Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kings Training Camp - Day 2

Today I headed out to Toyota Sports Center to watch Day 2 of the LA Kings training camp.  I had consulted with Connie the previous day about whether or not going to training camp is worth the drive down there.  She assured me that it's definitely worth it if I had never been and that I should be prepared for lots of kids and suggested that I download the training camp roster so I would know who was out there.  When I showed up in the afternoon I was pleased to see that it wasn't too crowded and there weren't too many obnoxious kids around  (yeah, I'm definitely not ready for parenthood yet).  I stayed up top at first and saw one session split into 4 groups and they were taking turns doing skating drills.  Someone made a comment that it looked like a speed skating competition, which it did, just not as graceful. 

Terry Murray captivating the troops with his dynamic personality
The next session started on the other rink so I walked on over to check it out.  So despite receiving advice to print out the roster, I failed to do so and immediately regretted it because I had no idea who was on two of the forward lines, those in the green and red (or maroon?) jerseys.  I did make a mental note to check on #62 because he was SO ITTY BITTY compared to everyone else.  Who was #62?  Justin Azevedo. He's listed as 5'-7", 175 lbs; he definitely looks compact, a little more solid than Oscar Moller.  But awwww, he's so tiny!   You know who else I thought was small?  Mike Richards.  I know he's not a huge hulking presence, like Dustin Penner, but woah, he's a lot smaller than I thought he was.  

I had no idea who was going to be on the ice when I got there, but I was very excited to see Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, and #12.  Seriously people, it took me probably an hour to finally realize that I was watching Simon Gagne.  The whole time I kept thinking, "Who is #12?  Who could that possibly be?  Is It Loktionov?  Didn't he wear #12 last year?  But that guy doesn't look Russian.  Nope, not Russian at all."  Until, all of a sudden a lightbulb went off and immediately I knew it was Gagne.  Sheesh, I felt like a dumb blonde.  But, despite all this internal debating, I was able to pay attention to this trio and Shheeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiit, they looked good together.

Gagne trying to make sense of Murray's coaching.  Hickey asking Bernier for dating advice, to which Bernier responds, "I dunno dude.  I just smile at a girl and....sploosh"

The other moment I questioned the color of my hair?  When I couldn't figure out who was playing alongside Kevin Westgarth, and Brad Richardson.  Thankfully it didn't take me as long to realize it was Trevor Lewis, still wearing his usual #22.  Jeez, was I having a stroke today?  I was definitely off my hockey-watching game.  

I can haz friend?
I don't know what I expected training camp to be like, but it was way more intense than I was expecting.  It was very fast paced, lots of 3-on-2 rushes back and forth, back and forth.  I thought it was cool how they had two sets of defensemen out there and one forward line and they would rush up one end trying to score, and when the play ended they turned around faced the other set of D-men and the forward lines would switch on the fly as well.  It was crazy how fast the guys were going without finishing their checks.  There were definitely some close calls, but it was impressive to see them competing that hard without killing each other.  

I'm glad I went today because it definitely got me even more excited about the season!  Seeing how hard the guys were working, I'm sure they can't wait till training camp is over.  As a fan, I can't wait for it to be over either because it'll mean the regular season is here!  Ahhh, it's so close.  

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