The Malik Report
The second day of the Red Wings' training camp was not all that different from the first in that defensive zone coverage, breakouts (speedier breakouts than those employed by Mike Babcock), forechecking formations and utilization of defensive support once establishing possession in the offensive zone.
After a LOT of video, the Wings focused on breakouts, attempting bring two or three low forwards into the slot and then exit the zone via overloading the wing; the team then moved toward drills in which puck retrieval-turned-breakouts involved a 5-on-2 drill which again used three coaches as passive defenders; as Blashill is unafraid to stop drills when he's not satisfied, he barked, "Do it right, stay on the inside" to encourage his players to both cover the inside lanes defensively and to attack on the "inside" of their defenders.
The "four corners street hockey" drill that I've described in the past, with nets placed at the faceoff dots and 2 players feeding pucks to a diamond formation's worth of "puck-movers" outside the zone of contested ice returned, and the losers of the drill had to skate a lap;
The Red Wings' players spent the vast majority of the second day of training camp adding layers of complexity to drills emphasizing defensive zone positioning, breakouts, neutral zone transitions and offensive support.
Minus Darren Helm (concussion/shoulder) and Daniel Cleary (leg), Tomas Jurco was assigned to Team Delvecchio, where he played alongside Brad RIchards and Tomas Tatar, and Jurco looked quite good during both practice and a scrimmage in which Team Lindsay defeated Team Delvecchio 4-3 in a shootout.
As the scrimmage took place, Anthony Mantha came out and spoke with the media for about 5 minutes, discussing everything from his changes in summer training to the smile on his face when he's playing and his belief that the Wings' prospects need to look up to Luke Glendening as their work-ethic role model:
Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James...
General manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press Saturday morning that Darren Helm is out 2-4 weeks with a Grade I slightly separated left shoulder. Helm is also undergoing concussion protocol, which generally lasts one week.
Helm was injured during a drill Friday morning at Centre Ice Arena when he collided with free agent forward Jerome Verrier. Neither saw the other, and teammates were unable to give a heads-up yell in time.
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The 7&4 News filed a video report recounting the first day of training camp...
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
“Blash is his own man and he coaches the way he wants to,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “It’s good for us veteran guys who’ve been here for 10 years (under Babcock). The last four or five years you kind of knew everything. Now, you have to think out there.
“It’s a little different. You have to pay attention. There’s a little more competition, friendly competition, mixed in with work.”
Said Johan Franzen: “It’s a fresh start and it kind of makes you feel young again. You want to show what you can do.”...
“Every new job I’ve taken, whether it’s junior, college, American League or here, pretty much every season you have a little bit of butterflies and nerves,” Blashill said. “You have them in the sense you want to be prepared as possible and cover as much possible.
“It’s impossible to have everything covered and you’re going to have stumbling blocks like today. But certainly I was excited about getting going and get rolling.”
Players were excited about the new voice leading them.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It just gets worse for Jerome Verrier. Per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
The start of training camp wasn’t 10-minutes old Friday morning when Darren Helm and Jerome Verrier, a 21-year-old camp invitee, were involved a horrific on-ice collision near the team benches at Centre Ice Arena.
Both players, who collided head first – each skating at top speed – were taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment, though Verrier’s injuries were serious enough that he went to the hospital by ambulance.
Blashill said that Helm has a concussion and will miss at least a week, while Verrier will be sidelined a lot long after he suffered a fractured right leg.
Verrier is scheduled to undergo surgery Saturday morning to insert a rod in the leg, which should speed his recovery process, according to team doctors.
No stranger to bad-luck injuries himself, Helm’s return is uncertain.
“With the concussion protocol he’ll be, I guess we say day to day but it’s probably a little bit longer than that,” Blashill said of Helm’s return.
From the London Free Press's Ryan Pyette:
The star goaltender is sitting on a couch at his new billet's house, which backs onto a golf course where Tiger Woods won the same PGA tournament three times.
He will soon be guarding the home crease at an arena that, though it doesn't look like much from outside, is being transformed into one of the most progressive and functional facilities in major junior hockey history.
He and his mates are supported by a deep-pocketed owner, whose recent buck-spending suggests he treats this puck journey the same way Michigan rapper Eminem saw his career: "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance . . . this opportunity comes once in a lifetime."
This is hockey, Flint style.
Luxury, where it may be least expected.
"The first impression I got when we heard the team was moving from Plymouth last season was word of mouth -- just like everyone else," said Alex Nedeljkovic, the OHL's top goalie two years ago. "That Flint is kind of run down. But I got here and that's not the case. It's really nice and a hockey-rich community. Anybody would be lucky to come play here four years and spend their career with the Firebirds."
Updated 6x at 8:36 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
The Associated Press's James Cook penned a recap of the first day of training camp's events, including the Verrier-Helm collision:
The 21-year-old Verrier collided with Helm during a drill in the camp's first 10 minutes at Traverse City's Centre Ice Arena, resulting in both going to the hospital.
"I heard it, and turned around and saw them go down," said Johan Franzen, who missed much of last season following a concussion. "It was really scary. The kid was in so much pain. I was sitting down on a knee, and kind of feeling a little sick for a while."
First-year Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Verrier suffered a broken right leg and that Helm will go through the league's concussion protocol and is day-to-day.
Newcomers Brad Richards and Mike Green skated with the team, although much of the day's talk revolved around the collision.
"I just heard it," forward Tomas Tatar said. "I turned, and two guys are on the ice. For sure, you don't want to see this happen on the first drill of camp."
Training camp is a strange beast, and when there's a new coaching staff assessing 70 players, there are learning curves for everyone involved.
The irony about the Helm-Verrier collision involved the fact that coach Jeff Blashill is introducing a slightly faster, one-less-pass breakout--and today was all about breakouts, about retrieving dump-ins, setting up from inside the blueline and skating the puck out to center, generating speed through neutral ice and attacking in a structured matter--and that required everybody to keep their heads on the swivel as the old familiar Babcockian systems have new wrinkles.
Breakouts were emphasized first when the goalie retrieved a dump-in; breakouts were authored by defensemen making d-to-d passes, or one-touching passes to forwards, breakouts were utilized in 5-on-4 penalty-killing situations, on the power play, in 3-on-3 scrimmages, utilizing "whirlpool" drills at center ice, where d-to-d and forward-to-forward passes worked the "four corners" of the neutral zone, mostly, breakouts were utilized as counterattacking impetus and to emphasize defensive positioning, with man-on-man and "zone" defense balanced out a little better than Babcock's one-player-one-defender systems.
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
2. CBS Sports' Adam Gretz discusses the "biggest question" the Red Wings face going into training camp...
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.