Abbotsford Update: Training Camp - Day 7
Flames goaltending coach Clint Malarchuk has been on the ice all week in Abbotsford, working with the five netminders in attendance and helping the Heat coaching staff get a read on what each of them brings to the table.
"They want to know what I think on each individual goalie," he said on Friday morning. "But it's more for me to form relationships with some of these guys, especially the newer guys. Obviously Irving I know pretty good but the other guys, getting to know them ... being a goalie coach, the one thing you have to have is trust. And it begins with relationships.
"That is really my main goal - help them out on the ice but to form relationships so that when you do tell them something, they believe it. They trust it and they'll try it."
Malarchuk has been very impressed with the competitiveness put forth by each netminder, noting that this week is being looked upon by the players as an NHL camp due to the fact the Flames management has been in the stands each day to observe the proceedings.
"It's intense," he smiled. "Everybody is fighting for a job, a roster spot and trying to make a good impression. Camp's are the beginning of it. It's always a battle. It's always competitive and it's good to see.
"I've been really happy with all five goalies out here. They all have something to offer and have worked hard and been pretty darn good."
The five goaltenders in camp are Leland Irving, Danny Taylor, Barry Brust, Grant Rollheiser and Alex Evin.
After a week of on-ice practices, Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward is feeling very comfortable with the group heading into tonight's intra-squad scrimmage.
"We sit well right now. I like where we're at. We've had to accomplish two things this last week: we've had to accomplish putting in our system play and at the same time, establishing some pace back to our life."
"Usually down here, you're coming off a rookie camp and you're coming off an NHL training camp. We've had to get up to speed."
Ward has also used the week to get to know Flames head coach Bob Hartley, associate coach Jacques Cloutier and assistant coach Martin Gelinas. The trio are new to the organization and this past week has given all of the assorted coaches time to learn each other's styles and methods.
"I think Bob has been instrumental in helping us ... bridge the gap relative to how we're going to play down here a little bit.
"Because Bob's whole staff is brand new to us, we have to understand some things that they're going to push up there. If we can get a head start on some of the guys down here the transition for players will be easier going up."
Three players are sitting on the shelf with injuries with no timeline set on their return to the ice. Forward Greg Nemisz is out with a lower body injury but has skated on his own this week. Forward Paul Byron is out with an upper body injury while defenceman Nick Tuzzolino is also sidelined with an upper body malady.