Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Practice Update 11/6

An overdue personnel update, first: Brandon Manning was back on the Glens Falls Civic Center ice today as he continues to recover from an illness that has been nagging him over the past few days. He went for the first half of practice in a yellow jersey, which I have yet to see this year.

“It was a surprise for me actually that he was here today. I thought it’d be another day, but he’s feeling better," coach Terry Murray said. "Get on the ice for half of the practice, that was the plan. See where he goes after today. Hopefully he’s back on for a full practice tomorrow"

Matt Mangene missed practice again. The team's forward lines remained unchanged in his absence. Andrew Johnston and Matt Konan, two rookies who did not play Saturday, stayed on with Murray for extra work. Brayden Schenn, Tye McGinn and Eric Wellwood did some extra work on their own.

After practice, Murray was asked about the team's overall performance in Saturday's win and what the team can learn from a game like that. His answer -- there's still a lot more learning to be done:

“There’s a lot of hesitancy in our game still because you’re thinking,” Murray said. "That’s what I want to take out of the game. I don’t want the ‘What do I do?’ or ‘Here’s what I do here.' I want instinctive play. That takes time. I can go back even to the NHL teams I've had. That might take three-quarters of the season in order to get some parts of the structure in place. These guys, I think, in the last few days have move forward very quickly. The effort the other night was very positive. To understand that you need to play the game with a certain pace is a big stepping stone."

Piggy-backing off yesterday's Spray Tan Boy shootout contest was some three-on-two drills in the offensive zone. Forwards won if they scored, defense and goalies won if they skated the puck out of the zone. Defense prevailed, so they'll get some free DQ or Starbucks on the coming road trip.

Story in tomorrow's paper about forward Zac Rinaldo, who had some interesting things to say about his new role on the power play and penalty kill. This is his first time in an actual hockey role, rather than that of an agitator, since before his time in the OHL. He was 16 the last time he played this role.

"This is hockey," he said Tuesday. "This is all-around hockey. I’ve never been put in any position where I could just play hockey. I’m thankful and honored that the Flyers gave me a chance."

Murray had some pretty insightful stuff, as always, about Rinaldo's play as well. Essentially, he said that if Rinaldo sticks to the system, the hits and fights will come in time. He doesn't necessarily have to go out actively seeking them. So far, Rinaldo's average penalty time is way down and he's already matched his goal total from last season too. He seems to think this is just the beginning, as well. 

Practice update for tomorrow: the team will be at the Fire Road rink at 10:30 a.m. because crews need to take the Glens Falls Civic Center ice out for this weekend's rodeo. Sort of hard to do that kind of thing on a slippery surface, you know. There's a lot of dirt that needs to be brought in.

Anyway, the Phantoms will be at Fire Road for the next few practices before the ice gets remade. Expect an update after tomorrow's practice.

Until next time,


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