear. Know he is young, but he is strong and skilled… 3rd best forward in scrimmage… impressive! Would be awesome on either top 2 lines!

  5. pricey says:

    And thats fine if he ends up in Rockford to start.. All I’m saying is your expectations are way to high to start with if you were expecting him to light it up.

    He missed half of last season with ACL surgery and it was his first practice cleared by doctors.

    It may take the entire preseason for him to get back into things and find a spot on the team. Real games against other preseason opponents will be a better gauge.. Not a inter-squad scrimmage on the first day of camp.

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    It appears I need to change my answering approach to temper your criticism, since you haven’t read anything on this site other than this specific article. The post immediately prior to this – Blackhawks Roster Question: What To Do With Rostislav Olesz? – states in fairly clear detail my expectations for Olesz this season. I invite you to read that, and then comment on how high my expectations really are.

  7. pricey says:

    If you don’t want criticism, don’t write public blogs. I mean no offense by my opinion on this.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong. I agree with you, from what I seen online, there was nothing he did that warranted any attention at all but the fact that your last blog did state that your expectations aren’t that high, and then you write in this one that you were essentially disappointed after one scrimmage .. It’s not crazy to be a little confused by that.

  8. Mike says:

    How did Emery do? Coach Q says Crawford is looking for 55 starts. Got to make sure the goalie starting the other 27 games has to win at least 14 of them for the Hawks to keep pace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>