Now that we've laid the foundation and covered the Homer Dills, this next drill build upon those fundamentals. In this drill, the players go behind the net, get the puck, pass it to a waiting teammate in the offensive zone, then get to the net as quickly as possible, screen the goalie and try to get the stuffing into the turkey. Piece of cake, right? This drill requires coordination, agility, speed , quick reflexes, and mobility.
For reference, Here's the full camp roster with more information on each player.
- Dane Walters and Tyler Bertuzzi were the standouts in this group, with Andreas Athanasiou impressing as well; although he was a little sloppy at times. It's not difficult to stand in front of the goalie and create a screen, however it's much more difficult to do so without blocking the puck with your body and doing more harm than good.
- What makes these these players so good at this drill? Their knees are bent and their weight forward, which allows them to stay light on their feet and their reflexes to be quicker. Notice how much hip rotation and lower body movement they have. They also do a lot of shuffling with their feet and keeping the loose posture helps them achieve the quicker movements. You can also see both Walters and Bertuzzi jumping out of the way as the puck comes at them. Contrast their performance with that of Barclay Goodrow. Goodrow is much stiffer, keeps his knees straighter, doesn't move as much or as quickly, and leans on his stick too much.
- In this type of situation, the goalie has much better coverage down low with his pads, so the screening player is going to have a better chance at tipping the puck in over top of the pads, or in the top corners. You can see Eskelinen getting low to cover the ice in anticipation of the shot coming in, he's also keeping his head lower in an attempt to see around the screening player. Notice how Walters and Bertuzzi keep their sticks up higher than Goodrow and their arms are looser, which improves their reaction time and also keep their stick from blocking the initial shot as it comes in.
- Mattias Janmark impressed me not only with his positioning and reflexes, but with his tenacity; however it was Luke Glendening who set the standard in this group. Knees bent, light on his feet, lots of movement and adjusting his position, quick feet, and he gives the goalie a hard time while staying out of the crease (you can't sit on the goalie *cough* Babcock *cough*)
- Marek Tvrdon looks rigid, stiff, and slow; he also looked very rusty for most of the camp. However, considering he missed almost all of last season with a blood clot in his arm that required the removal of a rib, and the doctors initially tole him he might not play hockey again; I'm not concerned about his rustiness and look forward to seeing him in Grand Rapids this season.