The tweets came fast and furious after the first day of on-ice workouts in Abbotsford. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the main being singled out after video was posted of him lagging during a skating drill. There were pics of Olli Juolevi, laying on the ice completely gassed, and new Canucks F Connor Garland puked after his. Canucks social media (and those who despise the Canucks) had a field day with it.
The problem is: it’s a bag skate. It’s not like we haven’t seen exactly the same results every year during Travis Green’s time as head coach of the Canucks (see the pic above from last season’s camp), but this literally happens at every other training camp.
Like in Seattle.
The bag skate is taking its toll. pic.twitter.com/iJeGfOYIFd— Darren Fun Brown (@DarrenFunBrown) September 23, 2021
media: what’s it like to start your first day with a twenty minute bag skate?— mitch marney (@marnylandersen) September 24, 2021
every other leaf: blah blah blah builds character yadda yadda tough attitude
rasmus sandin: try it ☺️ you’d die pic.twitter.com/N7XEe9JtPK
And Edmonton, too.
Imagine having to bag skate with McDavid just making you feel slow as fuck the whole time ♂️ https://t.co/CVXgsYDQjj— Money Mac (@MoneyMac_Sports) September 24, 2021
Is this an overreaction? Of course it is. Yeah, we get it. Expectations for things to be better, and on new players are massive in this market. It’s just a bit much to be in panic mode before there’s even been a single game played, though. And it probably would be a good time to remember this nugget of wisdom:
see people trying to riff analysis on canucks in their so called bag skate performances. unless you have times, and you don't, i'd pass— Jason Botchford (@botchford) September 14, 2017
So, moving away from the nonsense and into actual assessment, who’s been impressing so far? There’s a buzz surrounding the youngster taken 41st overall in this year’s draft, as Danila Klimovich showed up ready to let them know what he could someday bring to this team. And fellow rookie Vasily Podkolzin looks like he’s determined to live up to the hype.
Travis Green also likes what he’s seeing from Karel Plasek so far, as the battle for 4th line and bottom D pairing spots, as well as spots on the Abbotsford roster are making for a highly competitive camp. It’s giving the Canucks some options heading into the season as they deal with injuries and absences right out of the gate. After such a disappointing performance last season, the multitude of changes to this squad could reverse the course of the tailspin they found themselves in.
AROUND THE NHL
The NHL’s 32nd franchise are a day away from taking the ice for the first time as they play host to the Canucks tomorrow night in Spokane, WA. While it’s pretty unlikely they see the kind of success that the Vegas Golden Knights achieved in their inaugural season, the building of an honest to god regional rivalry should benefit both teams moving forward.
The second day of the #SeaKraken Training Camp, pres. by @starbucks, hints at new forward line combinations and defensive pairings for Sunday's preseason opener in Spokane.— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) September 25, 2021
Read more → https://t.co/6QEifhL74m pic.twitter.com/mIAon08ZCB
And while they’re no doubt working hard to get things ready, they’re still trying to have some fun.
we didn't have time to get a drone for media day... so we used a remote control car that we found instead ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/MzZQlW46uw— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) September 25, 2021
While this game will not be televised tomorrow, there’s some preseason action on Sportsnet tonight as the Leafs and Habs meet in Toronto.
A couple things to watch in this one: Josh Ho-Sang making his debut in a Leafs jersey, and John Tavares playing for the first time since that horrific injury in the series against Montreal when he collided with Corey Perry.
Just one other contest tonight, as Minnesota takes on St Louis.
Our first chance to watch the Canucks in preseason action comes Friday as they visit Calgary to take on the Flames, and then Sunday in a nationally televised game against the Winnipeg Jets.