"I'm big on a lot of pace. If you practice at high speed, you'll play at high speed." [Sports Day DFW]
Those were Lindy Ruff's words following the first day of Dallas Stars training camp. And while I'm gonna give our very own Taylor Baird credit for scooping the story, the consensus on the blogosphere is that the Stars have hit the ground running, or hit the ice skating, with a focus on speed. Ruff continued, saying, "I thought the pace of the practice was really good. The first thing you notice is the speed. In the compete drills, the guys worked real hard. In the scrimmage, the ice got a little bit tough, but I thought in the practice the players did a nice job with the stuff we tried to work on in the offensive zone. It was a good first day."
Jim Nill would seem to agree. "It was a great pace. Lindy Ruff is a very good coach as we all know. I loved the crispness of the practice. It was a high pace. It was all business out there. They worked hard and that is what we're looking for." [Inside Edge]
Anybody counting the number of times the word 'pace' has come up?
Of course a fast start is going to be necessary, with the first pre-season game scheduled for Sunday. As Shawn Horcoff said, "No one uses camp anymore to get in shape. It's nice to jump into games right away." [CBS]
Imagine! An almost-real hockey game, with real NHL players and uniforms and everything! A couple more days of camp though, before we shift back to the American Airlines Center for the game against the St. Louis Blues.
All of which leads me to wishing I was in Fort Worth right now. Instead though, for some strange reason (her name is Steph), I'm living in Reno, Nevada, and forced to keep track of the action at training camp via Taylor's play-by-play Twitter feed. There are worse things I suppose...
Here's another preview of the Stars, this time coming from Chicago. They're hedging their bets though on making any projections. I'm taking that as a good thing. [Chicago Now]
Yeah, I know. The Olympics are already on the calendar, and the World Cup of Hockey is coming back, but look! The potential for more international hockey! Only this time, on the club level. A Champions League of Hockey? Yes please. [CBS Sports]
Now, we might expect it during the grind of an 82-game season, but on the first day of training camp? Perhaps Jaromir Jagr is finally getting old... [Pro Hockey Talk]
Also over at Pro Hockey Talk, there's a list of the top remaining free agents on the market, with some pretty interesting names still on it. Let's just get Brenden Morrow back and end this whole 'Stars captain for 2013' debate right now. [Pro Hockey Talk]
And I haven't actually talked to the guy, but I can only assume that this is how Kari Lehtonen spent his off-season. [Finnish Training]
Lastly, thanks for the kind comments on my anonymous trial post last week. And a shout out to Tuba, for whom I was mistaken. Or he was mistaken for me. Whatever.
Looking forward to being a part of the Defending Big D community!