For many seasoned veterans like Anze Kopitar, he still admits he caught butterflies on the first day of boot camp.
“I always get anxious on the first day, or at least the test days yesterday and today,” Kopetar admitted. “It’s definitely nice getting to know Todd’s first day and all that stuff, but there’s still a little bit of tension that lasts up to 17 days. It’s always exciting.”
Among the pipes, goalkeeper Jonathan Quick shared similar thoughts.
“Looking back, the excitement is still coming into the year, first day of camp for everyone,” Kwik said. “You can ask the older guys, on the day of the test you get a little nervous and everything. I don’t think much has changed.”
The same can be said for young Quinton Byfield, who only entered his third NHL training camp and made his first 40-game debut for the Kings last season.
“Yeah, sure,” he said, “a little nervous.” “You look at the table, there’s a lot on the board. Your body has definitely moved through a little bit of grinding, so you think about it a little bit and you always want to make a good first impression. You never know where you’re sitting there, so you want to give it a try every day for that there.” Some butterflies for me, too.”
Veteran or novice, butterflies or not, the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice for a first day earlier today, with a fresh look and a new set of expectations. Armed with last season’s playoff look, as well as the addition of a new offensive threat and growth opportunities for young players, the excitement and expectations are definitely higher when compared to past Kings chapters. More on that shortly.
Kings skate the day with three groups – Groups A and B presented a good mix of players expected to compete for professional careers at the NHL and AHL level, as Group C finished the day with more players in the Tests, whether it was a PTO or a camp invite, mixed with Two veterans. The first group started the day with a structured exercise, followed by a brawl consisting of two halves, running time, before the second group did their own training. Group C wrapped up the day with their own training session, led by members of the Ontario Reign coaching staff.
The scrimmage saw Groups A and B exit, with both teams skating to a 2-2 draw here on the opening day of camp. The first half saw veterans Adrien Quimby and Philip Danault swapping vintage style for both players. In the opening two minutes, Kempe forced a spin into the neutral zone, walked away from the rush and scored the first goal of the match. Then Danault answered later, as he was distracted from a familiar place outside the tuck. Kempe off the rush, Danault in the dirt, we’re starting to feel like we’re already back.
The second half was on offer for Anders(s), as we saw Lias Andersson and Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s commercial goals. Anderson fired a home wrist shot from inside the right circle, from TJ Tynan’s assist, before Anderson Dolan scored from the scramble in front of the net to equalize the match at two goals. Then Kempe iced the game with a penalty shootout winner.
While it was a single melee, on the first day of training camp, Alex Yavalo’s line, Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliev’s line were a solid unit, often expanding their holdings in the attacking area with a solid forward-checking effort, resulting in many offensive opportunities. A good sign for three players looking to define their roles this season, day one offers a look inside what these roles can be paired together.
See here for a full look at the lineups on Day One, which were posted earlier this morning here on LAKI. Striker Victor Arvidson, who was discharged from off-season back surgery, skated alone before the first set hit the ice, while defender Shawn Dorsey, who was on his way back from off-season shoulder surgery, skated with Group C in contactless red. jersey.
Todd McClellan shared that the player’s first day condition was no surprise. Arvidsson is still on his original schedule, and while he wasn’t with the full set on day one, he wasn’t left out for opening night for three weeks either.
“From the day he cut himself, to the surgery until now, he hasn’t fallen off his recovery path or anything, so we expected him to be delayed at training camp,” McClellan said.
Regarding Dorze, the newly re-signed defensive man skated in the third set, in an unconnected jersey. Durzi’s prediction is a shorter schedule than Arvidsson’s, with McLellan indicating that Durzi could enter a showtime contest or two before the season. He can definitely see Dorzi integrated into the whole group sooner rather than later, at least when compared to Arvidson, which is definitely a good sign for royalty.
“He has developed with the group on a non-contact level for a short period of time, after which he should be back,” McClellan added. “I expect Sean to play an exhibition game or two probably, he’s pretty close. He just needs to do more work.”
Several Kings players thought their thoughts from day one! Anzi Kopetar’s approach on day one, Jonathan Quick about transitioning from summer skiing to formal training camp and Adrien Kempe’s expectations on day one are all filtered below as we work on the large amount of interview material collected here on day one.
Anzi Copetar talks about what he’s been looking for personally since day one of camp
When you go back to the barn, you rock the rust and you get used to the pace, pace, and timing of it. It’s really nice to move the body and get back to swinging things.
Jonathan Quick, on the way from summer skiing to formal training
It’s a little more structured, so it kind of helps you with your readings, a little more structured practice, brawls and things like that. It’s definitely going up a bit, guys [are playing] It’s harder and the pace is a little higher. So this kind of tweak, it makes reading a little bit faster.
Drew Dottie talks about whether this year’s camp has been exciting for him, coming off injury
Yes, of course. I missed playing with the guys, especially in the first year in the playoffs – and I honestly enjoyed watching them play – but I’ve been eating in my face all summer that I couldn’t really play, yeah, so excited for this year. I really like the direction the team is going and I really like how I think we’re going to be a really good team this year and I’m really excited.
Trevor Moore, about taking summer training to day one of bootcamp
Just getting your legs back, that physical strength, you play with guys all over you. You can try to play it all summer, but it’s totally different when you guys are counting on you. You can hit the treadmill as much as you want, but it’s just a different level of endurance and then once you get your legs under you you can play and all that kind of thing comes after that.
Philip Danault on his second day, first with LA Kings
Fabulous. We see the good pace there, the boys are really burning, and pushing, so it was great. It was a fairly light day, but it’s nice to get a brawl, half a second faster than the summer to get you on the right track.
Adrian Kempe in day one predictions, coming out of a career year
Yeah, definitely different because last year I didn’t really know where I was going to end up on that streak and things like that. I end up playing with Kopi most of the time, so my expectations are the same as they have been all year [last year]. I’ll probably end up playing with him and you know, expectations are going up now, since our year as a team and year as well.
Kembe unites on expectations at the end of this quote and expectations were the topic of the day. Later this evening, we’ll have a more in-depth feature on the outlook and what that word means for the Los Angeles Kings, both internally and externally. Expectations have certainly changed, both inside the room between the players and coaches, as well as for us participating from other angles, and everyone had their own view on what exactly the expectations are here for the Kings.
Todd McClellan explained the process eloquently, while veteran players spoke about their approach and thoughts on expectations ahead of the season. Regardless of who was speaking, the excitement was being felt and this was shown in many interviews. More to follow in a few hours, Insiders!
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