The Amerks spent a lot of time during practice today working on full line drills, really getting into game day mode. Â One line that appeared to be getting more time than others was Derek Whitmore, Travis Turnbull and Zack Kassian. Â Some other line combinations were Michael Ryan, Colin Stuart and Mark Voakes.. Marcus Foligno and Phil Varone were often paired up with a rotating right winger.. Colin Stuart was also paired with Corey Tropp and Michael Ryan as well. Â I’ll get a better look on Friday morning at the different lines and who seems to be sticking together.
On the defensive side, Brayden McNabb and Joe Finley, Nick Crawford and Shaone Morrisonn, Drew Schiestel and TJ Brennan (Brennan also worked with Alex Biega) were all often paired up. Â At times Finley also worked with Morrisonn and Biega.
What does all of that really tell us? Â They’re still working on creating lines ahead of the first game of the season. Â Derek Whitmore and Zack Kassian seemed to be the two players always on the same line with a different center.
Maxime Legault and Paul Szczechura were the only players that I noticed were not on the ice. Â Kyle Bocheck also wasn’t present because he was sent back to the Dayton Gems.
Riley Boychuck and Jonathan Parker were officially signed to their three year entry level contracts by the Sabres.
David Leggio was on the ice for the first time with the Amerks. Â The starting goalie for Saturday nights game against the Hamilton Bulldogs is likely still up in the air between Leggio and Jeff Jakaitis. Â Leggio has been off the ice for over a week after getting knocked in the head with a puck so he’s still a little rusty. Â Jakaitis doesn’t look bad himself and has been in camp from the start. Â If there’s one thing that could be the deciding factor in the first game it’ll be the goaltending.
Here’s a seven minute video I recorded at the end of practice with players working on various things around the ice. Â It really isn’t all that exciting but I figured I’d record it for those who never get the chance to go and see what goes on. Â One of these years I hope to invest in an HD camera to record better video.
Right at the end is Zack Kassian working on shots against David Leggio. Â The kid has a nice shot and often picks his corners well.
If you have any other questions about who is who let me know the time and I’ll try to figure it out.
The team is practicing again on Friday morning at MCC at 10:30am until 11:45am if you’re interesting in checking it out. Â Make sure to wear pants and bring a sweatshirt, it’s cold in the place!