Day 2 of Milwaukee Admirals Training Camp is in the books. With the added pieces that the Nashville Predators assigned yesterday it provided another new look for how the team shaped up. The practice was split into two groups once again this morning and line combinations looked like the following:
All three goaltenders, Juuse Saros included, participated in both sessions. Saros looked his usual Saros self – which is very good – and the battle for the back-up role in Milwaukee still seems pretty deadlocked between Jonas Gunnarsson and Mark Visentin. It’s hard to say either one has a leg up on the other and it is easy to see pros and cons for each. Can Gunnarsson adapt to the North American game as effortlessly as Saros last season? Can Visentin avoid the injury bug and play up to his first round draft pick abilities? Plenty to like from what both provide but the one who finishes up the coming week or so of Training Camp with the best consistency in mechanics and reliability should be tabbed, I’d imagine.
As far as similarities to yesterday’s lines go the look on defense is perhaps the biggest. It looks like the French connection of Jimmy Oligny and Alexandre Carrier might stick while Trevor Murphy and Jack Dougherty provide a highly skilled offensive tandem as a d-pairing. What did change from Day 1 to Day 2 was Carrier’s number. Him being #15 lasted a single day and he will now be #55.
Kidding aside, the bigger change over the two days was seeing Teddy Doherty back in the more natural defensive spot that he plays. He was set-up as a forward on the first day of Training Camp but was splitting defensive rotations with whom I’d expect to be his teammates this season in Cincinnati, Jaynen Rissling and Eric Knodel.
Some last notes to end on from Day 2: Pontus Åberg made his on-ice debut after sitting out of practice yesterday and looked his usual skillful self. Justin Kirkland and Eric Robinson both lined up at center for practice today and looked sharp. Adam Payerl‘s shooting accuracy was pretty eye-opening as he really didn’t seem to miss out on his shots to the net with an active goalie present. He was one of the energetic bright spots for the Admirals against the Grand Rapids Griffins during last year’s playoffs when making his pro debut but Anthony Richard, now at 100% fitness, looks incredible (skating speed, shot, puck movement). Despite looking impressive this Summer at Rookie Development Camp I don’t feel I’ve seen the same spark out of Gabryel Boudreau these first two days of practice.
After practice today I was able to round up a few interviews. Today I chatted with goaltenders Saros and Visentin. I then consulted the leader of the French Fries, Oligny, to talk about this current French Revolution for Nashville, the new baby, the Blue Jays, and this little game called hockey.
Is having a reliable back-up to Juuse Saros a concern of your’s for the 2016-17 Milwaukee Admirals season? Will any of these fringe AHL/ECHL players stick around past the weekend’s pre-season games?
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