Las Vegas–Today, the Vegas Golden Knights continued their preparations for the start of the 1st season in the NHL, the franchise sent a prospect-heavy team north of the border to take on the Vancouver Canucks while the veterans stayed behind and practiced in front of a large crowd of fans at “City National Arena”.
Today’s practice session was run by Chicago Wolves Head Coach Rocky Thompson and Vegas Golden Knights Assistant Mike Kelly.
The players went thru a series of drills that included the traditional warm up’s that fans will see each time the Golden Knights players will take the ice during pre-game skate activities at T-Mobile Arena.
For the Golden Knights players that stayed behind at “City National Arena”, they worked on puck retrieval drills at both ends of the ice, an important aspect of the game to prevent your opponent from grabbing the loose puck.
Other drills that went in the morning session of today’s training camp practices were passing, neutral zone breakouts, and scoring.
The speed and pace of today’s practice was not as noticeable as it was during yesterday’s practice given that theme of this session was designed to work on in-game situations that may come up when the Golden Knights face their opponent throughout the course of the season.
Kelly and company put the Golden Knights players that practiced today at “City National Arena” thru a drill where it was 3 forwards vs 2 defensemen to see how the blueliners would handle offensive pressure in the attacking zone
Golden Knights players were put thru their paces courtesy of line rushes at both ends of the ice as the guys continue to get familiar with one another in an effort to establish a baseline on chemistry.
The guys concluded today’s practices with the shootout competition.
We caught with veteran defenseman Jason Garrison to get his take on how his training camp has been progressing with the Golden Knights and what the last few weeks have been for him since coming over from Tampa via the Vegas Draft.
“It’s been great been here a few weeks now, been able to get settled in, obvioulsy meet all the guys, coaching staff, and trainers so a lot of new faces but after a few days it doesn’t take long to get to know everybody, it doesn’t feel like two weeks, it feels like I’ve been here for a while.” Garrison said.
Garrison talked about the what it’s been like for him in feeling the fan support in the building at “City National Arena”.
“Absolutely it’s pretty impressive when having a big group of fans like that waiting for you on the ice in the early hours of the day so I think guys are really excited about it, they know that it’s only going to get bigger as it gets closer to the season opener.” Says Garrison.
Since the start of training camp, “City National Arena” has been experiencing the buzz and “Love Affair” as McPhee has called it with the fans coming to the building in large crowds that consisted of standing room crowd in the first 2-days of practices.
To catch more on our post-practice interview with defenseman Jason Garrison, watch the video below.