Thoughts, observations and notes from the second day of Carolina Hurricanes training camp:
▪ Maybe it was the lack of cameras or fans Saturday at PNC Arena – everyone was at football games, it seems – but Canes coach Bill Peters was lot more vocal on day two than day one.
And blunt. At one point during a neutral-zone drill, Peters tugged on a players’s jersey and pulled him across the ice to get him in the proper position. He was loud and clear on the points he wanted to make. Strictly no-nonsense.
“Day two was good and we got some work done,” Peters said. “Just trying to get a foundation laid here.”
▪ Trevor van Riemsdyk and Haydn Fleury have been a defensive pair the first two days of camp, and coaches and management apparently are leaning in that direction for the 5-6 defensemen.
It’s everything Peters likes in a pairing – a righty (van Riemsdyk) and lefty (Fleury) who both have good size, can skate and make good decisions. The Canes don’t need great play from the third defensive pairing, but they do need consistently solid play.
“He’s a big guy out there, but he moves really well,” van Riemsdyk said of the 6-3, 221-pound Fleury. “He makes a good pass out of the zone, and he’s an easy target to get the puck to. He seems like a very smart guy and good player.”
▪ Sebastian Aho says he spent part of the offseason getting stronger, saying, “I think I’m in better shape now.” It shows off the ice. He’s bigger in the arms and shoulders.
Aho is listed at 172 pounds but knows how to leverage his weight and is pretty adept at dodging big hits. The Finnish forward played all 82 games as a rookie.
▪ Jeff Skinner knows how to put the puck in the net, and he already appears razor-sharp. “Skinny’s shooting the puck unbelievable right now,” Peters said. “I don’t know what he’s doing a little bit different, but it seems like it’s coming off his stick a little quicker.”
▪ What’s the deal with goalie beards? Is that some unwritten requirement for the position these days? Scott Darling, Cam Ward, Callum Booth … no need for razors for this group at camp.
Ward marvels at Darling’s beard, saying, “I don’t know how he gets it that thick.”