POSTCARDS FROM YARMOUTH - Day Four
(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) Random notes, quotes and observations from Day Four of training camp:
Assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski spoke in the morning about his Day Three impressions: "There was good excitement in the building, said Jankowski. "The young players looked a little nervous trying to make an impression. It was good to see (Jeff) Tambellini get off to good start. Kozlov is a tremendously skilled hockey player. He's versatile. In a game like that, he should stand out.
Other than competing harder, Team Henning coach pro scout Chris O'Sullivan indicated prior to today's first scrimmage that the coaching staff would like to see "a more run and gun system from the players. We want to see some more offense.
Scrimmage One: Team Henning 5, Team Nystrom 4
Jeff Tambellini picked up right where he left off from yesterday by getting the first tally of the game for Team Henning. Tambellini received a cross-ice feed from NHL veteran and camp invitee Richard Park five minutes into the first period.
In the first period the combination of NHL veteran Chris Simon and camp invitee Jamie Johnson, who played on the Tambellini Viktor Kozlov line yesterday looked dangerous despite not scoring.
The first period finished with pro scout Chris O'Sullivan's Team Henning up 1-0.
Mike York had a good opportunity to even up the score for director of pro scouting Ken Morrow's Team Nystrom.
But it was 2006 third round draft pick Robin Figren and camp invitee Jason Guerriero, who put Team Henning up by three with back-to-back goals early in the second period.
Team Henning continued the onslaught with a goal by 2003 first round draft pick Petteri Nokelainen from a pass from former Pittsburgh Penguin Andy Hilbert.
Team Nystrom got some life late in the second by notching two goals, one from camp invitee defenseman Bryan Rodney and recent acquisition Chris Simon.
Team Nystrom kept pressing to get within one, but former fifth round pick Steve Regier capped off the regulation scoring for a 5-2 Team Henning lead.
In the shootout session, where Team Nystrom had four shooters compared to Team Henning's one, Nystrom got within one, on goals by Trent Hunter and Kozlov. It was the goaltending star from yesterday, Mike Mole, however, who came up big to stop Danish born Frans Nielsen and Mike York to seal the 5-4 victory for Team Henning.
Team Nystrom 4, Team Tonelli 2
Ken Morrow's Team Nystrom came out with an intensity level not seen in their prior two games and it was evident on the scoreboard as well.
Frans Nielsen gave Team Nystrom their first lead of the day converting on a breakaway halfway through the first for a 1-0 Nystrom lead and then banged home is second of the game mid-way through the first giving Team Nystrom a 2-0 lead going into intermission.
The highlight of the first period may have been the second fight in two days. This time Joe Grimaldi took on heavyweight Chris Simon. After a crosscheck and slash from Grimaldi, Simon took on Grimaldi who has now been in both fights yesterday fighting Jason Blake.
Team Tonelli fought back in the second period with an early goal by recent Islanders acquisition Peter Ferraro high to the glove side over goaltender Billy Thompson.
Jeremy Colliton put Team Nystrom back up by two after blasting home a centering pass from Jason Blake, who seemed as fired up today as he did in yesterday's Blue-White Game.
Things started heating up again as our second fight of the day took place. Brendan Witt and camp invitee Brandon Cullen discussed it over first before dropping the gloves. Haymakers were thrown by both with Cullen eventually hauling down Witt to end the fight.
In the penalty shot frame, Alexei Yashin got Team Tonelli within one, but Jason Blake countered with his own goal for Team Nystrom to earn the team's first victory of the tournament, 4-2
Ted Nolan spoke to the press afterwards about the day's scrimmages: "The (intensity) is coming. It was definitely a lot higher today. It was a lot better day today than yesterday.
Nolan, not an advocate of fighting at training camp admitted that, "Every once in a while the emotions boil over and you see it. We have big tough guys here like Brendan Witt and Chris Simon, but a guy like Joe Grimaldi is trying to make a name for himself here. There's no question he's caught my eye. He's playing with energy.
"When asked about who stood out, Nolan replied: "Jason Blake was feisty today. That maybe rubbed off on other players because the energy level was up today. You look for leadership on your team to do that and Blake did that with his energy level.
Grimaldi, the Long Iisland native, is catching the coaches' eyes with his two fights in two days, but he claims he's not much of a fighter. "I'm not really a fighter. I just try to compete and work hard. I try to play good defense. But I can't just go out there, I have to try and do something to stick out.
Following the first scrimmage pro scout Tony Feltrin remarked that there was more intensity today than in the previous scrimmages. He also thought that Trent Hunter and former first round pick Petteri Nokelainen were looking stronger today.
The scrimmage tournament, spread out over three days, has been dubbed the Lobster Cup. Each team earns three points for a victory and an extra point for each goal they win by. After the second day of scrimmaging, Team Henning has 9 points, Team Nystrom 5 and Team Tonelli 4. The tournament concludes on Wednesday.
39 Rick DiPietro
60 Mike Mole
3 Tom Poti - 6 Sean Hill
38 Allan Rourke - 37 Johan Halvardsson
56 Dustin Kohn - 65 Nick Tuzzolino
11 Andy Hilbert - 17 Shawn Bates - 29 Petteri Nokelainen
15 Jeff Tambellini - 44 Chris Ferraro - 81 Miroslav Satan
41 Robin Figren - 61 Jason Guerriero - 48 Steve Regier
50 Tomas Marcinko - 10 Richard Park
1 Mike Dunham
35 Billy Thompson
32 Brendan Witt - 8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli - 68 Bryan Rodney
36 Mark Wotton - 43 Ryan Caldwell
47 Andrew MacDonald
34 Wade Dubielewicz
33 Chris Madden
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 2 Rick Berry
4 Joel Bouchard - 24 Radek Martinek
59 Kevin Mitchell - 64 Joe Grimaldi
79 Alexei Yashin - 18 Mike Sillinger - 21 Robert Nilsson
57 Blake Comeau - 40 Matt Koalska - 43 Arron Asham
53 Brandon Cullen - 62 Chris Gaudet - 26 Peter Ferraro
46 Sergei Ogorodnikov
Reported by Jason Lockhart and Corey Witt