I finally got to camp Friday, took extensive notes via WordPress for BlackBerry and had them disappear into the ether after hitting post.
Here’s what I saw and heard, as I recall it.
Alexandrov: Still skates damned well, seems to have added some mass as well. Made use of positioning, body contact, and stick in drills and scrimmage. He’s the most professional of all the players at camp. Not surprising since he’s played in the KHL which is about equal to the AHL. He’s economical and does what’s needed to do the job without overplaying the body, puck or shot.
Fallstrom: From what I’d read around the internet I honestly wasn’t expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised. He can skate with the fastest of them, he kept his stick on the ice, and seemed to both pass effectively and contain passes well.
Cross: In someways he reminds me of a cross between Mclaren and Gill. He’s physical, big, very upright and uses stick and body to good effect.
Donald: Got a huge pop out of the crowd with a shootout goal in the scrimmage. I didn’t think he did that well in the drills as he made little or ineffectual use of his upper body and stick, but was very strong on his skates and well positioned. Good balance too. To a lesser extent than Cross, also reminds me of McLaren.
Cantin: Big hits, he was a wrecking ball in the scrimmage, it was fun to see and kept everyones head up. Otherwise I didn’t really notice him positively or negatively.
Knight: Comes as billed. He’s a crease front presence who will charge into and through traffic with and without the puck. I liked watching him in action. I’m hoping to see him in Boston if not this year (unlikely) than next year when contracts like Sturm, Recchi and Ryders have expired. I suspect he’ll end up back in Juniors this year but may finish the season in Providence if there run goes longer than his Junior team since he’ll be 19 in January.
Gothberg: Got better and better as the day went on. Looked shakey early, and then managed to just plain rob Seguin and a couple others in the shootout. He was the youngest player in camp, he’ll probably not even get a sniff of the NHL for five years, which would make him a creaky 22 at that point.
Warfsofsky: He looked much better in game play than in drills. Reads plays well, positions himself well, good skater, and takes reasonable chances with his body.
Dalton: I only really got a good look at him when he stayed on the ice while Suave skated after the others. Looks to have developed a bit more confidence, didn’t let in any bad goals that i recall.
Suave: While he didn’t participate in drills or the scrimmage he skated and took shots on Dalton after the rest had gone to the locker room. He didn’t appear to be favoring either leg and didn’t stop for at least 20 minutes. Nice quick shot. I hope he’s 100% by regular camp because at worst it will light a fire under the backsides of certain complacent right wingers.
Seguin: I’m nearly certain he’ll make the NHL one day. He showed more personality on the ice than I was expecting. He seems a touch cerebral/abstracted off the ice, it may just be a dislike of cameras but I got the impression he’d told a joke or two during scrimmage and drills.
There were obviously other players there, these are the ones I noticed more than twice.
The place was packed according to the Bruins the head count for observers was about two thousand.
Julien, and Chiarelli could both be seen laughing and enjoying themselves while watching. I also met Darryl of Pro Hockey Weekly and RotoWire, good guy. We talked for several minutes as Suave and Dalton were on the ice. If you intend to go next year, plan on getting there a bit early if you want to sit, last years crowd was about one fourth the size. I should be at regular camp in a few weeks.