Penguins, January 12 Informal Practice
The second of this weekends informal practices was interesting to say the least. In attendance was Tangradi, Despres, Fleury,Vokoun, Dupuis, Neal, Martin, Engelland, Glass, Letang, Bennett, Vitale, and Adams. For the most part they ran some drills that you would normally see in a structured practice, but the highlight was the 20 minute throw together game the players put on for the fans.
Of course the physicality wasn’t at its peak but you could tell that the players were more in shape than you would think after an elongated off season (eight months for most) . Fleury was challenged quite a bit in net and made some impressive saves which would case the audience to cheer, Vokoun though looked good seemed more like he was there just to get some ice time.
A little disappointing that Crosby was not at the Arena, more so because they announced that the practices over the weekend would be open to the public, so one would think that the face of the franchise would be there.
At one point Martin took a nasty spill into the boards, but go right back up and continued aggressively going after the puck, It was obvious he was a little shaken from the fall, but he took it like a man and kept on going.
A couple things that stuck out to me; Tangradi looked good, he appears to be very calm and ready for the season to begin. Despres, as much as I was excited to see him on the ice, appeared to be a bit sluggish at times and not really staying in position, though that may change when Camp begins.
The rest of the team seem solid, and seems ready for camp, even though Geno was not here today I can only imagine how for ahead of everyone else he will be come January 19th.
All in all as a Penguin fan it was enjoyable just to see these guys back on the ice and preparing for a grueling season, I can not even imagine how difficult this next week will be for some of them, trying to get in the best shape they can in time for the season opener. As one fan said in the stand Lets get things started and DROP THE PUCK ALREADY!
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