This morning I made the trek into practice at the MSOE Kern Center. I’m currently in the process of a feature story on European players and their transition on and off the ice. Main purpose for going in today was to finish up with interviews but, while I’m there, I thought I would take a look at practice as well.
Those were the line combinations this morning. There was some flipping around here and there. Austin Watson and Joe Pendenza alternated between center and right wing. Garrett Noonan and Jonathan Diaby alternated on a line pairing with Johan Alm.
A lot of practice today seemed focused on fast paced puck retrieval and defensive zone exits. There were lots of drills pinpointing that aspect of the game with forechecking pressure. If you think of the current run the Admirals have been on that area of their game has either been sloppy or sluggish. Can’t say I’m surprised to see the transition of defense to offense getting tested the way it was. Admirals have needed to speed that aspect of their game for awhile.
Some of the highlights from practice included: a spin-o-rama backhander from Diaby that beat Magnus Hellberg glove side, blown tire by Alm during dump and chase drills that had him sliding on his butt from the faceoff circle to the end boards (most couldn’t help but laugh at it), and Viktor Arvidsson nearly stickhandling clean through everyone on five-on-five drills to score.
I’m not sure when this feature story will drop but I can say that it will include a pleasant surprise of Miikka Salomäki being involved. I was able to catch up with the Finn after practice today and talk with him about his recovery from surgery performed to his right shoulder.
Salomäki on how he’s been and how he was injured:
Basically sounds like it was a check gone wrong that caused a dislocated shoulder. He made a return to game action after it first happened and played in two games before getting re-injured. The option was surgery or attempt to let it heal on its own, get back in game action, and risk potential re-injury. The smart option was taken after the latter was put to the test the first time around. He should be completely 100% come training camps in Nashville for the 2015-16 season.