I went to the Preds training camp today for the scrimmage. It was refreshing to see NHL players back on the ice. It was Team Blue vs. Team Silver. The rookies and vets were split between the two teams. There were a lot of people there watching, which I was surprised at because it started at 10am, but whatever. I got to see Wendy and Lisa again, which was nice. And Jenn came a little later. The Blue team started out strong with 2 goals from Mike Santorelli (the older one). He looked really good with Erat and Legwand. Ellis was in goal for Blue, and Rinne for Silver. Dumont was noticeably shook up on a few plays. Didn't really look like he trained too hard this summer, so hopefully he won't end up injured all season. He, Arnott, and Sullivan were all over the ice setting up gorgeous plays for the silver team. Really love them together. Weber and Suter looked sharp on the blue team. They were paired for a little while, and then they weren't. The D pairings varied throughout. The one pairing I would have liked to see was impossible. I wanted to see Weber and Franson together, but Franson was on the silver team. Klein and Blum were together for much of the game, but they weren't really noticeable. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. Maki was skating around hitting everything that moved. Same with McKenzie. Yonkman is still huge, and still sucks. He's too slow, and was on the wrong end of more than a few decent breakaway chances. The blue team ended up losing 4-5, but Mike Santorelli was a bright spot. He will challenge for a spot this year. Spaling was also really good, but it didn't show up the same way on the score sheet. After the scrimmage was over, I stuck around to watch the goalies run some drills with Coach Korn. A few of the rookies helped out too. Ellis looked really strong. I think he's worked on fixing whatever it as that plagued him last year. So here's hoping we have an awesome goalie tandem in him and Pekka.
It was nice to get to catch up with Wendy and Lisa, who I haven't seen all summer. But more than that, it was nice to have professional hockey back. Over the summer you tend to forget how fast the game is. But being in the Sportsplex today brought me back to that, and it was awesome. Only a couple more weeks until the opening game, but my first pre-season game will be this Saturday. And my tickets finally came in the mail today. And yes, they are hot.