Camp opened today. Let me go ahead and repeat that.
CAMP OPENED TODAY.
Ok, I’m going to have to set aside the fanboy in me. But you know, this is the first real sign that Peoria Rivermen hockey is right around the corner.
I managed to take my younger son to camp with me, and while the excitement of hockey lasted a lot longer than I thought it would, he was decidedly bored after a while. I, however, was still a kid in a candy store.
Day one was full speed from the word go. I arrived just as camp was getting started and there was no waiting to get things moving.
Every whistle the guys on the ice were skating full tilt to their destination, be it center ice or the bench area for instructions from Coach Bednar. To his credit, Bednar wasn’t wasting any time either. Just when a drill looked to be over he would blow the whistle. The guys would take off again, full speed, and run more drills. As the session went on the drill got more complex, and by the time I left some body work was being done along the boards.
At times Bednar would single out one of the boys. Shouting “Pick up your feet!” or “Faster!” he was directing the guys through the drills and you could tell that by the end of the practice anyone not breathing hard just wasn’t going to cut it in Bednar’s book.
I liked it.
I have great respect for Davis Payne and the job he did while in Peoria. He is doing a great job in St. Louis, and I think that the camp he ran over the last two weeks have only helped Bednar in his job.
I can only hope that the conditioning of the team stays top notch, and if the workload on day one is any indication the Rivermen will be able to skate with anyone.
I am hoping that I figure out the better way to shoot through the Owens Center glass tomorrow so I can get some better action shots. Me and my dinky little lens can’t keep up with the action on the ice.
As a reminder practice tomorrow is from 10:00am to 12:00pm, a perfect time to spend some of your lunch hour.
I imagine that the final cuts will be made by STL after the next preseason game or Thursday at the latest. Bishop is scheduled to be in net on Thursday, so I wouldn’t imagine that he or Elliott gets assigned to Peoria before then.
I am looking forward to Day Two!
The guys over at St. Louis Game Time have a good article on the Elliott v. Bishop battle for the #2 spot in STL. I have been saying that it will be Bishop in Peoria and Elliott as the #2 for a while now, and while we may agree we come to that decision in different ways.
From the article:
Bishop’s one year contract looks to me to be the same as the one-year contract given to forward T.J. Oshie: put up or shut up. Bishop needs to go to Peoria and be put in a situation where he and Jake Allen are pitted against each other in a season-long battle to see who is the best goalie. Which one of them can dominate the AHL and stake a claim to the next challenge, which is who can make a run at Jaroslav Halak’s position as starter.
Go read the whole article, there is some good insight to be had! Then you can follow them on the Twitter.
THE CHEECHOO SONG
I will only say that I would pay real money to see Cheechoo’s reaction if the PA has this song on queue when he scores at Carver Arena.