Thrashers: Training camp report, Day 5

By Holly Gunning

Game 1


Day 5 of Atlanta Thrashers training camp consisted of two
back-to-back scrimmages.  Both were
physical games, with fairly sloppy play. 
Defense proved to be superior over offense, as the first game ended in a
1-1 tie, and the second with a 1-0 win for Team B. 



Cassivi vs. Garnett


Team B (White)

Blatny – Santala – Heatley

Cowan – MacKenzie – Baby

Bonsignore – Doell – Bois


Exelby – Kaberle

Safronov – Foster

Manson – Flache


Team C (Red)

Tapper – Savard – Healey (moved from B)

Dietrich – Schell – Gamache

Stewart – Robitaille – Lessard


Tremblay – Hawgood

DiPenta – Ustrnul

Sharrow – Tamer


Goals were scored by Brandon Dietrich and Dany Heatley.  Dietrich’s was a backhand put-back on a
Cassivi rebound.  Heatley’s was scored
from the high slot on a pass off the left wing boards from either Zdenek Blatny or
Tommi Santala beating Michael Garnett.



Dafoe vs. Nurminen


Team B (White)

Blatny – Santala – Heatley

Cowan – MacKenzie – Baby

Bonsignore – Doell – Bois


Exelby – Kaberle

Safronov – Foster

Manson – Flache


Team A (Blue)

Kovalchuk – Stefan – Vigier

Desbiens – Piros – Lindsay

Aquino – Swanson – Maloney


Weaver – Sutton

Tjarnqvist – Majesky

Sellars – Heins


Game 2 was even more physical than the first of the day,
with a lazy fight between Danny Bois and Ivan Majesky. 
The veterans were getting the most chippy of everyone.  The only goal was scored by Garnet Exelby on Pasi Nurminen from
the paint on a cross-ice pass from Heatley from the point. 


an impression

The line of Jeff Cowan, Derek MacKenzie, and Stephen
was the most effective in either game.  This trio of checkers kept the puck in the offensive zone by
working the boards very effectively. 
They also had some of the best scoring opportunities.  MacKenzie in particular was good along the
boards, coming out with the puck most cases. 


The Zdenek Blatny, Tommi Santala and Dany Heatley
line had potential, but was hindered by Santala’s unusual routes and
ineffective positioning.  Blatny’s good
forechecking helped that line get opportunities.


Brian Maloney continued to impress with all
aspects of his game, including creativity in the offensive zone and hard
checking style.   He dumped Baby with
conviction in the corner, not an easy task given the size differential.


Kamil Piros, a skilled center, was placed on a line with grinders
Bill Lindsay and Guillaume Desbiens. 
This may have been a signal from the coaching staff that this is how
they want to see Piros play.  Desbiens
will crash the net with no fear whatsoever. 
If Piros is going to make the team, he needs to play with an edge like
these temporary linemates have.  In large part he
did, Piros made several hits and went to the net with a purpose. 


Libor Ustrnul displayed the mean streak long
talked about, but seldom displayed.  His
game is at a higher level than it has ever been since turning pro.  Another defenseman who has never looked
better is Paul Flache, who was very calm with the puck and made good


Jason Bonsignore had a couple of giveaways, but
also sprung Bois onto a breakaway by good stickhandling at the blue line.  


The two junior players out of the QMJHL, Guillaume
and Jimmy Sharrow, did not blend into the scrimmages as
well as they did in the drills. 
Desbiens’ skating in particular seemed to hold him back. 


cuts imminent

One more day of scrimmages will take place Wednesday before
the first preseason game on Thursday night against Tampa Bay at home.  The first round of cuts will likely be announced Thursday, before the team leaves town for games on Friday and Saturday.


Notes: Braydon Coburn did not practice due to taking a
cross-check to the kidneys in Monday’s action. 
He will be available and play in this weekend’s preseason games…Kari
Lehtonen did not play in either game, he has not been cleared to play following
the groin pull.  Slava Kozlov and Evan Nielsen
also did not participate in the scrimmages.

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