Camp Notes: Second day gets physical
Posted September 13, 2013
The second day of Carolina Hurricanes training camp had a physical tone. That tone spilled over to a Red and White scrimmage that featured big hits and two fights.
The 40-minute game ended in a 1-1 tie, with Zac Dalpe scoring for the Red side and Drayson Bowman notching a goal for the White.
Early on, Jared Staal gave defenseman Tim Gleason a hard ride into the boards that sparked a serious amount of feisty play between the two sides. Both teams traded big hits, but not a lot of scoring chances.
Jiri Tlusty was taken off his skates on a hard hit by rookie Brendan Woods, and the first-line forward left the scrimmage and did not return. Tlusty was in the group that practiced after the scrimmage, but he sat out the session.
The Hurricane forward did tell the training staff that he was OK, and head coach Kirk Muller expects him to return to practice Saturday morning.
The first fight of the day had Nicolas Blanchard and defenseman Mike Komisarek squaring off. Blanchard showed he was not afraid to drop the gloves last season during his call-up to the Hurricanes. Komisarek, who signed as a free agent this off-season, engaged the forward after he took an extra swipe at Cam Ward in the first period of the scrimmage.
Komisarek said that things like that happen at camp.
“It’s not like you come and wake up this morning and say, 'You know, lets try grab someone and fight them right off the bat.' I think it’s part of the game. It happens. The intensity, the emotion is there and at the end of the day I think the guys are sick and tired of working out and doing drills. You just want to get into games and start battling and competing and playing. I think it is just the buildup of a long summer and guys are showing that they are ready and ready to compete.”
The second tussle had free agent defenseman Matt Corrente drop the gloves against Woods. It seemed likely that was going to happen after Woods' physical play on Tlusty.
Head coach Kirk Muller said he didn’t mind seeing the physical play and was interested to see how his team would respond.
“Very pleased, the competitive level was great. Like we said from the dinner the other night we said to the guys there are jobs available, we want you to go out and compete, the season starts yesterday, not Oct. 4,” Muller said.
He also took note of the players that had attitude and a few that did not.
“I was quite happy because I think a lot of guys got the message, but I think there were a few guys who were surprised at the pace today and they better get caught up and be aware," Muller said. "Because there were a lot of guys who got the message and were battling today.”
Cam Ward saw game action Friday in the scrimmage and looked good, keeping the White squad off the board. For Ward, who is coming off a knee injury last season, training camp is about getting back to the level he was before the injury. Getting onto the ice is the only way to find out where he is in that process.
“That’s the biggest thing for me heading into this training camp is to get back into those game situations and get comfortable in the net," Ward said. "I’ve been skating for a while now with the practice drills and feel comfortable with that but the big thing for me is to get in those game situations.”
Ward also didn’t mind seeing the physical play. When asked if he likes seeing his defensemen stand up for him when a player takes an extra dig at him, the goalie grinned before he responding, "absolutely."
The team goes back to the PNC Arena Saturday for training camp, and another intra-squad scrimmage is on the schedule.