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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Training Camp.

Training Camp isn't going to be all fun and games. This year the golfing will take place before Training Camp not during. Hitch is going to make the boys hit the ice hard that first day.

"When we take the ice that first day (Sept. 14), our style of play and our system will be pretty obvious to everybody," Hitchcock said. "We're going to drum it into everybody's head if we have to, that there's a way we play every night and a way we do things, even in practice -- no exceptions.

"As I've said before, the pedal will be pushed firmly to the floor right from the start. So the guys better be ready."

It's exactly what we need. We need someone to come in and whip us into shape which is exactly what he has in mind. Hitch has 55 points to cover with the coaching staff before training camp. Hitchcock is making changes and I like it.

In the past, players in the lineup for a preseason game later that night took part in a half-hearted morning skate, not a rigorous day of training camp practice.

No longer.

"They may get off the ice 15 minutes earlier than the other group," Hitchcock said. "But it won't just be a 20-minute skate and get off the ice.

I think that the players are getting a little nervous for their first training camp under Hitchcock. Duvie Westcott had this to say about it:

"It doesn't sound like there will be a grace period," defenseman Duvie Westcott said with a chuckle. "I'm thinking it'll be two-on-two battle drills in the corner right from the start.

"Call the doctors and tell them to have the needle and thread ready."

I hope he works them into the ground. We have never been close to making the playoffs we can point the finger at Doug MacLean all we want but really it comes down to the coaching (and if the players take what he has to say to heart). If the players let Hitch do what Hitch is known to do we will make the playoffs maybe not this season but soon. Our men have a lot of potential. We are not a talentless organization.

Between 50 and 60 players will attend training camp, Hitchcock said, and they will be split into two teams. Each squad will play two of the first four games.

"If I told you that every position on the ice is open, I'd be lying," Hitchcock said. "But when you don't make the playoffs, you have to take a hard look at every spot on the ice."

Hitchcock has kept tabs on most of the Blue Jackets this summer, working with strength and conditioning coach Barry Brennan to make sure players are keeping up with their conditioning programs.

"Everything I've been told is that anybody who was a concern last season, they've all been accountable and done a really good job at bringing their fitness level way up," Hitchcock said. "That's good news. That's the first step. That's exactly what we needed to have happen."

Training Camp starts in less than a month. It will be nice to see the boys out on the ice again and to see what they can do and what shape they have gotten themselves into.

1 comment:

Jordi said...

That photo is total win dear. TOTAL WIN.